The Oak Leaf

Trustee Battenfeld has student interests at heart

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Sonoma County resident Dorothy Battenfeld is running unopposed for re-election to her seat on the SRJC Board of Trustees. The Oak Leaf endorses Battenfeld to serve Santa Rosa Junior College students, teachers and first responders for a third term.

Citing her background in education, Battenfeld has served schools within Sonoma county for 30 years.

She graduated with teaching credentials in social sciences and English from Sonoma State, taught overseas in Denmark and Norway and locally at Santa Rosa and Montgomery High Schools.

“I decided I wanted to run for office to get involved in policy, but I wanted to be related to education. I figured that’s what I know about, and that’s what I care about and that’s where i can make the most difference,” Battenfeld said.

Taking a leap, Battenfeld ran against a 20-year incumbent for a spot on the Board of Trustees, her first election into public office.

“I didn’t actually expect to win, but I thought at least I’d get to raise issues,” she said.

In the upcoming semester, she wants to expand the Doyle Scholarship to serve students who are returning to school.

“I want to keep giving back to the JC. I feel like there’s been a lot of positive improvements in the last four years, but there’s still a lot that needs to be done.”

Battenfeld identified her main challenge as how to best serve students. “We try do to a lot, and so meeting those needs is challenging. Part of it is, how do we try to meet those kinds of needs, and figure out how to do it in a way where we are still operating within the constraints of the public education system in the U.S.,” she said.

Battenfeld served on the scholarship committee that expanded the Doyle Scholarship to help students in their first three years, instead of their first two. During her tenure on the committee, the Doyle Scholarship also serves students returning to school.

Battenfeld also serves on a state legislative committee that advocates statewide for legislation that will help community colleges and fund programs.

Battenfeld said she wants financial aid to help students  with housing and food insecurity, in addition to tuition and books.

She is a strong proponent of Measure N, a  Santa Rosa city housing bond that will appear on the ballot this November. Measure N promises to fund affordable housing in Sonoma County, serving first responders, seniors, veterans, teachers and people affected by the fires.

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