Introducing your Area 3 Trustee for the Cotati Rohnert Park Unified School District Board, Mark Nelson.
Nelson filed as a candidate to represent Area 3 in August 2020. Since no other candidate filed to run for the November 2020 election in Area 3, which encompasses Rohnert Park section A, B & C, his name won’t be on the ballot. In lieu of being elected, he has been appointed to a four-year term to serve on the board. He will be sworn in during the December 15 regularly scheduled board meeting.
Nelson lives in the A section with his family. His daughter attends Rancho Cotate High School.
He grew up and attended school in Rohnert Park. He went to Waldo Rohnert Park Elementary, Rohnert Park Junior High, and is a graduate of Rancho Cotate High School. During our interview of September 25, we discussed why he decided to run for the school board, what he wants to accomplish as a Trustee, and how he intends to do that.
As a concerned parent, he’s followed district events and issues primarily from the stories published in the local papers. He sensed some division on the board. He had concerns about the differences in allocated resources and programs between the two middle schools – Lawrence Jones and Technology Middle School. He felt there was some disparity between the two. His daughter attended Technology Middle. He also was concern about how distance learning was implemented in the spring, especially the credit/no credit decisions.
He acknowledged the difficulties the district was facing because of COVID-19 especially with the looming budget deficits. So, his goal as a Trustee, is to foster civility and cooperation with a focus on curriculum and the budget. He said there are “going to be some hard decisions to be made.” He hopes they’ll be made in a “creative way.” He wants to look at “Grant Assistance” and to “find ways to save money and prioritize the usage of money we have.” He said he supports “gifted educators, talented administrators, and dedicated staff who work with our students by giving them the tools they need to prepare and propel our students into the future.” He promised he will listen to “concerns from parents, educators and fellow board members” to work to “reach consensus, resolve differences, and forge compromise.”