The latest installment of our series of interviews with school director candidates across Pennsylvania brings us to the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District.
Yan Liu is running for school director in Region 1 of the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District, located in Chester County. He is a registered Republican and works as a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry.
Why are you running for the school board?
“Since arriving in the United States in my twenties as a new American, I’ve spent two enriching decades absorbing the educational and cultural nuances of this great nation. This unique journey, coupled with my professional experiences in several Fortune 500 companies, has instilled in me a profound appreciation for the power and potential of education.
“My perspective, shaped by the melding of two distinct phases of life — first as an eager student and then as a dedicated professional and parent — highlights the importance of a diverse and holistic educational approach. Today, having seen our education system through the lens of both an immigrant and a long-term resident, I am deeply committed to leveraging my experiences and insights for the betterment of our local school board. It’s my mission to ensure that our students don’t just succeed academically, but thrive as well-rounded individuals, ready for the world’s challenges.”
What are the most important issues facing the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District?
“The first is educational quality. Nearly twenty percent of students in one of our middle schools are not meeting proficiency standards in science. As both a parent and a scientist in a community abundant with resources, I find this deeply concerning. What amplifies my concern is that this figure marks a 46 percent rise in just the three years under the governance of the current school board.
“The second is budgetary concerns. Despite consistent budget increases over the past eighteen years, there’s been a discernible decline in outcomes, as evidenced by our students’ performance on standardized tests published by the state. The third is the lack of diversity. The school board lacks diversity in thought, with all nine directors aligned with the same political party despite varied political inclinations among Tredyffrin/Easttown voters.”
What is your professional background/experience? What skills would you bring to the board?
“I’ve been fortunate enough to spend nearly two decades in human healthcare, navigating areas like medicine, pharmaceutical research and development, and stem cell research. My genuine interest has led me to some insightful discoveries in the field. I’m also honored to have received a few scientific research investigator awards.
“My strong belief in a diverse and holistic educational approach is resonant with the critical role of curriculum adoption in school board duties. I feel I can contribute significantly to molding a curriculum that’s global and inclusive. My professional background reinforces the board’s strategic planning, combining tradition with adaptability. In sum, I can offer a blend of cultural insights and professional experience, aiming to champion not just academic excellence but also the holistic development of our students, readying them for the world’s diverse challenges.”
Have you run for political office previously? Have you been politically active?
“I have not previously run for political office; this is my very first campaign. However, I’ve been deeply engaged with local politics. I’ve attended numerous community events and activities and have actively participated in discussions concerning pivotal school board matters and other education-related issues.”
Are you running with other candidates?
“Yes, I am running this campaign with four other like-minded candidates: Regina Mauro (region 1), Deana Wang and Bogdan Rosca (region 2), and Christina Laczko (region 3). Please visit our website for more information about us.”
What is the most important role of the school board, in your opinion?
“Among the multifaceted responsibilities of the school district board, three roles particularly stand out due to their immediate relevance and importance in our school district.
“First and foremost, curriculum adoption is pivotal. As our students are the vanguards of our community’s future, it is paramount that the curriculum aligns with both district goals and state standards to prepare them for forthcoming challenges.
“Equally significant is strategic planning. Given the evolving diversity of our community and the relentless transformations of society, a forward-thinking strategy is essential. Such a strategy must honor our long-standing values while adapting to the changing needs of our populace.
“Finally, a transparent assessment of district performance is indispensable. This not only gauges the efficacy of educational policies but also encourages open dialogue with residents. A collaborative approach, where the community and board address issues hand-in-hand, can effectively pave the way for solutions and progress.”
We contacted the Democratic and Republican committees in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Montgomery counties and asked them to share the questions with their school director candidates. Broad + Liberty will post the responses throughout the summer to assist voters in learning about the candidates running in their district. The series is open to any school director on the ballot in November. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty