My name is Chelsea Bonini.
I am running for the Area 4 Seat on the San Mateo County Board of Education in 2020. It is a county-wide, at-large election.
My vision is for an educational system that is responsive to kids' needs and provides them with accessible and equitable opportunities for success in school and beyond.
I have been engaged with the educational systems in San Mateo County for the past 25 years.
My first profession was as a kindergarten and then a first grade teacher in South San Francisco at Skyline School (1994-1998). I then attended law school at U.C. Hastings and began practicing in 2001.
When my younger son was diagnosed with a mental health disability at the age of 6 in 2014, none of my experiences thus far had prepared me to help him to access his education or to manage his social challenges.
We were in crisis and felt very alone.
And at the same time, I was serving as a Trustee for the San Mateo-Foster City School District (2013-2017), I was very involved at our school, and served on the PTA Board at Laurel Elementary (2011-2015).
With persistence and ongoing inquiries, we eventually found a path toward success with the help of parents who had traveled ahead of us.
But even today, our journey continues.
I realized that there was a lot of information about resources and rights that I was unaware of. And sadly, I met many other parents and professionals who were equally uninformed about our systems and networks of support for kids with disabilities.
I became very aware of the vast inequities that exist in our systems for kids with special needs.
My own experience with our schools, my prior education & policy focus, my service on the school board, and my focus on education and equity issues lead me to co-found snkids.org in 2018, and has inspired me to seek this seat on the San Mateo County Board of Education.
I am committed to ensuring accessible and equitable educational opportunities for all kids, and I believe that all children can succeed when we properly address their needs & when we hold high expectations for successful outcomes.
Since 2018, I have served as a Personnel Commissioner appointed by the San Mateo County Board of Education and also serve on the Executive Board of the Northern California School Personnel Commissioners Association (NC-SPCA).
In February 2019, I was appointed to the San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities where I also serve as chair of the Youth and Family Committee and as a liaison to the San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) Commission.
I am excited to continue my work to bring educational opportunity, inclusion and accountability to all kids in San Mateo County, and I hope to have your vote on November 3, 2020!
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