Editorial, Issue 3: Interim Board endorsements: Renée and Peyton


In the first editorial of the spring 2014 semester, the Oak Leaf outlined a few attributes we felt the soon-to-be appointed Board of Trustees member should possess.

Rather than rehashing those, let’s have the Board speak for itself.

The Sonoma County Junior College District Policy Manual, accessible via SRJC’s website, contains the philosophy, mission and goals to which the Board of Trustees holds itself.

Among these values lies a call for diversity that supports “employees who reflect the communities we [at SRJC] serve” and a promise to “regularly assess, self-reflect, adapt and continuously improve.”

After considering the candidates’ interviews from Feb. 20, The Oak Leaf editorial board narrowed down its choice of candidates to two of the six applying for the interim Board position: Tiffany Renée and Kathryn Peyton.

Tiffany Renée has already put in a lot of hard work for the city of Petaluma, as vice mayor in 2012 and as a city councilmember for the three years prior.

Renée’s experience in the political arena makes up for her lack of familiarity with the particulars of the community college system. However, the time she spent as an SRJC student has given her an understanding of the important role community colleges play in giving students opportunities they might not otherwise have had.

Renée recognized the challenges SRJC faces with maintaining campuses in Santa Rosa and Petaluma, and aims to resolve the Petaluma campus’s tendency “to see itself as the ugly stepchild of Santa Rosa.”

Renée’s presence on the board would better represent the growing populations of women and Latinos in the communities SRJC serves.

The editorial board would like to add that the fact Renée graduated from SRJC with an associate’s degree in journalism and served as an editor of the Oak Leaf in 1993 in no way influenced our decision to endorse her.

Kathryn Peyton ‘s website calls her a “‘career switcher’ teacher,” a modest title that belies her qualifications.

Peyton has years of practice working in the financial industry, most notably managing corporate accounts at Bank of America in San Francisco. This expertise would be a valuable asset in helping the Board of Trustees decide how to best use SRJC’s budget to serve the needs of the college.

In addition to her financial acumen, Peyton has nearly eight years of classroom experience. She taught International Baccalaureate economics and business management classes at George C. Marshall High School in Idylwood, Va. and was named Virginia’s Outstanding Economic Educator for 2010. Having direct classroom involvement in a non-Sonoma County environment gives Peyton both perspective on understanding issues SRJC instructors face and a different approach to solving them.

The Oak Leaf feels both of these candidates fulfill the requisite qualities SRJC expects in both its employees and administrative staff, and will use their skills to uphold and improve SRJC’s standing as an educational institution.