Phoeba Irey, MUSD Candidate Statement

The following is a statement from Phoeba Irey, candidate for Menifee School Board... I have been a public school teacher for nearly 40 years...

The following is a statement from Phoeba Irey, candidate for Menifee School Board...
I have been a public school teacher for nearly 40 years, the last two years were as a Reading Consultant at Menifee Elementary. I was president of the state organization, Reading Specialists of California, from 1993 to 1996. In April, 2008 I earned a Masters in Governance Certificate from the California State School Boards Association.

My husband, John Irey, and I have been married 45 years. We have three children and five grandchildren. Our daughter, Shelly Whelen, teaches first grade at Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary. Three of our grandchildren went through the Menifee school system and have now graduated from Paloma High. All three are currently enrolled in college.

During my four years on the Menifee school board I have been successful in helping to:
  1. Get approval to switch to a single track.

  2. Get the unification process started.

  3. Save and expand the elementary music program.

  4. Save most student transportation.

  5. Contract with "We Tip" which has resulted in reducing vandalism.

  6. Get solar panels installed at MVMS which have produced approximately $11,000 worth of electricity since April, 2008.

  7. Get seatbelts installed on all Menifee Union buses.

  8. Encouraged best practices in teaching.

  9. Support better communication at all levels.

  10. Encourage schools to apply to become California Distinguished Schools. (Three Menifee Schools have been honored as California Distinguished Schools in the past four years.)

  11. Save the district approximately $8,000 a year by choosing not to use the district's health plan.
If reelected, I will:
  1. Keep working for Excellence in Education for all students.

  2. Encourage schools to keep websites up to date.

  3. Work for a smooth transition to single track.

  4. Listen to community concerns.

  5. Continue to support the unification process.
Please Vote IREY for Excellence in Education.

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Post a Comment

  1. Thanks for mentioning that you helped get a single track. You lost my vote there.

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  2. You got my vote! I wanted single track and you made it happen! THANK YOU!!

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  3. You get mine too. Thanks for the single track! you made life so much easier.

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  4. I agree! So happy to be moving to single track!!

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  5. I agree with the first poster, you lost my vote also

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  6. I am with the first poster. You lost my vote. We never wanted to be on a single track. We moved to Menifee because the multi track works best for our family!

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  7. You know you have vote Phoeba, keep up the good work.

    Keep the pressure up on Unification.

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  8. Those against single track were by far in the minority. Hooray for single track!

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  9. Stop complaining about going to single track. I am looking forward to it. So Phoeba you have my vote! Thanks a bunch for pushing the issue to make it happen.

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  10. I'm not sure of the exact number, but over 80% of the community who sent in their choice for next years schedule voted for a single track. Yeah for all my kids at different schools to be on the same schedule!

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  11. Moving to a single track was also budgetary advantage, because it allows the district to cut its electricity usage way down during the summer months.

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  12. Single Track YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! Summers off time to go on vacations and off to the sea shore where it is cool...no more are the kids drinking enough water during the day at school in the heat....

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  13. I don't know about anyone else but
    I don't believe the "Surveys" were accurate! EVERY parent that I know (and I am very involved in my kids school so I know many) voted AGAINST going to a single track. Even the teachers at their school were not for the change. I for one was appalled that the school's office did not have a locked ballot box to handle the incoming surveys. I watched the school secretary (who has to work the whole year through) get handed a survey, open it to see which way that parent voted, then comment that the parents vote was for the "wrong side". I am very discouraged with the way the entire thing was handled. And I don't believe that it was actually a majority vote. I would like to see the surveys myself and count them! I'm no conspiracy theorist, but something smells wrong here...and it's not the sludge!

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  14. Will the single track also mean more students per classroom???

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  15. Thank you for making it a single track. You have my vote. Keep up the good work.

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  16. I think the surveys were handled very well. In fact, each survey had a bar code on it ensuring that each vote was counted only once(In other words, no one could copy their survey and vote multiple times). For the person who only knows people who voted for year round, you must have only young children, no high schoolers. I know the families who have children on both schedules are very happy for the change to single track. Also, I think Phoeba Irey is wonderful. She lives in the same development as I do; and I often see her out picking up trash around the neighborhood while taking her morning walk. She is very community minded and a great citizen. The People of Menifee should be glad to have Phoeba on the school board. She definitely has my vote. --Diane Draper

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  17. Barcodes are great if all the surveys made it to the board for counting!

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  18. Oh come on. Do you REALLY think the secretary would do something like omit the votes for multi track. PLEASE. Get over it. How sad that just because you didn't get what you want you have to start accusing people of foul play. I, too, know a lot of parents and teachers, and a majority of them wanted single track. True, there are some who wanted multi track, but by far those who I know wanted single track. Too bad you don't have kids on different tracks. You would be singing a different tune. I guess you are only thinking about yourself.

