Good evening, My name is April Ojendyk and I work in the preschool at JES. Thank you so much for letting me speak today. I started TVUSD right out of grad school. I want to talk to you about what my education journey looked like and what I’ve accomplished. I went back to college later than many of my colleagues as I had to pay for my education on my own. While attending undergrad classes, I worked full time in an office and took my “lunch break” to take the required courses. This meant that many days during the week I was at my job for more than 10 hours. I excelled in my courses and graduated with much encouragement by several professor’s to apply to the Master’s program at SDSU despite it being very difficult to get accepted. It would have been extraordinary to have attended the campus based program but it simply wasn’t an option for me. I could not afford to quit my full-time job. So, I applied to ONE program that allowed me to earn my Master’s online. It wasn’t until after I was accepted that I found out that the program was highly sought after and I had had much competition. But, it seems as though my letter expressing my commitment to higher education and sacrifices I have made, compelled them to take a chance on me. I completed my Master’s with straight A’s and my first child was born in my last semester.
As you may have gleaned, I have worked hard and I have not made excuses as to why I cannot achieve things. I’m asking you to consider placing me and my family in a better position. I’m not asking for something because I feel entitled to it. I’m asking you for a chance to own a home so my kid’s can have their own room, pay for my son’s expensive therapy, recover from my recent home robbery, and pay my school loans. When I was hired by TVUSD, I made a commitment to stay and make it work for my kids so that they could go to the same school for their educational career. I grew up moving schools every couple of years and I was continually readjusting, making friends, and then leaving them behind. I want my kids to grow up with childhood friends and feel a sense of stability. Currently, I struggle financially to make ends meet and thus making me question my commitment. I’m asking for this consideration because I have worked for it and I work for it every single day. Just today I attended an all day training to better help students on my caseload while needing to rely on BASES from am and pm care for my daughter and sending my son to preschool an hour and a half early. Bedtime is going to be AMAZING! J You have heard a number of SLPs speak at the past few board meetings. We would like to thank both the board and the administration for hearing us and for your positive feedback and support. We look forward to solving this problem together when this issue gets brought to the table.