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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Board Member —Pleasanton Unified School DistrictNovember 8, 2016 —California General Election

School
November 8, 2016 —California General Election

Pleasanton Unified School DistrictBoard Member

Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (64/64).

About this office

Members establish educational goals and standards, approve curricula and the district’s budget, approve various purchases and renovations, and appoint the superintendent of schools.
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Who’s Running?

You can vote for 3 candidates of 4 total candidates.
Candidates are sorted in order of election results.
Please scroll down to see all candidates.
Businessman/Teacher/Principal
24,468 votes (38.63%)Winning
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  • Advocate for fiscal responsibility and transparency
  • Stop the revolving door of administrators and staff
  • Support decisions that benefit all students
Profession:Teacher. School Principal. Businessman
Teacher. Administrator, Pleasanton USD (1971–2016)
Teacher. Administrator, Pleasanton USD (1971–2016)
California State University Hayward B.A. Social Science. Emphasis. Asian Politics, M.S. School Administration, Asian Politics (1976)
Varsity Basketall Coach , Foothill High School (1999–2005)
  • Eric Swalwell, U.S. Representative, California’s 15th Congressional District
  • Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce
  • Jerry Thorne, Mayor, City of Pleasanton
  • Eric Swalwell, U.S. Representative, California’s 15th Congressional District
  • Joan Laursen, School Board Trustee, Pleasanton Unified School District
  • Chris Grant, School Board Trustee, Pleasanton Unified School District
  • Danielle Cohen, School Board President, Campbell Union School District
  • Jerry Pentin, Councilmember, City of Pleasanton
  • Arne Olson, Councilmember, City of Pleasanton
  • Kathy Narum, Vice Mayor, City of Pleasanton
  • Jerry Thorne, Mayor, City of Pleasanton
  • Steve Glazer, State Senator, California’s 7th State Senate District
  • Margie Matthews, Former Councilmember, City of San Jose
  • Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Former Councilmember, City of Pleasanton
  • William Macedo, Board Trustee, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District
  • Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce
  • Pleasanton Police Officers Association
  • Tri-Valley Democratic Club
  • Alameda County Democratic Party
  • Jennifer Minnite Tracy Mitch Patricia Mitchell Carol Moberg Todd Moberg Tracey Montoya Mike Moran Rina Moran Melinda Moy
  • Beth Gallagher Mike Galletti Shay Galletti Michelle Gao Audrey Gillette Bryan Gillette John Goard Ed Golden Lara Golden
  • Terry Abbey Charles Abney Kelly Abney Joseph Aguirre Meghan Anderson Sharon Anderson Cherie Andrade Adriana Araujo Angel
  • Bill James, Ph.D., Retired Superintendent, Pleasanton Unified School District
  • Tom Himmelberg, Retired Superintendent, San Leandro Unified School District
  • Doug Gephart, Retired Superintendent, Fremont Unified School District
  • William Berck, Retired Superintendent, Pleasanton & Alameda County
  • Sylvia Xia Tian, Economic Vitality Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Olivia Sanwong, Economic Vitality Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Brock Roby, Human Services Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Herb Ritter, Planning Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Joan Nibert, Library Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Doug Miller, Former Veterans Affairs Commissioner, Alameda County
  • Christina Nystrom Mantha, Economic Vitality Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Debbie Look, Former Library Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Andy Li, Human Services Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • David Lambert, Parks and Recreation Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Brad Hirst, Civic Center/Library Master Plan Task Force, City of Pleasanton
  • Susan Hayes, Human Services Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Harinder Grewal, Library Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Kelly French, Civic Center/Library Master Plan Task Force, City of Pleasanton
  • Bryan Bowers, Parks and Recreation Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
  • Jack Balch, Planning Commissioner, City of Pleasanton
1.
School Spending

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?

Answer from Stephen Maher:

The recent law states major changes as to how schools will now receive funding.  LCFF or Local Control Funding Formula requires that districts must have an accountability plan that involves community and staff. Currently the committee meets monthly and presents to the board updates for questions and approval. It would be my goal and  plan to visit and discuss with all PTA's, School Site Councils, Staffs, and School Communities, along with civic and business stakeholders what the LCFF represents and how the district conducts business.  In addition, I would  like to see a quarterly newsletter go out to the community updating our community on recent district and board decisions regarding LCFF.

