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Professional Experience

For my first professional experience I chose to attend a board meeting for the
Pacific Grove Unified School District. Although I have lived and worked in Pacific
Grove my entire life, and attended Pacific Grove Schools, as did my children, I never
had the desire or need to attend one of their meetings. My reason for choosing this
meeting was to familiarize myself with the dynamics of the relationship between the
community, board members, and school administrative staff. In addition, it seemed
to be a necessary duty of any school administrator to be an active and informed
participant in this function.
The meeting began by the Adult School principal, Barbara Martinez, putting
on a short presentation to the board and audience about the valuable role the adult
school has played in the community and the diverse members that it serves. The
Pacific Grove adult school offers pre-school, parenting classes, foreign language
classes, G.E.D classes and the opportunity, to obtain a high school diploma, as well as
many other enrichment classes that could not be taken elsewhere.
The meeting progressed with the usual agenda items that needed to be
discussed and voted on. This part of the meeting was how I envisioned this meeting
to progress; however, I was somewhat surprised to see the cohesiveness and
harmony amongst the board members. In many of the surrounding districts I
typically read about heated discussions and board members who are at odds over a
variety of issues. Fortunately, this did not take place at this meeting. It was clear to
me that all of the stakeholders wanted the best for the Pacific Grove schools and
appeared to have no personal agendas. The Superintendent, high school principal,
and district employees in attendance seemed to have an excellent working
relationship. I suspect that the success of the Pacific Grove School District is due to
supportive community members, dedicated teachers, and school leaders who have
been give the autonomy, resources, and support to continually improve their
schools. Clearly, the Pacific Grove Schools have relatively affluent parents, literate
children, and well-maintained school sites, which make everyones job much easier.
The most valuable learning experience that I took form attending this
meeting was to see how beneficial fostering positive relationships could be.
Although Pacific Grove has the benefit of resources that other districts may not
enjoy, without relationships and understanding how to utilize and cultivate those
relationships, there could potentially be a more adversarial atmosphere.