Antioch Herald recommends: Navarro, Terry and Sawyer-White for Antioch School Board

It’s time the Antioch School District had a majority of board members who will put the interests of the students, first while protecting the taxpayers.

Appointed incumbents Fernando Navarro and Alonzo Terry, who have each served less than a year on the board, filling vacancies due to resignations of past board members, have been doing well during their brief time in office. They’ve proven themselves to be good listeners, fiscally responsible and honest about the problems in the district.

Navarro, who has two children in Antioch schools, is the only Hispanic member on the board and candidate in the race, is fully bilingual and bi-cultural. He is the only one who can effectively reach out to that part of our community.

Crystal Sawyer-White, a substitute teacher in another school district and owner of a tutoring business, has a Masters in Education, and a child in the district, as well. She has demonstrated her commitment to the students in Antioch, having served on a site council and LCAP committee.

All three support bringing back shop classes to the schools, as well as entrepreneurship classes, teaching students how to start and run their own businesses. That should serve both the students and our community well, as we work to grow our local economy and create local jobs.

These three are also the only candidates to address the realities of the serious problems facing the district, citing the statistics of how few students are proficient in math and English, as well as the dangers of the district’s continued deficit spending and reduction in the reserves. They will serve the district well and have committed to getting the school board meetings either televised on local TV or at least live streamed on the district’s website – and in their first year in office. That will bring the district and board meetings into the 21st century for greater transparency.

The other four candidates, incumbent Diane Gibson-Gray, former school board members Joy Motts and Gary Hack, and news site publisher Mike Burkholder, joined forces and based upon a false assumption, chose not to participate in the televised candidates’ forum the Herald sponsored. They chose to play politics instead of being available to answer questions from residents and other candidates, and even refused to answer questions we emailed them four days prior to asking them at the forum.

The worst thing is three of them, all but Burkholder, proved to be untrustworthy by offering one reason they couldn’t attend, then the day before stating it was due to their false assumption. Burkholder just simply never committed to attend the forum on Friday night, which is just as bad.

This was after two attempts to reschedule the forum to accommodate their schedules, that week, costing the other candidates money in lost business and child care expenses.

We were both surprised and disappointed in their actions and poor decision-making. Not being willing to answer questions that other candidates are asked and answered from us, the public and fellow candidates disqualifies the four from serving in public office.

We need citizen representatives on the Antioch School Board who will put students first, and protect the taxpayers.

It’s time to put the problems of the past behind us with leaders who are afraid of transparency and the use of 21st century technology to keep the public informed, and move forward with three responsible, respectful and available leaders on the board.

Fernando Navarro, Alonzo Terry and Crystal Sawyer-White are those leaders. We encourage you to join us in voting for them on November 8.

7 Comments to “Antioch Herald recommends: Navarro, Terry and Sawyer-White for Antioch School Board”

  1. Nancy Fernandez says:

    We will be voting for only two qualified candidates, Mr. Navarro and Mr. Terry. There is no qualified third candidate.

    • Daniel says:

      You don’t think Sawyer-White is qualified?


      Master of Science in Education(with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instructional Strategies) 2012
      Co-founder and owner of Bay Area Tutorial that focuses on student academic achievement and graduation. This includes tutoring foster youth in collaboration with Contra Costa County Office of Education Youth Development Services
      School Site Council – Diablo Vista Elementary 2.5 years
      Member-LCAP (Local Control Accountability Planning)
      Parent Advocate for children with autism and special needs
      Advocate for parents with intellectual disabilities
      Former Parent Education Teacher for Teen Mothers at Mt. Diablo Unified School District

      -As stated in

      If that is not qualified I don’t know what is.

      • Nancy Fernandez says:

        That should have said there is no third candidate in the entire field. They are all reruns that have been a party to this mess we are in. They think the current stats on our schools are just fine. With all due respect I watched Mrs. Sawyer-White at two candidate nights and found her to be another psycho-babble person like Debra Vincent. She also had trouble putting coherent thoughts together and others thought the same thing. At times we wondered if she knew her subject at all.

        We need people that will shake up the status quo, clean out our top heavy district office, give our teachers support and stop allowing the trouble makers to rule the district.

  2. R-J-B says:

    Navarro for me. I don’t know anything about Terry.

  3. Publisher says:

    As for Crystal Sawyer-White, here’s a link to the article about her background from her press release –
    Allen Payton, Publisher

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