School Boards in Action: 5 Questions with Beverly Berryman, Fullerton SD

Beverly Berryman, board president, Fullerton School District

What does your district have planned for the 2022–23 school year to foster learning recovery and educational advancements?

Fullerton School District (FSD) began efforts to foster learning recovery prior to the ”return to normal” and is committed to continuing these efforts into the 2022–23 school year. A highlight of some programs that we have found to be effective in achieving this are the Rising Stars program, which matches at-promise students with staff and community members to be a caring adult and cheerleader to encourage them on the right path. We have documented an increase in test scores among these children. Additional programs that will help to foster learning recovery and educational advancements include Encore, an expanded learning opportunities program; social-emotional learning; diversity, equity, and inclusion; Response to Intervention (both English language arts and math); and STAGE, a free, after-school theater arts program that culminates with a full-scale musical production.

Please describe the current morale in your district. What is the board doing to improve or maintain it?

The current morale in Fullerton School District is excitement for the return to school closer to a pre-pandemic environment and continuing to build on initiatives introduced during the pandemic. To maintain the current morale, the FSD board of trustees is continuing with the focus on social-emotional support for staff, including mindfulness and self-care opportunities; expansion of diversity, equity, and inclusion among staff; live FSD TV segment and social media highlighting staff; and the incorporation of leadership academies and principal peer mentors.

What are some ways the district is sharing positive news and/or support with families and the community?

FSD is working diligently to share positive news and supports with families and the community. The district has increased information sharing via social media, direct communication to parents, and a new and improved website. FSD also has a new video segment, “Friday Finale,” which shares the latest information with the community as well as highlights staff and programs in the district. FSD hosts annual block parties at centrally located school sites as an opportunity for the community to gather, learn about programs and services offered by the school district and the community, and provide input to the Local Control and Accountability Plan. Additionally, FSD is continuing to highlight students who are going above and beyond to achieve their dreams in a series called Dream Catchers. This recognition program for students includes print and a short video aired before each movie showing at local theaters.

What is one thing you’d most like to accomplish during your time as a trustee and why?

During my tenure as a trustee for Fullerton School District, I would like to be able to look back on my time and say that I played a role in leading our district to empower students and staff with the tools and resources to accomplish anything that they dream to do in life. This would mean that the board of trustees was able to provide a safe environment for each student to learn and grow and establish a love for learning. It would also mean that each student felt heard and was able to identify their own passions and develop the confidence to follow these passions. I would hope that my time as a trustee helped FSD accomplish great things for kids.

What fictional character do you most relate to and why?

I have enjoyed watching the Apple TV show “Ted Lasso.” I found that this series not only made me laugh but made me think about human nature. Each episode was filled with life lessons and reminders of how people should treat one another. Each episode also contained ideas that could be incorporated into mini-leadership development topics. Most of all, this show just made me happy!