My name is Jeremy Jeffreys, I am a military veteran with 18 years of service, small business owner, parent, community volunteer, a teacher in Fairfield with a master’s degree in education, and most recently an elected school board member for the Vacaville Unified School Districts Governing Board. I grew up in Vacaville and attended Vacaville Schools. I see public service as a way to give back to our community. I am a volunteer with both the City of Vacaville’s Community Emergency Response Team (VCERT) and the Sheriff’s Department (Sheriffs POSSE) and I am formerly on the Board of Directors for the Vacaville Public Education Foundation (VPEF).
A product of Vacaville, I grew up, went to school, worked and served in this city. 21 years ago I graduated from Vacaville High School. I have been an active part of this community, and now I am a homeowner proudly raising a family here. My wonderful wife Debbie, who is a math teacher at Dixon High School, and I have two incredible daughters: Ashlie, 17 years old, is a senior in high school, and Emma, five years old, is a kindergartner this year. Parenting is challenging, but it is also one of the most rewarding endeavors a person can embark upon. Parenting has taught me much about patience and role modeling, which has contributed to enriching my role as an educator.
The idea that citizenship carries great responsibility has driven me all of my adult life. My father and grandfather both served in the United States Army, and from an early age, I was instilled with a sense of duty to my community and to my country. While a sophomore in high school, I began volunteering with the Vacaville Police Department and continued to do so for the next six years. Early in my senior year of high school, I decided that military service was my next step in life. In 1992, I enlisted in the California Army National Guard and, shortly after high school graduation, attended Army basic training and the Army Military Police Academy. Not only did the military give me the opportunity to travel the country and the world, but, as a non-commissioned officer, it also afforded the opportunity to develop as a leader and a teacher.
Currently, I serve as an Army Staff-Sergeant and a military Public Affairs journalist. Within the military I have had enjoyed dual career fields. As a Public Affairs Officer I work as a print journalist, photographer, videographer and press liaison. My work has appeared in State print publications, used online via the States social media websites and has been made available to the civilian media via DVIDS (Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System). As an Army Military Police Officer and an Air Force Reserve SF NCO I have had the opportunity to serve our community and our country through deployments on both State emergencies throughout the state and Federal deployments across the globe. As a non-commissioned officer I am a leader responsible for the welfare and morale of my subordinates. In the Army, I quickly learned how leadership roles are both challenging and extremely rewarding. As my military career draws to an end and I face the final few months of military service, I can look back and say that service has certainly been life-changing and character-shaping. I have always considered military service an honor bestowed upon those who are willing to put their needs behind the needs of their fellow Americans. I would not be the man I am today without having had the privilege to serve our country, without having had the privilege of lacing up those boots and facing uncertainty with some of the finest soldiers and airmen to put on the uniform.
Similarly, my teaching career has broadened my perspective and shaped my character. About thirteen years ago, I was hired as a teacher at Will C. Wood High School, where my daughter now attends. The following year, I began working for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District teaching video production, digital photography and TV broadcasting at Green Valley Middle School in Fairfield. I also teach several sections per year of video production and digital video editing at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School and have done so for eight years now. In my video production and broadcasting classes, I teach all aspects of filmmaking, from story development, scriptwriting, and storyboarding to filming and editing. Additionally, I oversee and run our school’s live morning daily news broadcast from within a full studio and control room facility adjacent to my classroom. Previously, while teaching video production and broadcasting courses at Rodriguez High School, I played a vital role in the planning, development and design of the school’s news broadcasting and filmmaking studio. At Green Valley Middle School, I also teach digital photography and computer courses, incorporating multimedia, graphic design, and desktop publishing into the curriculum. I currently hold California teaching credentials in History (social science), Government and Economics, and Industrial Technology. After completing my credential program, I went back to school and completed a secondary course of study to attain a specialized certification to teach English language learners. Teaching has been extremely rewarding; as a teacher, I have the opportunity to help shape minds and serve my community in a positive way. My varied background has given me a unique perspective, and I feel it has also helped me develop as an exceptional educator. Over the last thirteen years, I have had the opportunity to teach over two thousand students, many of whom I believe I have inspired to pursue careers in the military.
In 2008, I decided to focus on another of my personal goals: continuing my education. Two years later, I received a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in technology. This master’s degree prepared me to harness the newest educational technologies, assuring that my students receive the most cutting-edge, effective instruction possible. Also in 2008, I became a published author, writing a book about infusing student-centered multimedia and video into the core academic classroom.
As a result of my experience and interest in the field, six years ago, I started my own video production company called Video Pro Productions. Over the last six years, I have had the opportunity to work with many clients, such as local and state agencies, The Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, non-profit organizations, and others. Working both as a videographer and photographer, I have produced documentaries, local commercials for local businesses, web-based video, and filmed live events including; weddings, athletic events, graduation ceremonies and more. This wide variety of experience in the field has directly benefitted both me and my students. I have learned what it takes to complete creative, engaging pieces that capture the audience’s attention, all with an efficient timely workflow that meets the client’s needs.
In an effort to further serve my community, I am on the board of directors for the Vacaville Public Education Foundation. VPEF is a local non-profit organization whose aim is to raise funds to supplement and enrich the educational opportunities of students within the Vacaville Unified School District. Over the last 11 years VPEF has raised over 2.6 million dollars to support music, athletics, science, art programs, field trips and much more.
I am considering a school board run because I have a passion for public education, because I feel that my background, my education and my experience would help me make good decisions that would benefit our students, our teachers and our community. As a governing board member my most significant, driving goal would be to get more, stakeholder input before making decisions. I believe the school board could do a better job of soliciting input from community members in an effort to determine what they would like to see change with public education. If the VFW is looking for a candidate who will research, will reach out to the local community, will collaborate with others and with use sound judgment and experience to make decisions, then I am the candidate the VFW is looking for.
I come from a whole family of business owners. One of my personal goals as an elected VUSD School Board member is to help guide the district with incorporating more career and technological education programs at all levels and continue the partnerships built with private industry and Solano community college. I have seen firsthand the benefits of developing career and technology skills in students as they graduate and transition into the 21st century workforce, and at the same time I have seen a decline in programs that develop those skilled workers who are prepared to enter the workforce. I would like to see a significant expansion in trades programs (CTE/Vocational Education), because as we know by looking at statistics, 70% of our students will not go on to a four-year university after high school. It is my belief that public education must refocus on creating life-long learners and productive citizens while preparing our students for life beyond high school.