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

School
November 8, 2016California General Election

Piedmont Unified School DistrictMember, Board of Education

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Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (6/6).

About this office

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Who’s Running?

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School Board Member
4,243 votes (27.62%)Winning
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  • Excellent Education For All Students
  • Strong Fiscal Oversight
  • Accountability to Stakeholders
Profession:Pediatrician, School Board Member
Vice-President, Piedmont Board of Education, City of Piedmont — Elected position (2012current)
Co-chair,, Measures B&E School Parcel Tax Campaign — Elected position (20082009)
University of Washington, Seattle Children's Hospital Pediatric Residency (2000)
Stanford School of Medicine MD, medicine (1996)
Harvard University Batchelor of Arts, graduated with Honors, Comparative Religion and Anthropology (1989)
Facilitator, , Piedmont Parents Network (2009current)
Board Liaison to over 25 District committees & support organizations, e.g. , Budget Advisory Committee, Healthy Relationships Committee, Math Task Force, Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee, Piedmont Ed Foundation (2012current)
President, , Piedmont Middle School Parents Club (20102011)

I have been honored to serve on the Piedmont Board of Education for the past four years, and I hope the citizens of Piedmont will support me and elect me for second term.

This is an exciting time in education, and I believe our public schools serve the children of Piedmont better now than they did five years ago. We have earned top academic rankings while focusing on the whole child and nurturing curiosity and love-of-learning in our students. Nonetheless, PUSD faces many challenges that will require thoughtful consideration and require all stakeholders to work collaboratively to ensure well-informed decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources.

My husband, Evan Seevak, and I have three children who are so grateful for the Piedmont schools. They and their classmates have benefitted from great teachers who use innovative instructional strategies, such as differentiated teaching, and make the curriculum relevant and engaging. My children have enjoyed participating in a wide range of extracurricular activities at school, such as community service, athletics, journalism and the creative arts (acting, a cappella, instrumental music, studio art and ceramics). Our eldest just graduated from Piedmont High, and it is heartwarming to look at her classmates and see that these thirteen years in the Piedmont schools truly produce thoughtful, curious, creative and caring individuals who value community and service. I am optimistic that our graduates will become engaged global citizens.

I enjoy serving on the Board, and I believe that I can provide strong leadership in the next term. I have a proven record of working well with all stakeholders. I ask tough questions, research best practices, and insist that we get follow-up whenever we approve a program change. Our children’s educational experience is directly related to the quality of teaching, and I support rigorous hiring practices and on-going attention to teacher training and evaluation. I have a K-12 perspective, and I embrace an attitude of continual improvement. I want to ensure that PUSD continues to provide an excellent education to all of our students.

I am grateful to live in a community where people work together to make Piedmont a special place, and I am honored to serve on the Board of Education. I hope to be re-elected for a second term to keep the focus of the Board on providing the best possible public education for all the children of Piedmont.

Sincerely,
Sarah

  • The Piedmonter newspaper http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2016/10/11 Editorial
  • Mary & Fritz Wooster, 39-year Piedmont residents
  • Rick Raushenbush, Current member of Piedmont School Board
  • Doug Ireland, current member of Piedmont School Board
  • Amal Smith, current member of Piedmont School Board
  • Teddy Gray King, current member of the Piedmont City Council
  • Jeff Wieler, current member of the Piedmont City Council
  • Tim Rood, current member of the Piedmont City Council
  • John Chiang, former mayor of Piedmont
  • Sue Smegal, former member of the Piedmont School Board
  • Michael Bruck, former mayor of Piedmont
  • Valerie Matzger, former mayor of Piedmont
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 Sarah Pearson:

Making sure that the community is fully informed about school board issues is one of the most challenging, but also one of the most important parts of the job.  We work hard to keep people informed through regular updates on the District website, the Piedmont Portal, and submissions to the local newspapers.  We encourage residents to access these sites and also to attend meetings of the LCAP Advisory Committee.

 

The local control formula for school spending will be reviewed at Board of Education meetings, which are open to all community members.  The Agenda and attachments are posted on the District website the Friday before each meeting. Board meetings are also televised on KCOM, and video links are available on the district website.

 

The public is welcome to join us as we develop District goals to support teaching and learning at monthly meetings of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Advisory Committee. 

 

As stated on the PUSD website, the purpose of the LCAP Advisory Committee is to consult, review, and comment on the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan. Each school district across the state is required to engage all stakeholders and adopt a strategic plan called a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).  The LCAP must describe how the District will meet annual goals for students that reflect both State requirements and local priorities.  The public can review the 2016-17 LCAP on the District website.  

 

The LCAP Advisory Committee will meet regularly to review and provide input on sections of the LCAP being developed for the 2017-18 school year.  The monthly LCAP Advisory Committee Meetings are listed on the PUSD website and open to the public.  

