Editor's Note: Sophia Tse is running for a four-year term alongside candidates Henna Sharma, Louise Dodson, and fellow incumbents Armin Reyes, Maynard Law, and Celia Spitzer.
Name: Sophia Tse
- Master Science of Nursing, California State University of Long Beach
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist Nursing
- B.S. Nursing from San Francisco State University
- Neonatal Intensive Care Training from Stanford University Medical Center
- Child Development Training Program from Cerritos Community College
Current job/career: Registered Nurse/Clinic Nurse Specialist- UCLA Medical Center, Nurse/Clinical Nurse Specialist/Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/Manager at St. Francis Medical Center, Former Part-Time Faculty at CSULB, Former Part-Time Instructor at Cerritos Community College
Married & Children: Married 26 years with three adult children
What city do you live in? Cerritos since 1983
What is your favorite book? The Sugarless Plum by Zippora Karz
What is something unique the public doesn’t know about you? I love sewing and making floral arrangements.
What term are you running for in the Nov. 8 ABC School Board election? Four-year term
Why are you running for a spot on the ABC School Board? I would like to continue to improve our nationally recognized reputation: bring all students up to State academic standards; promote and increase parental involvement; and enhance career technical education opportunities. In dealing with reduced budgets the last four years, I have the necessary experience to ensure that the financial crisis does NOT mean educational disaster for our kids.
What is your personal experience or personal ties you have with the ?
Tse’s family: All three of my children and I were students of the ABC Unified School District
- California School Board Association Assembly
- Board Liaison to Career Technology Board Advisory Committee
- Board Liaison to Nutrition services Ad Hoc Advisory Committee
- Board Liaison to Closing Achievement Gap Advisory Committee
- PTSA Board Member for Carmenita Middle School , Cerritos & Whitney High Schools
- Volunteer Physical Examiner of Cerritos High School
- Cerritos Elementary School Site Council
- Soccer Team Mom
Some have noticed that you are often in disagreement with the other board members during meetings, how do you maintain your focus? I am grateful for this question and the opportunity to share my thought process. I believe in the process of good decision making. We cannot come to a good decision without really testing the information that supports that decision. This requires hard questioning, hard analysis, and to some, it may sound disagreeable. I believe good leadership is not just agreeing with everything. I respect my colleagues enough to know that their ideas are supported by facts and their honest desire to make the district better. They understand that my “disagreement” or questions come from my desire to ask the questions that I believe are relevant and necessary to help the Board and the community to understand the matter better.
I maintain my focus on the questions that I feel parent, children, teacher or even the nurse might have.
In your opinion, what is the most critical problem that the district faces? The most problematic with the district is the uncertainty of school funding in the future.
How do you feel about the district’s push to hire specialized and professionally trained individuals, such as counselors? Is this a necessity? The student/counselor ratio is unfortunately too high. We need more counselors with greater training to meet the needs of the 21st century. In order to keep our reputation as a state of the art district we need counselors to advise all students, not just the troubled students but also the students contemplating higher education.
Should the district have to undergo another round of budget cuts, where should the cuts be made? Our current budget has very little room for more cuts. For the last three years, we have been extremely prudent in district’s spending. We are fortunate to have community partners stepping up to assist the district in filling some of the gap.
What is your stance on implementing more career-oriented and technical study courses in the school curriculum? I am 100% supportive and want to have more participation with our Career Technical Education Program. Currently I am serving as a Board Liaison to our Career Technology Board Advisory Committee. We are seeking ways of enhancing this program with the funding we have and we are also working with local business partnership.
What sets you apart from the other candidates? I am the only candidate who has a position in the private sector which requires strong management and administrative skills. My strong ethical background and experience as a current school board member enables me to truly understand what programs can, and more importantly, what programs should be enhanced or cut from the budget. My experience as a health care professional is key to the district goals regarding not just the academic portion but the health and fitness of our children’s lives—healthy bodies equal healthy minds.
I also work very hard to understand and really get to the heart of the issues. When I started as a new candidate four years ago, I knocked on almost every door to find out the needs of the community. I will continue to work hard to serve our children.
If elected, what will you do to make a difference in the ABC Unified School District? We need to continue to be vanguards in providing the tools for our children’s future. The district has already “changed” to be a model of teacher, parent, principal, student and staff relations. We just need to let that change evolve further and better for the sake of our children’s education and career.
If anything what needs to change in this district? I would still promote parent student involvement and work with teachers and employees to ensure quality education at all levels.