The Herald recommends: Young in Area 1, Lewis in Area 3 for Antioch School Board

George Young (left) and Dr. Clyde Lewis (right).

By Allen Payton, Editor & Publisher

Easy decisions in both races. The only candidates with the knowledge and experience to bring true reform to improve the education for Antioch students are George Young in Area 1 and Dr. Clyde Lewis in Area 3.

Area 1

While I applaud current Board President Diane Gibson-Gray’s leadership this year in handling the controversies, protests and dissent on the board, three things prevent me from supporting her. One is the lack of progress in test scores among Black and Hispanic students during her 12 years on the board; second was her bypassing three times of two African American, female board vice presidents for board president, one of whom because Gibson-Gray said she didn’t think was ready which was rather condescending; (See related articles here, here and here) and third, because Gibson-Gray opposed all three charter schools, including Rocketship which has proven to far outshine the other schools in the Antioch district.

The new board majority needs to consider what they’re doing at that school which is helping the students advance as many as four grade levels in just one year and adopt their practices in all AUSD schools.

Antonio Hernandez is nice, young man and offers a different perspective having graduated from Antioch’s Dozier-Libbey Medical High School. But this year he’s sided with the protesters and those opposing the long-desired and -awaited School Resource Officers for the six middle and high school campuses in the district. In an Op-Ed he wrote, “Cops are a band-aid solution to under-resourced schools, and a very poor one at that.” In addition, on Hernandez’s campaign website it reads “Children Need Counselors, Not Cops” even though the first plank of his platform reads “We deserve safe schools.” Actually, and unfortunately, these days both are needed on our local campuses and there are already 14 Mental Health Clinicians and 31 School Guidance Counselors employed in the district.

Plus, Hernandez is one of the “East Contra Costa Progressive Wave” and “Our Revolution Contra Costa” candidates which includes Lamar Thorpe who is running for mayor, council candidates Monica Wilson, Tamisha Walker and Nichole Gardner, and controversial Antioch School Board Trustee Ellie Householder who is running for city clerk. They are all wanting to turn our city and school district into something more like Berkeley. That type of thinking doesn’t fit our community.

Young will bring to the position his knowledge and experience from serving on the board of Rocketship Delta Prep. He’s committed to improving the education for the students and their safety on the campus. His military experience is an added bonus, providing the order and discipline a leader needs, and Young will be a good example for all students in the district.

Area 3

Crystal Sawyer-White spent way too much of her four years pursuing her own educational advancement as a board member than the students’. She’s a nice lady and voted right on charter schools, but one term is enough.

Kenny Turnage has served our community well for years and was honored for it as Antioch’s 2015 Citizen of the Year for Most Impact. But Lewis is better suited and prepared to serve on the school board representing Area 3.

Lewis is also the most educated candidate, not only in this election, but in any Antioch School Board election that I can remember. He not only has a master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration, Lewis has been an instructor and works as a consultant in education.

He’s also served the community both on the Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission and most recently as President of the Kiwanis Club of the Delta-Antioch. Lewis is the right person for the job at the right time. I just wish he had won two years ago.

For real change and giving our children a better shot at an improved, quality education, please cast your vote for George Young in Area 1 and Dr. Clyde Lewis in Area 3 for the Antioch School Board.

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