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  19. No doubt! I love it how people around here who don't get their way about something automatically start blaming and accusing others of doing something wrong. You see it on almost all of the blogs on this site. There sure are a bunch of whiners in Menifee.

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  20. The point of conducting a survey by sealed ballot is to take away the thoughts of any possible corruption. Were all of the ballots counted correctly? Probably. But the manner in which the survey was handled leaves it open for questions.

    Would you hand over your Presidential ballot, in November, to the person working the voting booth and allow them to look at it and comment on your vote? Would you feel comfortable leaving after that?

    There are correct ways to conduct these types of surveys and this is another example of the School District acting improperly.

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  21. Thank You Phoeba for helping us get single track! You have helped make things easier for so many families.

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  22. THANK YOU to anonymous August 19, 2008 8:35 AM! VERY GOOD POINT!!! I appreciate your understanding.


    --To the posters that called me a selfish whiner--I was trying to just state my opinion and what I witnessed using a little humor. Obviously you 2 are a bit too serious. I'm not complaining, I understand what's done is done. Of course I would have liked it to go my way, who doesn't?! That doesn't make me selfish. Like the other parents that voted for keeping the multi track I'm sure, I am not the only one that was disappointed.


    Regardless of the outcome of the surveys...my way, your way or whatever, it should have been handled differently to make sure people's privacy was respected. And to leave no doubts in people's minds on the outcome.

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  23. OK, I'll give you that - the surveys I saw being turned in were not in envelopes - they were just out there for anyone to see.

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  24. This was not a vote, it was a survey. The school board wanted some basic feedback. The fact is that most families wanted single track (not me), but that really didn't matter because the board could do whatever they wanted.

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  25. Yes, the district classified it as a “survey”. The board made it sound like the “survey” was being used as THE basis for its decision on whether or not to move to single track. So the “survey” was actually a vote.

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  26. Can I ask why some of wanted year round school? The reasons I've heard for year round school so far are dumb. I've heard parents say that they didn't want to deal with their "bored children" or "they'll drive me crazy". Now are those good reasons?? I for one love hanging out with my kids, see you at the beach people!

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  27. The survey was not a vote, just a survey. The trustees used the survey to make sure they felt good about casting their own votes.

    The decision to move to a traditional calendar was made over a year ago when the District laid out plans to put Measure B on the ballot to fund the construction of three new schools. Those three schools were necessary to offset the overcrowding a traditional calendar would create.

    The official vote the Board made last month on moving to a traditional calendar was simply a formality in finalizing a long process that was decided upon a long time ago.

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  28. Studies have shown that year round school increases learning retention. It also better utilizes facilities which the State rewards in priorty points for new facilities. If you want a better educational outcome at less cost, this is a good thing. If you dislike the personal inconvience and are unconcerned about the expense to taxpayers it's a bad thing.

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  29. To poster--August 19, 2008 10:41 AM--You're right those reasons are dumb! I wanted "year round" schooling because I think that the 3 on and 1 off system helps the kids retain more throughout the year. Children are bored anytime they don't have a schedule, not just during the summer months. The parents that made those comments are lazy perhaps. My kids drive me crazy all the time! It doesn't matter if they are off for one month or 3! (that was a joke people!) I did want to stay on the multi track. Going on vacations, and visiting amusement parks is much easier and less crowded when you have your kids off when the traditional kids are in school. Plus you get a month off in different seasons. I thought it was a great system. However, I understand many parents frustrations about having their kids in different schools and on different schedules. I'm happy for them...but still sad for me! Oh well, it is what it is. As far as the "surveys" go...I'm with the other posters. I agree, I think it could have been handled better.

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  30. Steve,

    Are you saying:
    If the surveys would have come back in favor of year round, the board would have still voted to move to single track?

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  31. That's not what I'm saying. The Board didn't use the survey to guide their vote. It was just something they did to make sure they felt good about voting for it, perhaps more as a way to cross their T's and dot their I's.

    Think about why the Board put Measure B on the ballot over a year ago. When the trustees voted to put Measure B on the ballot, they explained to parents that if they wanted a traditional year, they had to support Measure B. So with Measure B passing, the trustees had to make good on their promise to deliver the traditional year. (read here).

    Also go back to the school boundary meetings of last January. By that time, the district had already made decisions to change the school boundaries, but hadn't decided what boundaries to adopt. They explained that these new boundaries would help them implement the traditional year down the road. Why would the trustees vote adopt new school boundaries if their minds weren't made up on moving to a traditional year?

