Sunday, February 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Ortiz emphasizes Yolo roots, kindergarten-through-college perspective

By
From page A1 | May 08, 2014 |

Ortiz JesseW

Jesse Ortiz. Courtesy photo

Asked what he would bring to the job of Yolo County superintendent of schools, candidate Jesse Ortiz said, “The thing that I would bring is a perspective of kindergarten to university experience. That’s the experience I’ve had as a policy-maker — I currently serve on the Yolo County Board of Education, I’ve served several terms on the Woodland school board.”

Ortiz also has worked for 20 years at Woodland Community College as a counselor and professor, and held some administrative posts in K-12 education in the 1980s and early ’90s.

“I like to think I can bring that big picture of education to the job, which would serve our youth best,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz grew up in Woodland and graduated from Woodland High.

Jesse Ortiz

Elected offices held: Yolo County Board of Education, December 2012-present; Woodland school board, 1987-91 and 2000-06 (four years as president)

Occupation: Counselor and professor at Woodland Community College, 1994-present; adjunct instructor, Sacramento State University School of Education Leadership Program; guest lecturer, UC Davis, National University, Drexel University; administrator in the former North Sacramento school district and Sacramento County Office of Education; visiting educator consultant, California Department of Education; counselor in Elk Grove school district, early 1980s

Age: 59

Education: Education doctorate, Brigham Young University; master’s degree, Sacramento State; bachelor’s degree, San Jose State University; associate degree, Yuba College; California K-12 administrative credential (issued in 1985, lapsed in 1990s, renewed in 2012); K-12 pupil personnel services credential (issued 1985), California Community College counseling, ethnic studies and public administration credentials (all current)

Family: Resides in Woodland, married, two adult children; Yolo County native

Noteworthy: Yolo County School Boards Association Golden Apple Award (2004, 2007); Yolo County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award; Woodland City Council Community Service Award; chair, Yolo County Multicultural Council; served in U.S. Marine Corps

“Woodland is a good community, the school district showed me the path,” he said. “When I think about the district, I think about teachers who really inspired me and had confidence in me.

“Sports played a major role in my life, I was a successful member of the track team and basketball team. Sports taught me that if I worked hard, I could accomplish what I wanted to do.”

Ortiz joined the Marine Corps five days after graduating from WHS. He was originally ticketed for duty in Vietnam, but ended up spending much of his two-year hitch in Okinawa.

Returning to California, Ortiz enrolled in classes through Yuba College, then transferred into San Jose State, where he participated in cross country and track. After completing his undergraduate studies in San Jose, Ortiz got a job with the Santa Clara County Office of Education working with autistic children and their families.

“That got me headed in the direction of education as a career,” he said. He eventually moved into a job as a counselor in the Elk Grove School District, and later positions with the Sacramento County Office of Education, the California Department of Education and the Los Rios Community College District (at Cosumnes River College).

Ortiz came to Woodland Community College in 1994, and has worked there ever since. And while his day job has involved community college students during the past 20 years, “I’ve always had a foot in K-12 education, working through the Woodland district as a volunteer or being on a budget advisory committee, or working on a facilities bond. I have always wanted to stay involved in K-12 education,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz served a total of 10 years on the Woodland school board (over two stints, starting in 1987 and ending in 2006, including four years as board president). More recently, he became a trustee on the Yolo County Board of Education in December 2012, and reactivated his K-12 administrative credential in 2012 in preparation for his run for Yolo County superintendent.

Among the priorities Ortiz says he’d pursue as Yolo County superintendent would be preschool for all. “One of the biggest issues in closing the student achievement gap is preschool — you have to start right out of the gate,” he said.

“In Yolo County, we have about 4,800 4-year-olds, and 45 percent of them are not attending preschool. National data and state data indicate that for every $1 you spend on preschool programs, you get $7 back (in reduced costs later on). … You minimize the impact on the criminal justice system, the school dropout rate, and teen pregnancy, and increase the percentage of students going to college. I actually favor extending preschool to all 3-year-olds.”

Ortiz also is interested in programs that would make all students “third-grade reading-ready.” He said that currently, “only 43 percent of third-graders in Yolo are reading at the third-grade level. I am not insinuating that the schools aren’t doing the best they can.” He noted that for Latino third-graders in Yolo County reading at the third-grade level is closer to 25 percent.

He also referenced the changing demographics of K-12 students in the county.

“We have about 29,000 students, and 16,000 of them are eligible for free- and reduced-price meal programs. Seventy-five percent of students in Yolo are students of color, and 55 percent of that 75 percent are students of a Latino background,” Ortiz said.

“In the class of 2014, we will have our first graduating class in Yolo County with more Latino high school graduates than white graduates, which will be a first in the history of Yolo County.”

He also said, “We have a need to look at literacy at the adult education level. I’m saying that because it’s important — when you improve adult literacy, you also improve children’s potential. This is an area we want to explore.”

Ortiz has picked up a number of endorsements, including current County Superintendent Jorge Ayala, former County Board of Education trustee Davis Campbell, Rick Gonzales of the Yolo County Concilio, Davis school board trustees Sheila Allen and Tim Taylor, and Janet Boulware, founder of the Davis Bridge Foundation.

He also has endorsements from state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis; Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis; former Assemblywoman and County Supervisor Helen Thomson; former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso; the Yolo County Teachers Association; and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    The end of an era for The Enterprise, as pressroom closes

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Jewish fraternity vandalism classified a hate crime

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

    Well-loved library has services for all ages

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Islamists post beheading video

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    More than a foot of snow possible for Midwest, Northeast

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    UCD Med Center patient tested negative for Ebola

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Kudos to the Thomsons

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

     
    Arboretum ‘I do’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    The story of Mark and Maria

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Summer lovin’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Stories come alive at the library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Lee will speak Wednesday about city issues

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Training starts Tuesday for Jepson Prairie Preserve tour guides

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Lecture looks at women in Egypt

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Stepping Stones supports grieving youths

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Japanese students seek Davis host families

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    And bingo was the game-o

    By Tate Perez | From Page: A9

     
    Tuleyome Tales: Searching for the elusive McNab cypress

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Questions and answers about breast cancer set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Davis Arts Center welcomes students’ work

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Forum

     
    How much drinking is too much?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Help a veteran feel loved

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A10

     
    Three old ideas going, going, gone

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A10

    Act would let patients control their own fates

    By Our View | From Page: A12

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

    They’re experienced and honest

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Toy drive was a big success

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    One-way street solves dilemma

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Council, follow your own policies

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Ensure that you’re protected against measles

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    Wi-Fi in our schools could result in health impacts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

    Life goes on in Rutilio Grande, despite country’s gang violence

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    UCD women survive against winless UCSB

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Foursome will represent Davis at national soccer tournament

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Depth charge: DHS girls defeat Elk Grove

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devil boys lose on Herd’s buzzer-beating trey

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Kings get past Pacers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Sharks blank Blackhawks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    UCD roundup: Aggies make a racket but fall to Sac State, Pacific

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    And the survey says: Success for Davis Chamber

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Putah Creek Winery launches ‘Give Back Tuesday’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    Doby Fleeman: Toward a more perfect Davis

    By Doby Fleeman | From Page: A12

     
    Ullrich Delevati, CPAs, adds senior accountant

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    Seminar will cover business challenges

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

     
    Japanese fondue dips into Davis scene

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    Novozymes, Cargill continue bio-acrylic acid partnership as BASF exits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, February 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8