Meet Tracey Miller-Zarneke

I have lived in El Segundo for over two decades and have enjoyed raising my sons Joshua (Freshman at ESHS) and Ryan (6th Grader at ESMS) in this town alongside my husband Mike.

When Mike and I moved to El Segundo in 1997, it was not only to be near the beach, but also to be in a nice community with an excellent school district, as we knew raising children would be in our future. At that time, I was commuting to Burbank for work at Walt Disney Feature Animation, and the 105 Freeway was (then) an excellent and open route to take. Living in El Segundo made sense on several levels.

LONG, LONG AGO…
To go back even further in my history, I was born in New Jersey where my parents were also both born and raised, but I am thankful they tired of Eastern Winters and moved our family to California just before I started fourth grade. After being a GATE/Honors/AP student in the Garden Grove Unified School District, I attended UCLA and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/American Studies in 1992. Being a product of public schools, I greatly value and appreciate how such educational organizations must distribute the minimal funding they receive from the government to benefit the maximum amount of students.

My seasonal jobs in between college quarters included great fun working in the shops in Tomorrowland at Disneyland (despite the polyester uniforms) and slightly less fun working in various software and insurance offices as support staff.

CAREER
My official career began in Public Relations in 1991 at a boutique agency in Beverly Hills, first as an intern and then rising up the ranks to the role of Account Executive. In 1994, I joined the National Publicity Department for the Walt Disney Studios, working on the campaigns for feature films such as The Lion King and Toy Story. Three years later, I shifted over to Walt Disney Feature Animation to work in production management on The Emperor’s New Groove and Chicken Little. During my run at Disney, I also helped produce a documentary film about animation production entitled The Sweatbox and later worked as a researcher on the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty.

When I chose to become a mother, I also chose to re-prioritize my time and effort, so a career shift came into play: I opted out of the production pipeline and into writing mode. I figured out a way to combine my extensive PR writing practice and firsthand animation production experience, and how to do most of my work while the kids are in school or sleeping. I am now a published author of twelve “art of” books in support of various animated films including the Kung Fu Panda and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs series. I have served as the technical editor on the second (and currently on the third) edition of the textbook Producing Animation, as editorial advisor on Directing for Animation, and as co-author of the historical Before Ever After: The Lost Lectures of Walt Disney’s Animation Studio. I also currently hold a position as a board member for the professional organization, Women in Animation.

History With ESUSD

I am grateful to have been readily available to my children as they grow, and I have enjoyed participating in their educational experiences as an active parent volunteer. While at Center Street School for nine years, I served our school community through:

School Site Council President for four years; responsible for implementing a five-goal school plan and allocating state School Improvement Program funds in a manner that will strengthen instruction and learning and further improve school culture.

PTA Executive Board President for one year in which I was responsible for supervision of over 40 parent-run programs and fundraising activities; also served as 3rd Vice President for one year

Character Counts Chair for three years and parent docent for nine years; involved teaching six pillars of good character in classes

Grades of Green Chair for two years and parent docent for nine; involved teaching students about being good stewards of our planet by implementing reduce/reuse/recycle/rot protocol with lunch and classroom practices; also worked to achieve statewide Green Ribbon status for our campus for the first time ever

At El Segundo Middle School, I am currently serving my second term as the Chair for the Parents on Campus program, coordinating volunteers to support lunch supervision daily and to encourage respectful behavior among all students during their recess time.

As a new parent at El Segundo High School this year, I look forward to becoming a part of that community as my sons finish their journey of public education in our town.

I also enjoy serving at the El Segundo District PTA Council level as Parliamentarian, and as a continued member of the Superintendent’s Roundtable through the El Segundo Education Foundation.

Civic Engagement

I believe strongly in being an active, engaged member of any community in which I exist. For over four years, I have chaired the City of El Segundo Environmental Committee, working to navigate our town onto a more sustainable, greener path. As such, I have spoken in front of the City Council numerous times; participated in meetings with the Mayor, Councilmembers, City Manager, Public Works, Recreation & Parks, and Planning departments, West Basin Municipal Water District and other municipal entities; and hosted public information booths at the Farmer’s Market. I have also participated in the last two City Council election processes, once as a key campaign committee member and once as a candidate forum moderator.

