Christine Aranda has arrived on the Campus of Southwestern College at a precipitous time. Turmoil has engulfed the campus, which threatens to destroy years of hard work and effort by former Superintendents/Presidents up to, and including the current Superintendent/President Dr. Serafín Zasueta. They, along with members of past Board of Trustees, had the vision to make of Southwestern College the envy of all other California Community Colleges.
For decades Trustees of the Southwestern Community College District have worked very hard with their appointed Superintendent/President to make Southwestern College the top source of education for 400,000 residents of Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Nestor, Otay Mesa, Palm City San Ysidro, and Coronado. Not the least of its efforts were to provide to thousands of Mexican students a source of education not available in their own country.
Now some members of the current Board, whose vision, unfortunately, is very limited, are attempting to undermine those efforts. It is axiomatic that in times of need individuals with vision appear on the horizon to make right out of wrong. Such a person is Christine Aranda, Doctor of Education and Education Leadership.
Aranda is running for Seat No. 5 that is being vacated, due to illness, by Maria Neves Perman who dedicated two decades of her life to bringing to the residents of the South Bay, the best college there is in the entire state!
Who is Dr. Christine Aranda?
Dr. Aranda is currently serving as the Interim Superintendent of the San Ysidro School District. She was appointed to this position on June 2002. She will serve until the San Ysidro Board of Trustees hire their next Superintendent. As Interim superintendent, she governs over an elementary school district of 5,500 students, with five K-5 elementary schools, one K-8 school, one middle school and one preschool program located on the U.S. Mexican border with Tijuana. Approximately 80% of the students are English learners. Concurrently with this appointment Dr. Aranda is the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction a position for which she was hired on December. 2000. In this position she has been the Director of curriculum and instruction programs.
From January 1999 to November 2000, she served as the Deputy Secretary, for Elementary and Secondary Education, in the Office of the Governor’s Secretary for Education. She was the Chief policy advisor on K-12 education In addition she served as the Governor’s representative to selected boards and commissions, including the state Reading and Literacy Partnership, the High School Exit Examination Advisory Committee, the School Violence Prevention and Response Taskforce, the Safe Schools Taskforce, and served as liaison to a number of committees including the California State Board of Education.
Closer to home Dr. Christine Aranda served as principal of Southwest High School, located in South San Diego, California from 1995-1999. While there she facilitated the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) self-study process for accreditation, which defined the school mission, student outcomes and action plan for improvement. She supervised the curriculum and instruction for the comprehensive program and on-site alternatives. Directed staff development and evaluated personnel at the administrative, certificated and classified levels.
She also found time to promote the development of School to Career programs in Health Careers, Law and Justice, Humanities and International business. She managed the fifty-eight acre educational plant, administered the site and special program budgets. She employed a ‘team-centered approach’ to decision-making and became committed to the philosophy that all students can and should succeed.
The Sweetwater Union High School District had the benefit of her services from 1993 to 1995. She served as the Associate Superintendent, of Instructional Services. Dr. Aranda was involved in Instructional Policy Development. She institutionalized regular district administrative meetings centered on curriculum and instruction and supervised curriculum revision to align with state frameworks and corresponding staff development.
Aside from being very familiar and serving in the feeder schools, that supply a great number of the students that were later to become part of Southwestern Community College, Dr Aranda gained exposure to other school systems such as Oxnard Union High School District, in Oxnard, California from 1984 to 1993. From 1976 to 1984, Christine served at Camarillo High School, located in Camarillo, California as a Counselor. From 1971-1976, she began her involvement with the public school system at Oxnard High School, Oxnard, California as a teacher and as resource teacher for Bilingual/Bicultural Title VII Programs.
Dr Aranda’s Qualifications
Dr. Christine Aranda is now seeking to serve on the Board of Trustees of Southwestern College at a time when there is a crying need for expertise, educational knowledge and a proven record of leadership in the field of education at all levels. She earned her Doctorate in Education - Ed. Leadership, in 1993. Her PhD was earned at the University of La Verne, La Verne, California. Her Master of Arts in Education was earned in 1975 at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California. Additionally she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish in 1965 Immaculate Heart College, Hollywood, California
Dr. Christina Aranda holds California credentials in Secondary Teaching, Pupil Personnel Services, Language Development Specialist and an Administrative Services Credential.
There are four other candidates who have filed for Seat 5, Jessie Navarro, owner of a small Mexican Food Restaurant, Paul O’Sullivan, who lists working for an advocacy group that promotes sober driving as his main qualifications. Thomas Christopher, who list his occupation as a full time student. Mario Salazar, who list himself as retired businessman. He has been missing in action and we could not contact him for any particulars about his campaign.
It is obvious to the Editorial Board of La Prensa San Diego that Dr. Christine Aranda is by far the superior candidate for the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees. Education is so important to our community that we can ill afford to put inexperienced, unqualified individuals on the Board of Trustees. Our children are hurting at every level of education. Southwestern College under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Serafín Zasueta is one of the few Community Colleges that have become a magnet for minority students and mainstream students for increasing the options opened to them to succeed. Dr. Zasueta needs professional, educational individuals to be on the Board that will work with him to continue to develop the full potential of Southwestern College and it’s student body. Southwestern College will not be able to fulfill its mission with out a visionary Board of Trustees whose principle goal is to create and maintain a college worthy of the 21st Century.
La Prensa San Diego has studied the candidates and is endorsing Dr. Christine Aranda FOR ELECTION TO the Southwestern College Board of Trustees Seat # 5!