Former Antioch Police Chief endorses Rocha for school board


As the Antioch Police Chief for six years, I worked often with Mary Rocha, then City Councilwoman.

I saw her work tirelessly for our City. She was experienced, but not jaded; extremely knowledgeable, but a team member; and she was caring – never “calling it in.” Most importantly, Mary is not beholding to special interest groups and will base her votes on what is best for the children, families and staff rather than on a personal agenda.

These are the exact qualities the Antioch Unified School District Board of Education needs right now. With three of the five trustees foolishly pushing through for-profit charters, which will result in massive layoffs and program reductions, this is the time for proven leadership. Additionally, with some current Board Members frequently showing displays of unprofessionalism from the dais and in the community, Mary’s sensibility and experience is much needed. Our school staff, teachers and, especially, our students need her clarity, heart, and integrity. (Editor’s Note: All the charter schools in and approved for Antioch are non-profit, public charter schools.)

Anyone who knows or has met Mary knows she has spent decades supporting the youth and families in our communities. This election is critical, and we need a proven champion for children like Mary to help lead the AUSD.

As the father of an eight-year-old, I know the importance of strong leadership in schools – and, it must begin at the top with the Board of Education.

Some of my favorite duties as Chief of Police were to visit Antioch schools, sit down with the students, talk with teachers, and engage with staff who represent the “boots on the ground.” AUSD is filled with incredibly talented students, supportive families, and a dedicated hard-working staff. All of these constituents deserve knowledgeable people making wise decisions that affect the AUSD.

I have so much respect for Mary and her commitment to our community. We need a leader with experience, proven integrity, and a heart for children and this community. Mary Rocha cares because she understands that our schools matter.

Thank you,

Allan Cantando

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Election 2018

2 Comments to “Former Antioch Police Chief endorses Rocha for school board”

  1. Thomas McNell says:

    I am a strong supporter of education. The Charter Schools you refer to are free public charter schools. Repeating the lie that these schools are for profit is shameful. Moreover, these schools all came to Antioch because local residents were unhappy with the status quo and petitioned the school board to provide better opportunities for our children.

    Enrollment in AUSD schools has been declining for years, long before any of the schools you refer to came to Antioch. Charter Schools are a response to this declining enrollment not the cause. Parents have been exercising their choice for better education alternatives by home schooling their children, enrolling them in private education, and transferring their children to schools in neighboring cities, placing a time and often a financial burden on families.

    As a longtime resident, I have sadly also witnessed many great families with school aged children moving out of town primarily to get their children into higher performing school districts. I believe with better schools many would have remained.

    As I support these Free Public Charter Schools, I and all the supporters of this effort also support improvement at our current AUSD schools. In the meantime, I want to thank the School Board members who voted to support residents in bringing these High Performing Free Public Charters Schools to Antioch. Our students deserve nothing less.

  2. Marty and Nancy Fernandez says:

    Thank you Mr. McNell. As two people who worked with you and many others for a year or more to help get this together we are proud of the parents who felt so strongly to work for this to help their children. The school board members did plenty of research before their vote. Unfortunately Mr. Cantando did no research. He didn’t have to. He has been dating the Superintendent of Antioch schools for some time so got his distorted information first hand. Last I heard his son was going to charter school but that may have changed as the family situation changed.

    Really sorry to see a man we once respected so much fall so far in our opinion.

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