As part of a new “I am BCE” series, BCE managing editors Kathleen Larkin and Sophia Chiang will be profiling members of the BCE community and learning first-hand what makes Burlingame schools so special.
Our first profile is of Delyn Simons, Washington Elementary’s BCE Site Director. Delyn has two children in Burlingame schools.
So why Burlingame?
As 15-year residents of San Francisco, we were pretty committed urban parents. Sending our children to public school was something that was important to both my husband and me. We moved to Burlingame on Memorial Day Weekend 2010 — nine weeks after we went 0/7 in the San Francisco Unified School District first round lottery on March 16, 2010. We wanted to relocate to somewhere with great public schools close to San Francisco where we both worked, but also adjacent to the Valley since we both work in tech. Lastly, we wanted a walkable neighborhood with walking access to downtown shopping district like we enjoyed in The City, and to see some sun after being shrouded in fog for 15 years.
Why did you become involved with BCE?
My mom is a 30-year veteran of California public schools as a credentialed teacher and librarian, (before and after Prop 13 — she is a killer grant writer as a result!!) Plus, both of my parents attended California public schools throughout their childhoods in the 50s and early 60s. Add on that my father is an Air Force veteran, and suffice it to say that civic duty, honorably serving your country and society, and giving a fair deal to families wanting the best for their children were frequent topics of dinner conversation at my childhood dinner table. Volunteering for BCE is a natural extension of the values I was raised with as a 2nd generation California public school student.
What makes Washington special?
The Washington neighborhood is the Noe Valley of Burlingame. Families walking strollers and pets to the coffee shop, Farmers Market or Off The Grid, sunny flat streets, kids riding bikes to the park, plus lots of ex-city types and techies. My husband and I love it. Just a few more delicious and affordable ethnic takeout options on the Avenue, and it would be perfect. 🙂
Burlingame students have comprehensive art, PE, drama, and music classes. Are there moments when this hits home?
I posted short videos of my daughter’s 3rd grade and my son’s Kindergarten Spring choir concerts last Spring. The comments on my Facebook page from my friends who send their kids to private school in Berkeley, SF, Marin and Virginia were full of compliments not just at the cuteness of the performance (there were also those), but just as many compliments were directed at the quality of the music instructor plus live piano accompaniment for a public elementary school in California. “Those music teachers are money!”
What three words do your children use to describe you?
Joy of my heart (My daughter’s birthday card to me. It’s 4 words, but I have them posted at my desk at work when I need some perspective.)