Carrol Titus-Zambre is running for a seat on the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District's board, with the aim of bringing a parent's perspective to the governing board and helping the district recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Born and raised in Santa Clara County, Titus-Zambre said she grew up attending public schools and that her three children went through the Los Altos and Mountain View Los Altos Union High school districts. Two of her children graduated from high school in 2021 and her third child is currently a senior, Titus-Zambre said.
"It would be an honor to give back a portion of what we received as a family," she said.
The high school district's five-member school board has three seats up for a vote this November. Catherine Vonnegut is the only incumbent running for re-election. Also vying for a seat are Jacquie Tanner, Thida Cornes, Eric Mark and Esmeralda Ortiz.
One of Titus-Zambre's motivations for running is helping the district compensate for learning loss that occurred during the pandemic. She pointed to evidence of standardized test score declines, including an analysis by the non-profit news site EdSource showing a 12% drop in students passing California's Smarter Balanced math test in 2021 compared to 2019, as well as a 6% decline in those passing the English language arts test.
The test was optional in 2021, so the analysis only includes schools that participated. Titus-Zambre said that the impact is even more substantial when broken down by race and economic status.
Part of the solution, she believes, is for districts to better integrate technology into the classroom and ensure it is accessible for all students.
"There's this gap we need to fill and I'd love to help the district do that," she said.
Titus-Zambre runs an e-learning company called Golden Poppy Inc., which created an augmented reality game designed to teach kids science, math and engineering concepts.
When it comes to the high school district, she believes technology could allow for more virtual science labs, as well as help kids who have fallen behind in classes. She also wants to make sure teachers know how to fit technology into the curriculum and that a holistic approach is used, which incorporates students' physical and emotional needs.
If elected, Titus-Zambre said she would prioritize taking community input, adding that she wants the board to be balanced with various perspectives, and that she would bring the experience of being a current parent in the district. Since announcing her run, Titus-Zambre said she has had other parents contact her.
"I'm totally open to listening to all of those parents' concerns and great ideas," she said.
As for specific policy priorities, Titus-Zambre said that she wants to get the lay of the land first and to further study the district's upcoming decisions. She said that she knows the district is working on piloting a new ethnic studies course and that California is considering changes to math standards, but didn't state a particular position on either issue.
Instead, she said that she would want to take time to delve into the issues and would focus on finding accurate ways to measure outcomes, pointing to the MBA she said she earned from Santa Clara University in information systems and quantitative solutions
Over the years, Titus-Zambre said she has volunteered to run youth volleyball clinics, led a local girl scout troop and coached boys volleyball at Los Altos High School.
To learn more about each of the candidates running for the high school district's board, visit mv-voice.com in the coming days.