Catherine Vonnegut is running for the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees.
Vonnegut was elected to the board in 2018 and currently serves as president and a member of the Finance Committee. She is also a graduate of Mountain View’s leadership, CERT and Citizen Police Academy programs.
She formerly worked as a software engineer and licensed EMT for Santa Clara County. Vonnegut lives in Mountain View with her husband. Her son, who now works as a local chemistry teacher, attended Mountain View High.
“I want to continue the good work we’ve done,” Vonnegut said. “We will have two new people who will have good ideas and that’s great. I love fresh input and innovation. However, there needs to be stability too.”
Mental health and wellness
Vonnegut said she believes the district has done a good job in the past few years regarding wellness. She pointed to the creation of a wellness coordinator position and allocation of more money towards mental health services. However, she said she thinks the district needs better coordination between the various wellness services.
“Where does the teacher leave off?” Vonnegut said. “Where does the counselor or the therapist take over? Where does the administration, like, the assistant principals, take on the situation?”
Vonnegut also said she would like to improve equitable grading and homework policies to alleviate student and parent stress.
Vonnegut said she believes that equity means providing the resources each individual student needs, whether or not those resources are the same. She said she is interested in exploring and refining alternative academic programs such as the International Baccalaureate program, Middle College and dual enrollment at community colleges.
Ultimately, Vonnegut said she wants students to feel supported and confident in their abilities when going on to postsecondary pathways.
“You look at the newspapers that talk about the price of college … and it seems daunting, like, ‘Our family doesn’t have that kind of money, and my parents don’t know how to help me get through that,’” Vonnegut said. “We need to help broaden their horizons for these kids: help them access those resources, get them thinking that they could really do it.”
Vonnegut said that although the district provides ample resources for students, it needs to do a better job of promoting these resources to encourage students to use them.
“We have great resources,” she said. “We just need to make sure everybody knows about them and then makes use of them.”
To learn more about Vonnegut, visit her website here.