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The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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New board president to promote diverse student culture

Board of Education members Jennifer DiBrienza and Jesse Ladomirak during a board meeting on Oct. 27. Ladomirak, the former vice president, was appointed as board president during a board meeting on Dec 12th. According to Ladomirak, the district is equipped with the right tools to ensure that all students can achieve academic success. “We have resources, we have a well educated community, and there’s a certain level of success,” Ladomirak said. “I continue to believe that in public education, schools should be judged by how well you do educating the students who have the least amount of privilege too.” (Photo: Kensie Pao)

Newly appointed Board of Education President Jesse Ladomirak plans to focus on inclusivity and prioritze mental health in her upcoming term after a Dec. 12 Palo Alto Unified School District board meeting.

Ladomirak is stepping into the position after the end of previous board president Jennifer DiBrienza’s four-year term.

According to Ladomirak, she will continue working towards ensuring that school environments are diverse, accepting and tailored to student needs.

“I ran for [the] school board to focus on making sure that our schools were a place where all students thrive regardless of demographics, regardless of background, regardless of whether you love humanities, or if you love STEM, sports or theater,” Ladomirak said. “That was the reason I ran for school board, and that’s going to continue to be the focus as president.”

According to Karthi Gottipati, Palo Alto High School Student Board Representative, Ladomirak’s goals extend to academic offerings as well.

“Ms. Ladomirak has talked a lot about expanding access to subjects like humanities, AP courses, honors courses for humanities as opposed to just STEM and shifting the focus to a broad range of course offerings,” Gottipati said. 

DiBrienza said that Ladomirak will likely continue to improve wellness services and dive into the cause of poor mental health.

“We had a significant expansion to our mental health program: we expanded a Wellness Center, we have more counselors and that’s great,” DiBrienza said. “At the same time, we have to address the fact that there’s this huge spike in the need for mental health. We’re really looking at what are those things that are making kids struggle a lot, and I think that Ms. Ladomirak is really interested in continuing that work and listening and uplifting the voices of students.”

According to Ladomirak, she plans to ensure that all students are successful in their education, regardless of financial status and privileges.

“For me, [a goal] is continuing to focus on making sure that we hold ourselves accountable for how we define our successes of school districts by how we’re serving everybody.”

Ladomirak said that having children in the PAUSD district offers her different perspectives and encourages her to work towards improving student experiences.

“I have a very unique family, and my kids are having four very different experiences in our district,” Ladomirak said. “For me, just having that perspective of something that works great for one of my kids is [but does] not work well for another kid is a good humbling reminder. As a leader of the district, we really have to continue to make sure that we’re talking to as many people, families and students as possible. What our students experience can be so much different than just the person sitting next to them in class.”

DiBrienza said that board meetings have changed significantly since she and Ladomirak joined, with the process being much more efficient and streamlined.

“When our closed session started till 1 a.m. it was super [time] expensive to be on the board,” DiBrienza said. “So, we’ve tried to make them more efficient and compact, and that’s a big change from when I got on seven years ago.”

Ladomirak plans to maintain the current board meeting length and does not anticipate any changes in how the board meetings are run. 

“The president’s job is not that much different from a regular board member’s job,” Ladomirak said. “You’re running the meetings basically, that’s the big difference.”

According to Gottipati, the board members have full faith in Ladomirak.

“We’re confident in her,” Gottipatti said. “Ms. Ladomirak has kept things pretty efficient. I imagine this will continue.”

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About the Contributors
Celina Lee
Celina Lee, Editor-in-Chief
Andrew Zhao
Andrew Zhao, Culture Editor
Andrew Zhao (Class of 2026) joined The Voice in his sophomore year and enjoys playing tennis and water polo.

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