October 12, 2004 > Ivy Wu, FUSD
Ivy Wu, FUSD
TCV: What is your background, and how does it relate to the school board?
Wu: I have a law degree, but I was never a practicing attorney. As soon as I finished law school I started helping my husband develop our family business, and retired after 15 years. I am a volunteer wherever I am needed and I've tried to get more involved with my kids' life and my church.
I am a parent of two lovely children, one is in seventh grade, and one is in tenth grade, and I started getting involved in education because I saw a lot of things that needed to be done, that we could do as parents. I am trying to make information available to parents, to let them know what is going on in schools and what they can do to help. I try to keep them updated on school events.
TCV: Why are you running for school board?
I want to address the inner feelings of students. Parents want the best for their children, but often don't know what's best for them, thinking that they can compare by how they are doing in class and test scores. It is important that they get the best education with a balance. Some people need to work with the parents and students to help them understand the pressure on students. I feel that teachers are under a lot of stress and pressure trying to meet their quota or deadline, so they are trying to just go through the curriculum. I see good teachers who enjoy their teaching and that's wonderful. However, many teachers are very tired and stressed out and that is why I am talking about communication. Teachers need to be happy and students need to be inspired; parents should understand that it isn't all grades and PTA.
TCV: What do you hope to accomplish if you are elected?
Wu: As a board member, I would visit all the campuses, to see what kind of learning environments they have. I would like to talk to students and to understand what their thinking process is. Students have to learn for themselves and be accountable for their actions. They need to know that whatever they are doing, whether band, sports or drama, they have to think about how they can apply that to a career; they need to be realistic about their futures.
TCV: What will you bring to the board?
Wu: With my background and experience in business, I can tap into the community. We need more funding for programs like the magnet programs; that's why I talk about tapping into the community. We are under-funded, so besides needing financial help from the community, we also need to push legislation to see what we can do. We also need to go to the schools and sit down with the staff so not only the administrator knows what's going on, but the teachers do too.
The PRA (Parent Representative Advisory committee) board puts together programs about drug awareness and gang violence. A lot of parents live in denial; they don't think their kids will ever get involved in that sort of thing so they don't even go to meetings. If we just sit in the boardroom expecting people to come, it isn't going to happen. We need to step out and talk to people and bring the information to the board.
TCV: What unique perspective will you bring to the board and what actions will you propose?
Wu: The superintendent is trying to do a lot, but he is only one person and new to the district. I have been to all his meetings this year, and I really feel he has tremendous energy and good intentions. I don't just represent Chinese families, I see beyond skin color, but I am Chinese so I know about my own background. I organized a Chinese parents meeting, and I invited him to come and talk to them, he was very kind to them and he shared a lot of information. The parents were much more relaxed in that environment than in board meetings.