Shana Segal is running for the Palo Alto Unified School District board.
Segal is an educational consultant and holds an M.A. in Education from U.C. Davis and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from San Jose State University. She previously worked as an English teacher and served as chair of the English language development department in the Fremont Union High School District. Segal attended PAUSD schools, graduated from Gunn High School and now has two children who attend elementary school in PAUSD.
“I’m running because I want to help improve public school education for all students,” Segal said. “I have the time, the energy, the passion, the motivation, the background and the experience to do it.”
Mental health and wellness
Segal supports the recent shift to in-house therapists and wants to ensure that they actively meet the needs of PAUSD students.
“I will, as a board member, be making sure that they’re actively meeting the needs of our students, and if we need more support, we get more support,” Segal said. “I just want to be making sure that the new employees, the new in-house therapists, are working well for students.”
Segal is a strong proponent of differentiated education, where teachers tailor classroom instruction to meet individual student needs. For example, she said that differentiation in an English classroom could mean providing a range of different essay prompts. She said that differentiated instruction goes hand in hand with promoting equity.
“For me, the differentiation piece is we’re meeting the needs of all of the learners within the class,” Segal said. “But the equity piece, which is intertwined, is we’re helping the students within that class who are struggling and we’re also providing more for students who are struggling.”
To support differentiated instruction, Segal said she wants to provide more high quality professional development opportunities and resources for teachers.
“Every child is an individual and I want to meet the needs of the children in my class because when students feel supported, engaged and challenged, what I have seen as a teacher is they love learning,” Segal said. “My goal as a board member would be to support all children in PAUSD so that they love learning and become lifelong learners.”
Segal said she believes PAUSD needs to build stronger communication throughout the community by validating teacher input, holding events like principal’s coffees at more accessible times, providing clear information about post-high school options, having more community ad hoc committees and hiring a public information officer.
She also said she wants to make information easily accessible to parents and believes in making evidence-based decisions.
“I want to make sure that we’re constantly assessing that our goal is being achieved from these different policy changes,” Segal said.
To learn more, visit Segal’s website here.