    Go back to a comment that Fred Twyman made here on Menifee 247...

    http://www.menifee247.com/2008/01/ school-boundary-meeting-oak-meadows.htm#c1149645046872722711

    He said he ran for school board under the impression that the community wanted a single track year. Changing the district to a single track was his goal going back to 2004.

    Also, Tywman, Irey, and Dale Shiffler, were part of a three-person slate (or three-man tag team if you will), all running for school board in 2004, with the common goal of unification (read here). Shiffler didn't get elected. Being on the same slate, I'm sure Irey also shared Twyman's goal for moving to a traditional year.

    Moreover, how does unification relate to traditional year? As it turns out, when the Board voted last month to adopt the traditional year, they also voted to adopt the same schedule as Paloma Valley High. I think the effort to implement a traditional year is a by-product of unification, or something that makes unification more justifiable.

    The decision to adopt a traditional school year was made a long time ago, and not something based on the survey. A lot of work was done, and money spent, in the past year, or maybe two, just to bring us to the trustees' vote last month. Would the trustees have voted against the traditional year, after all that? I don't think so.

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  32. I think they voted to approve the official calendar for 09/10 at the last board meeting...anyone know where to find a glimpse of that approved calendar?

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  33. The modified-traditional calendar that was voted on is the same as the 09-10 calendar for Paloma Valley HS. You can see that on their website. I haven't been able to find it on the Menifee website yet. It begins in mid-August, 1 week off for Thanksgiving, 3 weeks off for Christmas, a week for spring break and school ends the 2nd week of June (and a few other traditional holidays throughout the year).

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  34. By the way, I think Mrs. Irey has done a great job representing the community as a member of the Board. She is involved in the schools and attends many of their daytime as well as evening functions. She listens to people and responds promptly if you email her. She is a good person and a good board member, She has my vote -- solid YES!

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  35. I agree. I have been to several school functions and they usually point out attending board members and she has been to all of them that I went to. She has my vote too. And I'm looking forward to going single track.

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  36. Thanks to all who have taken time to add comments. I'd like to add a few words about the process of going to a single track. I have taught in schools with a single track and with multiple tracks. Many things concerned me about the multiple track. One of the main concerns was with students who transfered into a multiple track district. Often they did not come September. When the schools were full, they were placed on Track D which was off until October. Those students missed three or four months of school that year. I will never forget one student who missed an entire year because no one seemed to catch on that he wasn't just off track. My list could go on and on.
    Let me assure you that the board did seriously consider the results of the survey. We could not send out the survey until we had plans for enough schools to house the students if that was the choice of the community. If the survey had shown that the interest was not there, we would not have voted for a single track.
    Thanks to those who are voting for me. I try to do my best.
    Phoeba Irey

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  37. Phoebe,

    Is the new middle school that is currently being built, being funded with Measure B funds?

    I thought the bids for this went out before Measure B passed.

    Thanks.

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  38. Yes, the middle school is being funded partially by Measure B. The school was already planned as we needed it badly. If Measure B hadn't passed, we would have had to scrape the barrel for funding. We really weren't sure where or how we were going to do it. Thankfully Measure B passed. We have sold some of the bonds, but voted to wait on others until nearer time to start building the new elementary schools. We didn't want the tax payers to be funding the new schools before we need them. It is so good to know we will be able to build when they are needed. Phoeba Irey

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  39. Phoebe, you seem to be a rational no-nonsense board member. You have my vote...Old School Rules! Keep up the good work.

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  40. Most of you who didn't want single track will probably be thankful when your oldest enters HS and all your kids are still on the same schedule...

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  41. Most of you who didn't want single track will probably be thankful when your oldest enters HS and all your kids are still on the same schedule...

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  42. Single track: Only one calendar per year.

    Multitrack: Four overlapping calendars.

    Traditional: Start Labor Day end Memorial Day, two weeks at christmas and one in spring, longest possible summer.

    3 on 1 off: 3 months in school one month off track

    Modified Traditional: An attempt to move toward the advantages of 3 on 1 off while still keeping in line with the high school athletics program.

    Clarification: People that say they like multi track actually mean they like 3 on 1 off not 4 overlapping calendars.

    Hope this helps .... Keep up the good work PHoeba

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  43. I am all for single track and against "multi" track, but would not mind the 3 on 1 off schedule if everyone was on that same schedule at the same time. Modified traditional is a fair compromise. There are still the breaks here and there, just not a whole month at a time. I really like that.

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  44. Being off in early June is nice, cooler weather and less crowds for vacation places.

    I would like 2 weeks in spring.

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  45. Single track is what I grew up in and it allowed our family to have more unity. I am for single track all the way!

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