The Ojai Education Foundation is experiencing a “first” in its almost 25 years of existence. This year, the foundation board did not appoint just one president; it appointed two co-presidents. Considering the very large shoes that past presidents including Michael Addison, Debbie Johnson and others left to fill, along with the tremendous amount of work done by our volunteer board members, it’s easy to understand the desire to “spread the love” by having two leaders!
The two of us -- or “T n T,” as the Board calls us -- consider it an honor and privilege to serve the community. We also feel we are uniquely poised to bring in new ideas, as well as great energy, to an already extraordinary board, administration and student body.
I (Tiarzha) have lived in Upper Ojai for 18 years. My three children attend Ojai public schools. Among my volunteer efforts, I serve on the Matilija Junior High School Site Council and the San Antonio Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization. I am also a former member of the Summit Elementary School Site Council. I was born and grew up in Anchorage, AK where I attended public school from K - 12 before earning my undergraduate and graduate degrees at UCLA.
And I (Therese) went through four years of private school, finishing up with eight years of public school in Ojai. My father, Larry Hartmann, served as a principal in the Ojai Unified School District for more than 40 years. I grew up surrounded by public school educators and administrators and feel that family passion is ingrained in me!
Together, our goal is to fulfill the OEF mission statement of supporting excellence in education by collaborating with our principals, parent-teacher groups, parents and, of course, students, along with other key stakeholders who care about providing quality education to our kids. We will be working hard to give more exposure to, and generate additional funding for, the wonderful programs, teachers and students in our district, and implementing different ways to encourage support for our schools, not only financially, but also in ways that embody goals of collaboration, partnership, inclusion, community involvement and so much more.
We hope through our leadership and that of our board, you will be reminded of OEF’s commitment to help provide a quality public school education to our children, despite the financial challenges our school district faces. Whether it is through the infusion of arts, dance and theater programs, right along with subjects like environmental science, coding, videography, graphic design, technology and more, with your help, OEF will continue to improve the lives of our kids and community.
We appreciate your support and look forward to working with you in 2017 and beyond!