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Elections 2012: Nancy Wallace, Candidate for Lafayette School District Governing Board

Lafayette resident Nancy Wallace is running for one of two seats on the school district board.

General Information

Name : Ms. Nancy Sue-Antoinette Wallace
Age : 48
Place of residence : Lafayette

Education

College

Attended college : Yes
College : Colgate University
Degree : B.A.
Year of graduation : 1985

Grad school

Ph D.

University : University of Notre Dame Law School
Area of research : Law
Year of graduation : 1991

Employment Information

Job titles held : NA
Employers : NA

Political Information

Party affiliation : Independent
Running for a: Local office
Running for position: Lafayette School District Governing Board
Chamber/district: Lafayette School District
Incumbent: No
Previous elective offices : NA
Unsuccessful bids for elective offices: NA

Party HQ

Address Springhill Manor
Lafayette
California
94549

URLs

Website : www.NancyWallace2012.com
Facebook : www.facebook.com/nancywallace2012

Other facts

I am running for the Lafayette School Board because I want to help our District ensure a world class education for all its students. I believe that goal needs to guide us in making decisions about the education of every student in this district — gifted, typically developing and special needs. Providing that level of education in these economic times requires proven leadership and experience. It also requires an understanding of practical considerations, financial implications and legal constraints. My experiences as a volunteer in our community and my professional background have given me knowledge, experience and skills that I believe will benefit this District. I have been actively involved in educational issues throughout this district for many years. In addition to volunteering in the classroom and on campus, I served on the Director of Student Services' Parent Advisory Committee for five years; I served as both the Vice President of Fundraising and the Secretary of the Springhill Parent Faculty Club; I have been a member of Rapport; I founded SEED (the Special Education Enrichment and Development Foundation of Lafayette) and have served as its president for the past four years; I have co-chaired the Springhill Parent Party and Auction, and have worked on numerous other Springhill Auctions as well as on the LASF (now LPIE) Auction Committee; I was part of the team that organized the District Grant Writing Committee and have worked as a volunteer on parcel tax campaigns. My volunteer experiences have helped me develop an appreciation for the many different aspects involved in governing this District. My professional background enhances these experiences. Before leaving my practice at a large international law firm to care for my children, I practiced law for eleven years and also worked in the actuarial field for several years. As an attorney I obviously learned to evaluate legal issues but I also learned to think creatively to solve difficult problems, to work collaboratively to build consensus and support, and how to advocate effectively. These are all skills that a school board member needs daily. As an actuary, I developed an ability to manage complex financial issues and a real comfort with numbers and detailed information which I think will be invaluable in navigating the complex issues involved in school financing and as our District continues to struggle with tough budgetary issues.

