Marilyn Forst, 12-year incumbent on the Hemet Unified School District board, taught for 37 years in the district and believes that students must come first. Forst is the current board vice president and believes as one of three educators serving on the board, she will continue to focus on what she sees as the district’s core mission: improving the quality of education for district students and maintaining the highest level of teaching professionals within the district.
“I believe the community that continues to re-elect me knows me as a teacher and supports me for that reason,” she said. “They know I will be there every day to represent the interests of the students.”
Forst believes that the district needs to improve the ways it understands individual students and helps them forge paths that work for them. “I think we must have the right kind of teachers and counselors and be able to differentiate between which students would benefit from college and which from trade schools.”
She said current required state testing is not benefiting the students. “It’s bad for the kids, it’s for the numbers and not about the students.” She believes the district’s charter schools are working. “They don’t have to do all the things other schools do, they have smaller enrollments and they are geared to particular core interests of students.”
Forst sees herself as a hometown kind of person who remains close to her roots. From Whittier, she went to Whittier elementary, high school, junior college and Whittier College where she received her bachelor’s degree. Then when she and her husband move to Hemet in 1963, she taught for 34 years at the same school, Hemet Elementary.
She supports ballot Measure U and has not yet decided which of the two education propositions (30 or 38) to support. But the penalty, she noted, comes if Prop. 30 does not pass since it forces mandatory cuts in education programs.
She said she is proud of her years on the board and said she has worked for her entire life to put the education and development of kids first.
She and her husband have three children, all graduates of Hemet High School. They also have eight grandchildren, four of whom are currently enrolled in Hemet district schools.