Tom Panas for School Board 2016
Tom Panas Para la Junta de Educacion del Oeste de Contra Costa
• 510.480.1601 • Tom4Kids.com • Tom Panas for School Board 2016 • FPPC #1385583
I have lived in West County for more than 40 years, met my wife here, was married here, and my twin sons both went through WCCUSD schools. I saw personally how important it is that every student has schools that work for her or him. Both of my sons have special needs, and all told they attended 9 different district schools in order to make sure those needs were met. At the same time as my sons were in school, I began to volunteer for local causes, which initially led me to the Historical Society.
My involvement there connected me deeply to the history and heritage of West County in ways I never dreamed even existed. Because of connections I made through the historical society and the schools, I began to get more deeply involved in many different organizations such as the Friends of the Library, the Richmond Emergency Food Pantry, the Friends of Topaz (museum of the Japanese internment), the Latina Center, and several other community-based organizations.
When I retired from my role as Chief Financial Officer of a technology company, I gave a lot of thought to where I wanted to direct my time and energy. In my volunteerism I had met so many families from all different parts of West Contra Costa whose stories came down to education. I connected their experiences to my own experiences with the importance of quality education. I began to attend school board meetings and focus more on the school district, using my financial know-how to serve on the Community Budget Advisory Committee and then the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee - which I currently chair.
When this election came around, I did a lot of soul-searching and decided I was ready to run for the school board and do whatever I could to help our community’s children.
I believe fiercely in the power of education; it unlocks doors that make young people's aspirations possible. Every child deserves a quality education, and we have so many amazing teachers and schools providing that every day. However, for too many of our students, that educational promise hasn't yet been fulfilled. We need to do a better job supporting teachers and students so all can excel.
I have the deep roots, personal experience, and professional expertise to be a powerful advocate for making sure our schools work for all kids. I hope to have the opportunity to serve the community I love.
All students have the right to an excellent education. We need to make sure that every student leaves our schools ready for college or a career.