While recent CAASPP  results indicate our students over-all are achieving, we still have room to grow in our underserved  population of students. A greater effort must be implemented to ensure all of our students are accessing the curriculum.  Pleasanton must look at similar districts to really get a true picture of our performance.  If we are to continue as one of the top districts, we must show continual growth for all students.    

Candidate Statement/Platform

Summary

This statement covers my priorities and the key issues I plan to tackle as a member of the Pleasanton school board.

Pleasanton schools are outstanding, but we have lost our way in many respects.

We must stop the revolving door of principals, staff and District office personnel. We must make a concerted effort to help our underserved students be more successful. All voices must be heard and respected. The School Board must be fiscally responsible and transparent about all decisions.

We must encourage staff development to prepare our teachers for 21st-century learning. Our infrastructure must be upgraded to accommodate cutting-edge modes of teaching. I will seek creative funding to improve technology.

I have 40-plus years of experience as a teacher and principal, all in the Pleasanton School District. I am eager to transfer my skills to the school board to improve our District.

I would bring a unique view to the School Board from having served at most Pleasanton schools. I have a solid reputation of successfully collaborating with all stakeholders to advance student performance and find equitable solutions that best serve all students.

Trust must be restored among all community members and the District. Everyone must be treated with civility and respect.

Many voters have expressed their frustration that School Board members do not listen to them or are not receptive to a healthy discussion of issues. I would welcome and consider ideas to improve our schools and help me make fully informed decisions.

I pledge to be transparent and continue my long history of actively communicating and collaborating with all stakeholders through outreach, public forums and school-site visits.

I have multiple endorsements from top agencies and leaders in our community, including the Chamber of Commerce, mayor, city council members, educators and many more.

I am the best prepared and qualified candidate to be your next School Board trustee. I would be honored to have your vote.

Email votemaher4schoolboard@gmail.com
Incumbent
14,736 votes (23.26%)Winning
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  • Student Achievement - maintaining and enhancing our high quality education and programs
  • Fiscal Responsibility / Transparency - Being accountable with public funds and transparent in all decisions.
  • Facilities and Technology - Providing 21st century facilities and technology for students
Profession:Incumbent / Trustee
Board of Trustees, Pleasanton Unified School District — Elected position (2008–current)
California Lutheran University Master of Business Administration, MBA - Organizational Psychology option (1991)
California State University, Northridge Bachelor of Science , Health Science (Health Administration option) (1985)
Board member, Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council (2015–current)

Having been a Trustee on the Pleasanton Unified School District School Board for 8 years, I am running for re-election in order to continue my service for another term.  It has been an honor and privilege to serve and I want to continue advocating for the students in my community.  I served as Board President for 2 terms and I have been on the Special Education Board for 3 years.  I was elected by my peers in the Bay Area to serve as a Delegate to the California School Boards Association and have been serving in that capacity for 4 years.   I am a former Pleasanton Library Commissioner and I previously served on the Board of the Tri-Valley YMCA.  I have also continously served as a school volunteer for 20 years.  A 23 year resident of Pleasanton, I have been married for 30 years and have 3 children ages 24, 21, and 16 (all former or current PUSD students).  I have a B.S. degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.). 

  • Tom Pico, Former Mayor of Pleasanton
  • Frank Brandes, Former Mayor of Pleasanton
  • Cindy McGovern, Former Pleasanton City Council
  • Eric Swalwell, Member of Congress, 15th Congressional District
  • Amy Miller, Dublin School Board
  • Mark Miller, Pleasanton School Board
  • Karla Brown, Pleasanton City Council
  • Kathy Narum, Pleasanton City Council
  • Nate Miley, Alameda County Supervisor, District 4
  • Alameda County Democratic Party
  • Tri-Valley Democratic Party
  • Sharrell Michelotti, Former Pleasanton City Council
  • Brock Roby, Pleasanton Human Services Commission
  • Jay Galvin, Pleasanton Housing Commission
  • Christine Steiner, Former Pleasanton Housing Commission
  • Kelly Cousins, Pleasanton Library Commission
  • Joan Nibert, Pleasanton Library Commission
  • Dave Wright, President, Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council
  • Nancy Allen, Pleasanton Planning Commission
  • Greg O'Connor, Pleasanton Planning Commission
  • Doug Miller, Alameda County Veterans Affairs Commission
1.
School Spending

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?