c5 September 04, 2012 at 04:26 PM
i'm sure she is in favor of school lunches if kids are hungry... :)
Miles VanBuren September 05, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Why should the voters of this community elect you to the Lafayette Board having removed two of your children from our public school system to attend private schools.
c5 September 05, 2012 at 01:47 PM
while i don't care all that much one way or the other about your choice of schools for your kids, it was interesting when i mentioned the situation to my wife while discussing school board choices...her reaction to nancy's choices was 'i guess i have to look for another school board candidate to vote for'....i guess this is a bigger deal than i thought, at least for some.
LovesLafayette September 05, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I agree with Miles. Why would I vote for someone for school board who removed his/her children from our public schools to put them in private schools? Did I hear correctly that you threatened to sue the Lafayette School district if they did not provide or acquiesce to your numerous demands for you special needs child? Please feel free to correct me if this is erroneous information as I don't wish to perpetuate false information. On the other hand, if this is true, I think you need to come clean and address this issue and set the record straight for us voters.
Meagan Scott September 05, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Nancy since you conveniently had your first announcement deleted from the Patch I will ask again will you recuse yourself from special education issues if elected for concern over a conflict of interest? As a founder of SEED you clearly advocate legal assistance as stated on your website page: http://www.spsklaf.org/ that may have resulted in legal action/threats taken against the Lafayette school district. You seemed to parse words on the question posed in your first announcement if you have ever been a party to legal action against the district but unfortunately you deleted that answer which seems a bit suspect in my opinion.
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Meagan... I deleted Nancy's early campaign ANNOUNCEMENT, posted before we posted our own, templated candidate's profiles. I did it to prevent any redundancy and confusion between the two. Nancy had NOTHING to do with my decision. Purely editorial and an effort to clean up the site and avoid overlap. I also deleted Traci's announcement, for all the same reasons.
Meagan Scott September 05, 2012 at 05:17 PM
My apologies to Nancy and thanks JD for the clarification.
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 05:19 PM
You bet.
Coco September 06, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I cannot believe this is starting again. Megan, your comment about SEED's website was answered. SPSK is not Nancy's organization. The SEED website is www.SEEDlafayette.org. It was already stated that what you found is not a quote from the SEED website. SEED is a non profit foundation whose mission is to raise money to augment special education in the Lafayette School District. SPSK is a group of Lafayette parents of children with SNs and learning differences.Their website states, "We are parents of children with special needs and/or learning differences who reside in the Lafayette School District and came together to form a support, education and advocacy group. Our mission is to share knowledge, resources and skills with fellow Lafayette parents whose lives are touched by special needs so that we all can benefit and learn from each others' experiences". As a resource for parents, the SPSK website has dozens of links to special needs contacts, including Speech Therapists, camps, Family Guidance, Recommended books, Early Intervention, Therapy products, Legal Guidance and more. CASE or any of the other organizations listed on the SPSK website under Legal Guidance have no affiliation with SPSK or SEED or Nancy Wallace. They are merely listed on the SPSK website as a resource for parents along with the other dozens of resources I mentioned above, including links to the Lafayette school district, the California Dept of Education and many more.
Coco September 06, 2012 at 02:04 AM
MVB- Regarding Nancy's daughters and their private school- that question was asked and answered by Nancy. I have been staying away from this thread because I think it is very unfair and biased but felt I had to write when I saw misinformation posted again. The school lunches and TK questions are new- I would also like to know Nancy's thoughts and will be attending a candidate forum to ask all the candidates about these topics!
Miles VanBuren September 06, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I do not think it is unfair or bias to pose a question to a candidate running for the Lafayette School Board that decided to remove two children from our public school systems to attend private schools. Nancy certainly did not answer the question she quite dismissively replied it was a private decision and then stated that the decision caused a "financial hardship". Many found that to be a disingenuous statement for obvious reasons especially a quick google search showing a recent home purchase in 2011 for 2.4 million and a husband who is a partner in a law firm specialized in mergers and acquisitions. It would appear that her real motivation to run for the school board seems more weighted toward special education funding. Think of it this way would I hire her as a CEO for Coke when her family drinks Pepsi? I want a candidate who has all of their children in our public schools that must live with the tangible impact of their voting.
LovesLafayette September 06, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Coco, your posting makes the assumptions that all of us Lafayette voters should be in the know about Nancy and SEED and SPSK. Frankly, I had no idea what you were referring to but now that you have done such an excellent job of clarifying this point, I am now better informed and will check out both sites. However, I'd still like to know if Nancy filed a lawsuit against the Lafayette School District-the very school district she is running for and if so, why? Additionally, voters would naturally be curious as to why someone running for School Board, would take their children out of the very schools she wishes to represent? I personally find this odd. Certainly she can educate her children anywhere she pleases however, if our wonderful schools aren't good enough for her children, then why in the heck would I vote for her? My personal view is that it provides all the resources she needs for her special needs child for free (because that's the law) but not good enough for the other children? This is where I'd like to better understand her platform and have her address these issues.
