Livermore resident and educator Steven Drouin has joined the race for a seat on the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Board of Education.
A newcomer to politics, Drouin identifies himself on his campaign website as a "community member wanting to play an active role in our democracy, not a politician" and says he does not "plan to seek any other elected office beyond Livermore School Board, ever."
Three at-large seats on the Board of Education are up for grabs in the Nov. 8 general election. The five trustees of the board serve staggered four-year terms. Currently, the seats opening up this year are held by incumbents Board President Craig Bueno, Board Clerk Emily Prusso and Trustee Anne White.
It is shaping up to be a crowded race with eight candidates so far in the running, which includes Drouin, Bueno, Prusso and recent Granada High School graduate Hayden Sidun.
"I believe the purpose of school is to produce critical thinking community members who participate in our democracy," Drouin said in a statement to Livermore Vine.
Drouin is a father of two children attending LVJUSD schools and his wife is a special education teacher in the district. He currently teaches courses in educational research, multicultural, and multilingual education as an associate professor in education at California State University, Stanislaus.
"I work to model the type of person I hope my two children will become: positive, collaborative, socially aware, and civically engaged," Drouin wrote on his campaign website.
Drouin said that, in an effort to actively participate in his childrens' education, he has volunteered in their classrooms, served on their school site committee and participated in the district's parcel tax oversight committee.
"I am running for Livermore School Board because I want to ensure that all students in LVJUSD have access to a high quality, rigorous, and relevant education," Drouin wrote on his campaign website.
He said his role as a researcher has helped shape his educational values which are also at the center of his campaign priorities.
"My research focuses on building educational spaces that leverage the assets students bring to school. Most recently, I have worked to understand the experiences of first generation graduate counseling students as they navigate working in high schools. Research is an opportunity for me to understand and take action towards solving pressing educational problems," he said.
With more than 17 years of experience in education, Drouin said that he has spent the last eight teaching teachers, counselors and principals to use research to support diverse groups of students.
"If elected, I will promote research based practices in the classroom and policy decisions, address the housing needs of new teachers, work to support and retain highly qualified teachers, creatively think through school safety, and leverage the assets that our amazing students bring to school everyday," he said.
The nomination period for candidates hoping to qualify for local elections on the Nov. 8 ballot is set to close this Friday.
For more information about Drouin and his campaign, visit stevendrouin.com.