For those who are new to the school or that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, my name is Michael Marino. I serve on the school board along with four other parents at our school. My wife Erika and I have two boys at CSS and a third who will be in kindergarten next year. Like many of you, tired of city life, we moved from NYC to Montecito five years ago to be a part of this special little place. As it turns out, that was one of the best decisions of our life together, as we have fallen in love with Cold Spring and all of the of the wonderful people we have met.
At last month’s School Board meeting, I was elected Board president by my fellow trustees. It is an absolute honor to be trusted with so much responsibility and my promise to the Cold Spring community is that I will do whatever I can to honor Cold Spring’s mission of providing “a quality educational program in a secure family atmosphere, which fosters a balance of academic achievement, healthy personal development, social and environmental responsibility, and enthusiasm for lifelong learning.” It is my goal as Board president to make sure that we satisfy that mission while ensuring that the district and Board are fiscally responsible, transparent with our actions, and responsive to not just the parents at the school but the to the community at large as well.
To that end, I want to take a moment to share a letter I wrote that will be appearing in tomorrow’s Montecito Journal. I posted it below in full and hope that you will take a moment to read it. The letter addresses the recent attacks on the school, teachers, administration, and school board. These false accusations have had a very real personal impact on our teachers and administrators and they tarnish the great reputation of our school. Instead of celebrating accomplishments such as being one of the first and only schools to open for full-time, in person instruction and being the highest performing school district in California, our administration has had to spend a tremendous number of hours and taxpayer dollars cleaning up the mess a few misguided individuals have created. The endless personal attacks and false accusations only serve to distract and demoralize the same people who are educating our children. It is my hope that by bringing all this to light and setting the record straight, we can put this in the past and begin to come together as a community.
We encourage and benefit from community input. As a Board, we are not perfect, but we try our hardest to make the best decisions we can. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me, reach out Dr. Alzina directly, or send a note to the entire Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cold Spring School District Board President