Answer from Valerie Arkin:

The LCFF funding formula requires a Local Control Accountability Plan that involves staff and community.  This community panel meets monthly and presents the LCAP to the Board for approval.  Our district presents the LCAP at a public meeting and it is fully described in detail.  PTA's have presented information on this subject at their sites and our meetings with PTA Presidents and Admin have made presentations on this subject.  

Student Achievement and learning is a priority of mine.  I want to coninute our vision of excellence and high performance by advocating for programs and services that help our students reach their maximum potential.  I believe that ALL children can learn if given the resources needed to succeed.  Having opportunities and options available will help them success academically, socially, and emotionally.  Fiscal responsibility is another priority.  Being accountable to the public and transparent in decisions is important and I will continue my oversight in this area by governing with discipline and discretion.  Facilities and technology are important in order to provide 21st century learning to students.  Effective communication is yet another priority.  I work collaboratively with teachers, staff, parents, and students and I listen to all stakeholders in order to make the best decisions for kids.  I invest the time necessary to be an effective Board member and I am thorough, detail-oriented, and fair.  I am passionate about youth and education and I will continue to work to ensure that all of our students graduate with the skills they need to succeed in a global economy and prepared to be socially responsible adults.  My website is www.valeriearkinforschoolboard.com

Incumbent
12,071 votes (19.06%)Winning
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  • Student Achievement - I believe strongly in this excerpt from the PUSD strategic plan, "With guidance and support all students can reach their greatest potential;by providing learning that is innovative, irresistible,creative, relevant &rigorous.
  • Fiscal Accountability - Ensure transparency, oversight and responsible spending.
  • Administrative Leadership - Teachers are critical staff but they need excellent leadership. I support quality professional development and leaders who can create and manage high-functioning teams.
Profession:Incumbent
Retired Superintendent Assistant
11,927 votes (18.83%)
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  • Budget; we face many challenges in having sufficient funding and their proper use in order to nurture the ambitions of our youth now and into the future
  • Stronger collaboration with City of Pleasanton to address overcrowding in schools and to identify projects (like the gymnasiums) where tax dollars can be put to better use for students and the entire community
  • Broader communication with our entire community; strong schools are important to nurturing our youth and needs must be communicated to all of us
Profession:Retired, 19 years' experience in K-12 in Pleasanton and Palo Alto

I served as a board member from 1990-1993, which was followed by a brief move to Texas before returning to Pleasanton in 1997.  I was hired by Dr. Bill James as his executive assistant and went on to serve several more superintendents and approximately two dozen board members over a period of 16 years.  During my employment, my job required that I read every report to the board and take the minutes of every meeting where I listened and learned extensively about the governance team, varied opinions, trends in education, and how best to work among a diverse number of priorities and opinions.  I look forward to an opportunity to work directly with four other board members and our new superintendent and senior staff members.

  • The Independent newspaper, Livermore
1.
School Spending

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?

Answer from Kathleen Ruegsegger:

As an institution of education, it is imperative we communicate broadly and openly with the community beyond the board room setting.  If we hope to ensure academic rigor, to provide an advanced and flexible learning environment, and to nurture the current and future ambitions of Pleasanton’s children, it will take support from our parents, grandparents, empty-nesters, businesses, and city officials. It is up to our governance team of board members and staff to welcome and encourage participation by all. 

We currently use local press releases and school newsletters, but we can add, where appropriate, discussion panels, committees inclusive of all sections of the community (not just active parents), and the return of a half-yearly or quarterly newsletter from the district.  With an inclusive communication plan, we can celebrate the advances of our students and teachers and then work together to tackle the places where we fall short.

Measuring outcomes has had some challenges with the switch to common core.  We now have two years of CAASPP testing data and can once again look at trends, by grade level tested, to determine where program or instruction may need improvement and to see where some student populations are lagging behind their peers.  We can often find strengths within one of our own particular schools or with group of teachers that can be shared through cross training opportunities.  We can also use the data for comparison to similar socio-economic districts and to seek best practices that may be helpful to our classroom instruction.

   

News

Four Vie for 3 Pleasanton School Board Seats — September 22, 2016 The Independent

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