IMPERIAL — In the first installment of The Desert Review's Imperial Unified School District election coverage, candidate Liliana Duran explained her motive and campaign agenda.
Duran, a married mother of four, currently teaches for the State of California. Previously, Duran taught for the Calexico School District at both middle schools.
“I’ve been thinking about running for a seat at Imperial School District for a long time,” said Duran.
Duran decided to move her kids to Imperial because of its academic reputation.
"In Imperial, my children have been blessed with great teachers who are very communicative and so I just felt the need to give back,” said Duran. “I know how hard these teachers work because I’m a teacher. I want to get out there and be with staff to tell them their voice is important and let parents know this is what they can do. I want people to know who I am. I don’t just want to be a name.”
Duran said her campaign goal is to keep schools clean and safe, to attain and retain highly qualified teachers, and to provide teachers with the training they need.
"The very first thing that sets me apart from the other candidates is that I’m a parent with kids in middle school here (Imperial), so I’ll be vested in this district for a long time," said Duran. "I’m the only one who has experience being a teacher. I know what it’s like to be in a classroom and I also know what it’s like to be a parent here."
Duran's campaign slogan is “Commitment and Experience,” which stands for commitment to public education and experience as a teacher and parent.
"I know what it’s like to go through different changes in curriculum, to experience different changes in administration, and to experience different board members and policies,” said Duran. "I also understand the expectations I have as a parent but what makes me unique is that I also understand the teachers. I understand where a lot of the staff comes from including secretaries, nurses, and administrators — everybody. I understand the differences where I don’t think the other board members do."
Duran said if elected, an immediate goal would be to start off by getting to know all the staff and their needs.
"The staff in a district is the backbone of the district — they are the reason why Imperial is so successful," said Duran. "I would want to get to know who is behind the scenes to thank them and to see what they need from us as board members."
Duran projected a long-term goal of ensuring available funding is first and foremost used for students.
"Our students matter first and to make them successful we have to make sure that our staff has the proper tools to make them successful," said Duran
Duran is endorsed by the Imperial Teacher’s Association.
The two incumbents also on the Imperial School District ballot are Victor Manuel Lopez and David Ross.
Lopez and Ross have yet to reply after various attempts for an interview.