The ties that bind our education
“I want to give students a sense of possibility, a strong belief in themselves—their teachers are behind them, their parents are behind them, and so is the Board.”
—Banning Unified School District Trustee Lucia Martinez-Lara
With those inspiring words, a trustee who grew up in Banning and attended local schools is seeking closer ties between parents and teachers. That way, students will do better academically.
Attending local schools in the 1980s, Martinez-Lara still remembers a math teacher who filled up two big blackboards with problems and challenged students to “race” each other for the right answers. For good measure, the teacher sat at her desk and joined the competition.
“Even though I’m horrible at math, I won candy a couple of times,” Martinez-Lara said. “Teachers inspire students in so many ways.”
In November 2019, Martinez-Lara ran unopposed in Trustee Area 4 and her current term ends in 2024.
Ties that bind
The trustee believes that close ties between home and school shaped her childhood and her life as an adult. Her mom knew her teachers well, kept in close touch with them, and stressed the importance of education.
“I don’t ever remember my mother missing a Back-to-School-Night,” she said.
Martinez-Lara plans to attend Mt. San Jacinto College to earn her associate’s degree and then study to become a Registered Nurse.
As a child, Martinez-Lara says her teachers encouraged her love for learning. As a youngster long ago, she couldn’t have foreseen how it would serve her curiosity to learn as much as possible about her District on a current fact-finding mission. By the end of the school year, the trustee hopes to visit every District campus.
Along the way, Martinez-Lara hopes parents will share their insights at school board meetings.
“Our goal is excellence in education,” she said. “Parent involvement is crucial to that important task.”