About BRIAN GUERRERO
Candidate for Culver City Unified School District School Board
My wife and I are both teachers and have lived in Culver City for 12 years. Our son is a Junior at Culver City High School, and before CCHS, he attended Culver City Middle School and El Marino Language School. We were an AYSO family, a Little League family, and these days we’re a Taekwondo and AVPA family. We actually chose to move to Culver City in 2010 because we speak Spanish at home and wanted our son to continue his bilingual growth in CCUSD’s dual-language program. We’ve never regretted that decision.
Careerwise, I’m an educator with over 27 years of experience, including 21 years in the Lennox School District just south of Culver City. In Lennox, I was a classroom teacher at the elementary and middle school level for a total of 15 years and a curriculum specialist and instructional coach for 6 years*. In that time, I taught in multiple settings and programs, including multi-grade combo classes, bilingual classes, English language development classes, as half of a general ed./special ed. co-teaching team, and, in 2020, like teachers around the world, I struggled through remote teaching and learning. I’ve been part of numerous school and district committees and I’ve seen district initiatives that went well and genuinely improved student outcomes, as well as rollouts that flopped because no one from the district talked to classroom teachers about implementation or the types of supports we needed to make the program a success. This crystallized my belief that teachers and other stakeholders have to be meaningfully involved in planning and implementation of new initiatives – not just the folks at the central office – for there to be genuinely successful outcomes.
*I have also had the good fortune to teach internationally on two occasions. Very early in my career (1994-96), I attended university in Mexico for a year at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and then taught English and social studies at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico City. Later, after graduate school and teaching elementary for 5 years, my wife and I joined the US Peace Corps and served as volunteer teachers and teacher-trainers in the Philippines for two years (2002-04).
As a teacher, I also became involved in my union, first as a school site rep, then as a vice-president, and then as chapter president. Through my union, I received extensive training on member representation and organizing as well as how to thoroughly analyze district plans and budgets, and I served as lead negotiator for our chapter for 3 years. As chapter leader, I consistently advocated to increase teacher (and classified staff and parent) voice in district decision making. For example, we pushed for and helped develop an exemplary LCAP review process that was transparent and inclusive with meaningful participation by all stakeholder groups. I’ve fought hard when school districts have done wrong by educators, parents, and students, but what I am most proud of as a union leader is building trust and relationships between teachers, specialists, classified staff, parents, and even administrators so we could work together to find solutions to problems and collaboratively build the strong, supportive public schools our students and communities deserved.
Currently, I work full-time as a union organizer, trainer, and policy analyst with the California Teachers Association in the Instruction and Professional Development department. I train teachers, classified staff, and union leaders on a variety of topics, such as best practices in curriculum and instruction, creating inclusive spaces for students with special needs, second language learners and students who identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQ, developing systems of teacher-led professional development, and building partnerships between teachers and parents to advocate for students and public schools. I also work with the California Department of Education and analyze Education Code and CDE policies to provide local union chapters with information on new rules and expectations. For example, I’ve been closely following the development of Governor Newsom’s Universal Transitional Kindergarten initiative and providing local leaders with updates on aspects of the program they may want to discuss or even negotiate with their districts prior to implementation. Another one of my current projects is supporting local union chapters who are working with their school districts to establish “community schools” that offer students and families a variety of wrap-around services including academic supports, social services, and even medical and mental health consultations. We want to make sure that educators, classified staff, parents, and students have an ongoing leadership role in community schools, not merely superficial “consultations” when it serves districts’ needs.
As I said above, I believe that, as a classroom teacher, a union leader, and an organizer, trainer, and policy analyst, I have a set of skills, experiences, and perspectives that I can bring to the Culver City Unified School District School Board. I believe this is a perspective that is currently missing from the School Board. Historically, most trustees have been parents, business folk, or community leaders, and it’s been a long time since we’ve had a teacher – someone with actual on-the-ground, in-the-classroom experience with students day in and day out – on the dais participating in the important discussions and providing the essential perspective of a practitioner and the end-user of the policies and programs the School Board establishes. Moreover, as an experienced organizer and union leader with a track record of fostering positive labor-management and community relationships, I believe I am uniquely qualified to help CCUSD engage and collaborate with all its different stakeholder groups as we build better, more effective, more inclusive and equitable schools and more positive outcomes for all our students.
Thank you for your support.
On November 8, 2022,
for Culver City Unified
School District School Board
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