Think About Your Vote
Welcome to our first “Meet the Candidates” profile blog: An introduction to the leaders in our community running for school board office.
Meet Sheri Mowbray
Which Marin School Board are you running for?
SM : Tamalpais Union High School District
How long have you lived in Marin County?
SM: I grew up in San Rafael and only left Marin to attend UCLA. After graduation, I moved back to Marin, to Mill Valley, in 1993 and then to Larkspur in 2000. I love living in Marin County and feel so lucky to live here!
How many children do you have in this school district?
SM: I have twin daughters who are freshmen at Redwood High this year.
What are the biggest challenges facing the district now and in the next 5 years?
SM: The biggest challenge facing the Tam District is growing enrollment. The District expects to add about 1,000 additional students in the next five years. As a Basic Aid district, funded by local property taxes and not by the state, that means that more students will be attending, but without additional funds following them. The District will need to prioritize student needs more than ever.
What do you think are the district’s greatest strengths?
SM: The Tam District is one of California’s top performing High School Districts. The level of academic achievement our schools foster is extremely high. The teaching staff is truly exceptional and committed to all students. Students are not only engaged in learning, but also passionate about improving the world around them. Finally, the community is tirelessly supportive of the high schools with its tax dollars.
What would you say are the district’s greatest weaknesses?
SM: There seems to be some feeling of disconnect between the administration and the staff that definitely requires attention. I am also concerned about the high level of drug and alcohol use among our students. The figures show a problem among the worst in the state. Finally, I think the district ought to be incorporating technology more. Technology allows for more differentiated instruction, which I really think is key for learning and engagement.
Why are you running?
SM: I have served on the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District for six years, including serving the past two years as Board President. School governance is very complex and I have really committed myself to learning best practices. I feel I have a lot to give, in terms of governance knowledge and understanding, but also as a parent of two daughters in the district. The only board member who is also a parent with children currently enrolled is leaving the board and I think it is critical for school boards to include members who currently have children in the schools. Parents have a front row seat to what is happening in our schools and see things from a very personal perspective. Also, parents are most accessible to other parents in the district. Above all, I care deeply about kids and education – and I enjoy serving the community in this way.
What do you feel you would bring to the school board that makes you unique?
SM: I bring two very important qualities to the board: six years of experience as a trustee in a feeder district, and the fact that I am a parent of two students currently in the district. No other candidate or current board member has the advantage of these two valuable qualifications.
What would be your main goals as a trustee during your tenure on the board?
SM: My focus as a trustee would be to encourage the implementation of authentic, two-way communication avenues between the administration and the staff that fostered an environment of trust and mutual respect.