- Winders is who we need (Sonoma Index-Tribune October 25. 2022 Letters to the Editor)
"I support Celeste Winders for Area 2 representative on the SVUSD board. She has parented four children in Sonoma Valley schools. She understands the difficulties Valley families face in accessing appropriate education for their children. Three of her children have disabilities that require accommodation and services. Celeste works with other parents to advocate for their children. She knows that federal and California state law mandate equal educational opportunities for all children. Celeste has the lived experience of low-income parents struggling to make ends meet."
- Winders for School Board (Sonoma Index-Tribune October 20, 2022 Letters to the Editor)
"It's not easy to be the one who will speak out and rock the boat. But it is how you truly serve children, who should matter most of all in this election. I'm voting for Celeste Winders for SVUSD Board Area 2 Trustee and I invite you to join me."
- Vote for Celeste (Sonoma Index-Tribune October 6, 2022 Letters to the Editor)
"She represents an excellent opportunity to give a voice to the 65% Hispanic student population of SVUSD and their parents. Celeste is "one of their own" for the students and parents of Area Two. She represents the exact kind of collaboration and cooperation that’s needed at SVUSD."
- Celeste Winders looks to tackle Sonoma school board challenges ‘head on’ (Sonoma Index-Tribune, September 26, 2022)
“There was simply no better time than now, when the work is most needed,” she said. “Public education on a national level is going through a massive shift and change, and the needs for students are exponential. At a local level, we have some really specific needs and issues that must be addressed. I tend to be someone who will walk right into something when it is at its most challenging and take the challenge head-on.”
- Springs MAC: Is the Springs being left behind? (Sonoma Index-Tribune, August 15, 2022)
“These are households who are quite frankly, at this point, being left in crisis and cannot afford to be in crisis,” new Springs MAC member Celeste Winders said on the issue of delayed applications for rental assistance. “I'd like to know specifically what steps are being taken to resolve this situation for these households that are under review.”
- Hey Neighbor with host Ken Brown, 13 minute mark (KSVY 91.3FM, August 3, 2022)
"In the United States, our public schools are the one place that every single person has the right to access and to get meaningful benefit from."
- New members join Valley’s advisory group (Sonoma Index-Tribune, August 1, 2022)
"Winders was appointed to the at-large position on the Springs MAC, while she also campaigns to become a member of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District’s Board of Trustees. She is a special education advocate in Sonoma Valley and co-founded the Strategic Education Advocacy."
- Celeste Winders joins Sonoma Valley Unified School District race (Sonoma Index-Tribune, July 20, 2022)
"Winders grew up in Sonoma Valley and attended local schools. Two of her four children attended district schools and two are currently enrolled in them. She has served for several years on the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan Committee and Equity and Inclusion Taskforce. She was also a co-founder of the district’s Special Education Advisory Council."
- School board distracted from needs of Special Ed students, parents say (Sonoma Valley Sun, February 26, 2022)
“Our (special ed identified) children are a protected class,” said Celeste Winders, a co-founder of SEAC. “When they are unable to actually learn and make progress, it is a fundamental violation of their civil rights.”
- Commentary: Sonoma Valley Unified School District’s special education and the bare minimum (Sonoma Index-Tribune, February 10, 2022)
As Brené Brown wrote, “Daring leaders who live into their values are never silent about hard things.”
- Sonoma Valley Unified School District discusses gender equity in dress codes (Sonoma Index-Tribune, December 16, 2021) "Winders said these types of dress codes put the onus on the female-identifying students to change something about themselves in order to 'not be distracting…This is an old-school way of thinking,' she said."
- After complaint, school district reworks free lunch program (Sonoma Index-Tribune, September 21, 2021)
When students were sent home during the pandemic, the district hosted weekly campus pick-ups and delivered meals to families in need. But when the school year began in August, it did not have plans to get meals to the 60 or so students who signed up for independent study, plus another handful on COVID quarantine. “In the meantime, children have gone without access to meals for four weeks,” said Celeste Winders, a Sonoma parent and student activist. “For kids who can’t attend in-person learning, they’ve been treated as a constant afterthought.”
- Sonoma Valley Unified’s special education department lacks cohesive curriculum, report says (Sonoma Index-Tribune, April 11, 2019)
Winders said that “for years” parents of special needs students have addressed the district saying, “Houston, we have a problem. There is no curriculum. Our children are failing. They are struggling. They are gasping for air in the classrooms,”
- Sonoma Valley school board open to ‘special education council’ (Sonoma Index-Tribune, August 16, 2018)
“As a district we have been managing a financial crisis and we want to make sure the money is spent on students, not to defend compliance cases,” Winders said. Such councils across the country have created an atmosphere of respect and promoted educational opportunities for children with disabilities, she said.
- Under the Sun: Celeste Winders, advocate for special needs kids (Sonoma Valley Sun, April 10, 2017)
"We have the benefit of everybody knowing each other, and we can communicate easily as a community. But we play respectability politics, by which I mean we’re worried about what the person in yoga thinks of us, or what the person at the school fundraiser might think if we speak our truth. If we just step back and say, “This is a problem,” we can get things done. To me it’s about fixing something that’s not working, making it fair and accessible."
- Sonoma Schools board OKs ‘safe schools' policy (Sonoma Index-Tribune, March 2, 2017)
Celeste Winders, a parent and activist, told the district it especially needs to pay attention to students who are “at risk.” “Think about your decision on suspensions or expulsions,” she said. “Don’t send them on their way. Give these kids a chance.”
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