Looking Forward

Through my numerous roles of leadership within our El Segundo schools, I have developed a deep understanding of how our school system works, and I have built solid relationships among parents, teachers, staff, district personnel, community partners and civic leaders. I wish to channel the learning and network of collaboration I have achieved to further benefit ESUSD and the future of El Segundo.

A thorough researcher, studious listener and resolution-oriented thinker, I will bring a balanced, fair and empathetic perspective to my decision-making process as a member of the school board. I will embrace innovative thinking with the goal of helping our school district support the whole child for every child: I will promote educational practices that create not just good test takers, but instead respectful and respectable global citizens who happen to test well as a bonus.

I have been a fan of ESUSD longer than I have had children as students in our schools, and I want to extend my support beyond when my sons fly off as graduated Eagles. I have gained invaluable experience and insight that will serve our community well from a seat on the Board of Education. I would be honored to receive your vote in this effort.

Issues

City Partnership

While I understand the constraints of a small town, I appreciate the efforts of our City to support our hometown school district as much as possible. From supplying crossing guards and School Resource Officers, to managing traffic and occasional safety issues on our campuses, the City and ESPD already display an admirable level of partnership with ESUSD. Recent partnerships with the Recreation and Parks department have led to a 10-year aquatics facility agreement and a successful high school Cross Country meet. I believe these are mutually beneficial relationships, and I hope to further expand our municipal collaboration via other City departments and entities.

Bond Measure

I hope the school board and greater El Segundo community will support the current bond measure, and that we can keep El Segundo a top tier school district in which to create successful students and thriving community. The time to do so is now, before we fall out of step with the future.

It is unfortunate that the federal and state mechanisms put our district into the books as one of the lowest funded in California public educational systems, and that a school bond is the only way for our public school district to seek additional means to finance capital improvements. Yet I am confident that this community knows the value of having a first-class dedicated public school system and facilities and will do what it can to support its continued success.

I appreciate the thoughtful research the district has undertaken in the last few years to know what important facility upgrades need to happen in order to allow our schools and teachers to properly train our 21st century children. I have read several lengthy reports, watched a number of presentations, and attended multiple community town hall stakeholder meetings to give my input on these needed upgrades, so I can’t even imagine the thousands of hours of research, planning, consulting, study, review and revision to the long range facilities master plan that had to happen around those public landmark events. The fact of the matter is that the money for these important facility upgrades certainly can’t be covered by the relatively modest amount made (most of which was thoughtfully invested to provide a future revenue stream for continuous maintenance) on the Imperial campus sale. I respect the fact that the district is not looking to mount several small bonds over the course of many years, but would rather do one ask based on one round of extensive research, planning, consulting and eventually construction. It seems fiscally responsible to do all the background work once and then move forward with that construction plan, instead of having to finance all that background expense, time and effort over and over again to reach the same end goal, all while construction costs continue to rise.

As a homeowner, I recognize that the fine property values we all enjoy at this time have a lot to do with the highly reputable school district, and I therefore understand and respect the need to support a bond measure to keep the schools and our whole community moving forward.

Parent Partnership

I deeply believe that a parent’s participation makes for a better educational experience for his/her students, so I will continue to motivate ESUSD parents to stay informed and involved in their children’s education. This does not mean doing homework for their kids, or dictating to their teachers how to teach: instead, this means playing an active, productive part on campus, and supporting the schools with time, talent and financial contributions, in whatever capacity their lives can bring to bear. It means being part of the team that is so critical to the development of well-rounded, respected and respectable individuals. The “it takes a village” mindset clearly rings true in El Segundo and makes this community even stronger.

Tracey Miller-Zarneke

Show your support by lending your time, effort and talent to my campaign.I would greatly appreciate your help!

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Endorsements

I’m grateful for the many friends and associates I have developed in town
These prominent individuals have kindly endorsed me in my run for the ESUSD School Board seat.

