As a Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) alumni, PAUSD parent, former English teacher at Lynbrook High School and, most recently, a PAUSD substitute teacher, Board of Education candidate Shana Segal has been immersed in public school education her entire life: a quality she believes separates her the most from other candidates. “We need someone on the board with recent in-class experience, PAUSD experience and a background in education,” she said. “As a parent, educator and alum, I can make decisions with different lenses.”
If elected, Segal plans to prioritize community collaboration. “PAUSD has great students, great parents, great teachers and a great community,” Segal said. “We need to make sure we can retain them and raise morale. I am confident I can build back the collaborative community that seems a little bit fractured.” Segal also plans to value community feedback—especially student voice—through being visible on campus, being easily accessible online and encouraging student representation. “Student voice is very important,” Segal said. “I want students to not only feel heard, seen and respected, but also that there will be follow through.”
Another key priority of Segal’s campaign is to close the achievement gap through a process known as early intervention, which identifies students struggling early on in their academic careers and provides support for them. “Every child, every student only gets one chance in each grade—I understood that as a teacher, but now as a parent, I feel that even more,” Segal said.
Ultimately, Segal’s vision for the future of PAUSD is improved mental health and equity programs, as well as increased school enrollment. “I would like for students to have a variety of definitions of success and for us as a community to really demonstrate that as well,” Segal said.