This Letter to the Editor was submitted by retired Antioch Police Chief, Allan Cantando
As the Antioch Police Chief for six years, I worked often with Mary Rocha, then City Councilwoman.
I saw her work tirelessly for our City. She was experienced, but not jaded; extremely knowledgeable, but a team member; and she was caring – never “calling it in.” Most importantly, Mary is not beholding to special interest groups and will base her votes on what is best for the children, families and staff rather than on a personal agenda.
These are the exact qualities the Antioch Unified School District Board of Education needs right now. With three of the five trustees foolishly pushing through for-profit charters, which will result in massive layoffs and program reductions, this is the time for proven leadership. Additionally, with some current Board Members frequently showing displays of unprofessionalism from the dais and in the community, Mary’s sensibility and experience is much needed. Our school staff, teachers and, especially, our students need her clarity, heart, and integrity.
Anyone who knows or has met Mary knows she has spent decades supporting the youth and families in our communities. This election is critical, and we need a proven champion for children like Mary to help lead the AUSD.
As the father of an 8-year-old, I know the importance of strong leadership in schools – and, it must begin at the top with the Board of Education.
Some of my favorite duties as Chief of Police were to visit Antioch schools, sit down with the students, talk with teachers, and engage with staff who represent the “boots on the ground.” AUSD is filled with incredibly talented students, supportive families, and a dedicated hard-working staff. All of these constituents deserve knowledgeable people making wise decisions that affect the AUSD.
I have so much respect for Mary and her commitment to our community. We need a leader with experience, proven integrity, and a heart for children and this community. Mary Rocha cares because she understands that our schools matter.
Retired Antioch Police Chief