Lee and I are fortunate to call Tracey not only a good friend, but also a trusted advisor and proven advocate for our incredible community. For a long time, she has been a champion for the best possible educational experience our schools can deliver. I worked closely with Tracey when she led the Character Counts program at Center Street School, when she held the PTA presidency, and when she helped me with my City Council campaign. She will be a tremendous addition to the School Board in providing a bright future for the children of El Segundo.

–Drew Boyles (Mayor of El Segundo)

We have known Tracey for several years now and love her dedication to our schools through PTA and other volunteer organizations. While we have admired our current Board, we think having a greater non-educator/parent perspective on the Board is the right move for our schools and we think Tracey is that person for that balance!

–Neil Cadman (Chair, El Segundo Education Foundation) & Rebecca Cadman (PTA President, El Segundo Middle School)

I had the privilege of working with Tracey when we were both PTA Presidents of the elementary schools last year. During our very first strategy session, I knew we would make a great team: she was incredibly collaborative and always prepared, thoughtful and inventive. She 100% has my support and we would be lucky to have her on our School Board.

— Melissa McCaverty (El Segundo PTA Council President)

Over the past ten years, our family has had the opportunity to work with Tracey on various platforms within the El Segundo community. Whether it has been advocating for the future of our children through her continuous work with the City of El Segundo Environmental Committee, or the exceptional job she has done as the Center Street School PTA President, we have watched Tracey always put the interests of our children first. We believe she will continue to do the same as a member of our ESUSD school board.

— Kim & Scot Nicol (El Segundo City Councilman)

We both have known Tracey for many years, following her direction as volunteers for the Center Street School Character Counts Program. Tracey provided masterful direction to all volunteers on a regular basis to ensure that the children in the classroom benefited from well prepared volunteers. Seeing how she directed that program makes us excited at the prospect of her being a School Board member, and we are proud to support her.

— Mary and Mike Rotolo, Center Street School Volunteers and 25-year El Segundo Residents


Kara & Ryan Baldino (El Segundo Planning Commissioner)

Rita Burnett (PTA President, El Segundo High School)

Nancy Cobb (ESUSD School Board Member)

Sandra Jacobs (Former Mayor of El Segundo)

Deanna McLaughlin (Richmond Street School PTA President)

Christine Sherrill (Former ESUSD School Board Member)

Shalee Tan (PTA President, Center Street School)

Carol & William Watkins (ESUSD School Board Member)

Kathleen Wiley (Former ESUSD School Board Member)

El Segundo Teachers Association

Events

You are cordially invited to join me at one of these events:

El Segundo Woman’s Club 541 Standard Street El Segundo, CA 90245

El Segundo School Board Candidates Forum
Monday October 8, 2018
7:00PM
El Segundo Woman’s Club
541 Standard Street
El Segundo

Blue Butterfly Coffee Co. 351 Main Street El Segundo, CA 90245

Coffee with the Candidate
Thursday, October 11, 2018
9:00AM
Blue Butterfly Coffee Co.
351 Main Street
El Segundo

El Segundo Woman’s Club 541 Standard Street El Segundo, CA 90245

ESUSD School Board Candidates Forum
Center Street School
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
9:00AM
Center Street School
700 Center Street
El Segundo

Palm Realty Boutique Office 200 Main Street El Segundo, CA 90245

Meet & Greet with the Candidate
Thursday, October 18, 2018
9:30-11:30AM
Palm Realty Boutique Office
200 Main Street
El Segundo

305 Richmond Street El Segundo, CA 90245

Meet & Greet with the Candidate
Friday, October 19, 2018
5:00-7:00PM
About Space Studio
305 Richmond Street
El Segundo

Blue Butterfly Coffee Co. 351 Main Street El Segundo, CA 90245

Coffee with the Candidate
Thursday, October 25, 2018
9:00AM
Blue Butterfly Coffee Co.
351 Main Street
El Segundo

Contact

If you wish to reach out to me directly, please send me an email at tracey@traceyforschoolboard.info. I greatly appreciate your time, effort and support.