The Board of Education at Albany Unified School District unanimously elected a new member Tuesday. Paul Black, a resident in Albany for almost three decades and a parent who is active in school services, will take his seat on the Board later this month.
62-year-old Black was selected among six candidates at a public meeting Tuesday night. After a round of interviews, all of the four current Board members said Black was one of their favorite candidates. They spoke highly of Black’s rich experience in community services and his capability as a thoughtful and collaborative decision-maker.
“He is an intelligent and calming presence,”said Board member Ron Rosenbaum, who had worked closely with Black at a curriculum improvement committee a few years ago. ” He is good at mediating. He never loses his cool.”
The other boardmembers commented on Black’s effective communication skills, his extensive contacts with people in the community, and his committment to serve the district.
Black has done a variety of volunteering work at the Albany schools for more than a decade. He served on the District Curriculum Committee and the Site Council at Albany High School, worked as a writing coach, a test proctor and took up many other volunteer roles to assist school activities.
“My son graduated from Albany High School last year after going all the way through the Albany school system, where he got a rerrific education, ” Black wrote in his application form. “In return, I’d like to help the Albany schools weather the current economic climate and continue on its path of continuous improvement.”
He said after the election that he would soon start conversations with the community about the district’s budget priority.
“We need to hear from the community what they think are the important things to preserve, and what need to be cut,” he said.
He also emphasized the importance of reducing achievement gap among students, and of engaging more parents as well as residents who don’t have school children in the district’s decision-making process.
“We need greater involvement by parents who are members of minority and disadvantaged commuties,” he wrote in his application.
Black has lived in Albany for 27 years. He has a rich career experience as a college professor, a business manager, and a navy officer. He is now employed by Apple Inc. to write user manuals.