Meagan Scott September 09, 2012 at 03:01 PM
@Coco. Nancy Wallace is tightly connected and interwoven to these special education organizations. Her refusal to answer the questions asking if she ever filed a lawsuit or has taken legal action against the school district is certainly relevant to the voters. She is a lawyer and we all know how lawyers can dance around any question providing half truths. I hope the other candidates running will ask the same tough questions of her during this election. I guess if she had kept her 2 daughters in public schools along with her special needs child I would feel less concerned about her involvement in special education. As a parent I have no argument with her decisions about were her children go to school but as a candidate for the school board her decisions and how they will impact her allocation of public funds must be called into question.
Chris Nicholson September 09, 2012 at 03:28 PM
On the prior thread, an anonymous poster accused Nancy, among other things, of repeatedly "threatening" legal action against the District. Nancy denied "filing a law suit," but curiously did not deny the specific allegation that she "threatened" such action. I have no knowledge of the underlying facts, but the prior dialog suggests that Nancy has a history of "fighting" with the district.
Andrew September 11, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Just a friendly piece of advice. Given the controversy raised in these postings, I would suggest that Nancy really give a second thought to running for the board.
Walter Heath September 21, 2012 at 11:25 PM
We need ZERO Bekki voorhis-Gilbert's on the OUSD.
Miles VanBuren September 22, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Based on Nancy's refusal to answer questions if she or her organization SEED has engaged in any legal activity against the Lafayette School District we need to see the financial records of her non-profit organization to determine how much of the money raised went to lawyers or other special interest groups that have taken legal action against the school district. If she will not answer the question truthfully then we need to follow the money trail from her legal fund.
Chris Nicholson September 22, 2012 at 04:01 PM
@Miles: Unlike the prior thread where Nancy engaged on numerous topics, she has been silent here. In this (new) context, I don't think it is fair to drawn too many inferences from her failure to address new issues raised in this thread. As far as we know, she is not reading this thread and/or has decided to not engage in this forum after getting bruised up badly (in part by me--- sorry) in the prior thread. As such, I don't think it is fair to demand an audit of every entity associated with her. That seems kinda kooky to me. Finally, as I noted above she DID deny filing any lawsuits. She just didn't deny threatening to file lawsuits, which was, IMHO, one of the more provocative (anonymous) allegations in the prior thread.
Miles VanBuren October 01, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Nancy must resign her candidacy based on the youtube interview I just viewed on her Facebook page. She actually has the audacity to claim she is running for the school board to ensure world class education. I guess that only applies to her special needs child since her two girls are sent off to private schools. How hypocritical can you get!
c5 October 01, 2012 at 03:53 PM
she is perfectly entitled to run, just as you and i are perfectly entitled to vote for other candidates.
lovelafayette October 17, 2012 at 07:25 AM
I had never heard of Nancy before LHC candidate's night but she made an impression on me. I do not like cookie cutter candidates, I want an independent thinker. I don't find it odd or unacceptable that a school board candidate has a special needs child, it is disturbing to see so many hold that against her.Special needs children need parents and the community to speak for them, they cannot speak for themselves. Nancy's explanation of placing and keeping her autistic child in Lafayette public schools, taking 2 unhappy kids out of Lafayette and sending them to private school was heartfelt and understandable. This was a reasoned family decision not a community one! Lafayette schools are not the best answer for all kids. She pays her taxes= public school educates her child. A world class education is her theme, and I applaud it. The focus should be on how similar children are, not how different! All children need to be kept safe and free from bullying and abuse, a nurturing school environment that can transform ability into achievement, strive for maximal physical and mental health, to name a few. She is criticized for being an attorney, an advocate and activist for the special needs community. That skill set is valuable in a school board member, and I have no doubt that she would use her skills to benefit all students. Why is anyone upset about whether or not she threatened to sue, she is an attorney and sometimes school districts need encouragement to do the right thing.
c5 October 17, 2012 at 01:29 PM
i think what some are holding against her is the appearance of 'cherry picking'...sending her special needs child to the public schools where taxpayers are footing the bill, while choosing to send her other children to private schools where they believe they will get a better education.
lovelafayette October 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM
@c5 Nancy placed her kids in the schools that were best for them, a good parent. Nancy is a tax payer so she IS "footing the bill" for her child in public school. I agree with the criteria that to run for school board you should have a child in the district, and she does. Dr. Wolf did not bother to show up at candidates night and proudly mentions his work with Boy Scouts in his Lamorinda Weekly statement. I could not vote for anyone associated with any organization that discriminates against homosexuals and shields pedophiles, even if he has all his kids in LSD. I like Nancy's honesty, our schools may be the best in the state but being the best of the worst in the country is not acceptable.
c5 October 19, 2012 at 01:11 PM
i don't at all disagree with her choices for her kids....we made some of the same choices ourselves for ours...i was just pointing out that the 'optics' don't sit well with some voters.
Chris Nicholson October 19, 2012 at 02:35 PM
@LoveLaf: You said "I could not vote for anyone associated with any organization that discriminates against homosexuals and shields pedophiles." What a ridiculous statement. "Associated with." Give me a brake. Every organization dealing with children has been accused (likely with some degree of justification) of "shielding pedophiles." And most Christian congregations have official positions that homosexual conduct s a sin. Virtually everyone (including those who do not shield pedophiles or hate gays) are "associated" with one or more group who (to some extend) do. I would wager that you are as well (especially if I can use language/definitions as loose as you are using).
lovelafayette October 21, 2012 at 03:19 PM
@CN. Agreed, associated and organization were poor choice of words. I would never vote for a candidate that discriminates against homosexuals. Wolff's choice to practice and teach homophobia to his child are personal decisions; homophobia has no place in the public arena. Residents have approached Lafayette School District to join other schools and municipalities in stopping all preferential treatment of BSA, ideally to get this homophobic group out of our schools altogether. Where do you think Wolff stands on that issue? And LSD has just been sued for shielding a pedophile, Michael Merrick. We know the BSA dogma on pedophiles: discount the tales of children, protect the adults, and never admit guilt or pay a penny until a judge compels it. I want a school board who will stand up for the rights of ALL children to be safe and secure and respected at school.
ilovelafayette October 23, 2012 at 12:51 AM
To Chris Nicholson's reference above and in previous threads, at the October 4 Candidate forum, all the candidates were asked if they had ever "threatened" the District with a lawsuit. All but one stated clearly they had not. Nancy Wallace said that she had never "filed suit" again the District as she had in a previous thread on this site. More than several people in the room noticed this deliberately evasive answer. I understand that when she was asked these questions publicly, it was embarrassing to say that she had never threatened the District with a lawsuit, but I'm uncomfortable with that kind of deliberately misleading answer. I will vote for candidates who I believe will work well together to help Lafayette schools, not those who engage in hostile and unproductive behavior. I have seen enough examples of productive dialogue and positive outcomes in our district to recognize it goes a lot further than grandstanding and threats. It is what we teach our kids, isn't it?
CGreen October 23, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Like lovelafayette, I don’t like cookie cutter candidates either. I actually attend school board meetings and I’ve been bothered by how board decisions always seem to be unanimous. Having people with different opinions is good for decision-making, I want somebody who can think for themselves. Board members don’t support Ms. Wallace because she asked some tough questions when the former Director of Student Services resigned. Lots of parents were saying at those meetings that there were disturbing things going on in the background. Ms. Wallace asked tough questions about it. Ms. Wallace seems really smart and to know a lot about what’s going on in our District and when she starts asking tough questions, she’s usually right. If you haven’t seen this article, you should check it out. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Special-ed-teachers-say-e-mail-broke-law-3951367.php Lisa Miller was a Lafayette school psychologist and Fred Brill's choice to fill the Director of Student Services position when the old Director "resigned". Ms. Wallace and other parents were vocal about not wanting Miller as the new Director. We’re lucky they were or our district would be under investigation like the San Francisco District. Seems like Ms. Wallace knew what was going on and that Miller was not going to be a good choice for our District.
D Blue October 23, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Like CGreen, I do not like cookie cutter candidates either. I have attended school board meetings here and in other districts and been bothered by how presumptuous people can be about what should happen in a public forum. There are procedures that may not make sense to casual observers. Having a strong command of proper protocol is good for decision-making and consensus building, I want somebody who can think objectively, separate their personal feelings from their responsibility of serving their constituents and who does not have to resort to bullying tactics to be heard. There is a difference between consensus building and “unanimous” decisions—it is about the process. Just because a group agrees does not mean the members are not thinking for themselves. The link to the article that was posted about a former employee and the comments that were made on that board were meant to stir up controversy and speculation. No one who commented there or here truly knows what happened behind the scenes unless of course they are Lisa Miller, Fred Brill or someone who is sharing confidential information that they don’t have access to firsthand.
*LMFAK October 23, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Like CGreen and DBlue, I don't like cookie cutter candidates either. D. Blue, actually a number of parents, myself included, have first hand knowledge and experience of Lisa Miller's history of disregard for the legal protection of children of special needs. The parent community was very aware that Ms Miller had applied for the position of Director of Student Services because she told some district staff and parents. The parental response to this was overwhelming. Many parents, including myself wrote detailed letters to the School Board and to the Superintendent expressing their concerns. In my eyes, it is comments like yours that are stirring controversy.

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