 

Information about the Local Control Funding Formula and LCAP can also be found on the Piedmont Portal.  If elected, I will ensure that the District keeps the PUSD website updated and shares information about school spending and our plans to measure outcomes with The Piedmont Highlander (the PHS student newspaper), The Piedmonter, The Piedmont Post, and The Piedmont Civic Association website.

Community Volunteer
3,647 votes (23.74%)Winning
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  • Ensure fiscal responsibility of the Piedmont School District
  • Promote broad educational opportunities for all students
  • Foster decision making transparency and better communication
Profession:Former Business Consultant / Marketing Executive + Community Volunteer
Marketing Executive, AT&T (20012014)
Business Consultant, KPMG (19982001)
Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley MBA (1998)
UC Santa Barbara Bachelor of Arts, Economics (1991)
Treasurer, Piedmont Education Foundation (2015current)
Co-Chair Grants Committee , Piedmont Education Foundation (20152016)
Member, Piedmont Middle School Site Council (20142016)
Member, Math Task Force (20142015)
Co-Chair, Two Years, Member, Four Other Years, Giving Campaign Committee (20072013)
Cory Smegal -- Candidate for Piedmont Board of Education  

I am happy to announce my candidacy for the Piedmont Board of Education.  Like many of you, we moved to Piedmont so our children could attend the public schools.  My husband grew up here and we wanted our two children to have the same high-quality education and opportunities fostered by generations of hard-working teachers, parents and community members.  

 

For the last 11 years, I have supported our schools as an involved parent and tireless volunteer. I served as president of the Wildwood Parent Club the year that we need to plan for the school relocation to Emeryville.  The next year, I was a member of the Seismic Oversight Committee to monitor and review the seismic work for Wildwood. 

 

I worked on the Giving Campaign Committee for six years, two as co-chair.  During my tenure as co-chair, we raised over $3.4 million for our schools. As a member of the Math Task Force, I worked with administrators, teachers and other parents on recommendations for implementation of the new math curriculum. I recently finished a two year term on the PMS Site Council and currently serve as co-treasurer for the Piedmont Education Foundation.  

 

I’ve had a breadth of volunteer opportunities that have allowed me to see how things work in the District and what areas can be improved.  As a School Board member, I will focus on communication, fiscal responsibility, and decision-making transparency in our District. I have an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and 16 years of experience as a business consultant with KPMG and a marketing executive with AT&T.  My education and experience in business and volunteering for Piedmont schools allows me to ask the right questions, understand the financial issues facing the district and scrutinize the district's economic priorities.

 

I support Measure H1 to invest in the physical infrastructure of our aging schools.  If it is passed, I will be a leader in ensuring the district makes effective use of our tax dollars to create lasting improvements for students and teachers. 

 

On a more personal note, my daughter is a sophomore at PHS and my son is an 8th grader at PMS.  I am committed to making sure that the District provides the highest quality education not only for them, but for all of its current and future students.  On November 8th, I would be honored to have your support for Piedmont Board of Education.

 

Sincerely,

Cory Smegal

 

If you'd like to learn more about me, please visit my website, www.voteforcorysmegal.com.  

 

If you'd like to watch the recent League of Women Voters Election Forum, you can stream it at:  http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/video/index.shtml  (Select "Other Public Meetings")

  • Piedmonter
  • Doug Ireleand, current member of Piedmont School Board
  • Rick Raushenbush, current member of Piedmont School Board
  • Amal Smith, current member of Piedmont School Board
  • Jody London, current member of the Oakland School Board
  • Bob McBain, member of the Piedmont City Council
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 Cory Smegal:

The State of California, through the local control funding formula, provides Piedmont with just a little more than half of the District's $38 million budget.  The rest of the budget comes from our local parcel tax and extensive fundraising efforts and is predominantly used to hire more teachers to reduce classroom size.  

The vast majority (86%) of the Piedmont Unified School District budget is spent on people.  The current way for the public to understand how the District is spending its money is to attend Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) meetings.  There are approximately six meetings per year.  I would like to improve this process by sharing details of the District's budget more broadly.  The BAC meets on various weekdays during work hours (typically 3:30-5) which is not always convenient for getting widespread participation.  I think we can use technology to make information from this meeting more readily available to other interested parties.

One way to measure outcomes for the Piedmont schools, is to look at the recently released CAASPP results.   The CAASP, or California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – are computer-based assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics.    In English Language Arts, 87% of Piedmont students met or exceeded the state standard.  This percentage ranked Piedmont #1 in Northern California and #3 in the state.  For Math, 87% of Piedmont students met or exceeded the state standard.  This percentage ranked Piedmont #1 in Northern California and tied for #1 in the state.  This new assessment is obviously only one gauge of student progress, but it is a measure that can be used to compare Piedmont to other unified school districts.

Incumbent
3,423 votes (22.28%)Winning
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  • We need to be strategic about positioning ourselves for the next 20 years. Education and the world itself are changing so rapidly we need to leave ourselves the flexibility to change with it.
  • The social emotional health of our students is critical.
  • We need to think about new ways to deliver a quality education and be resourceful about doing more with less.
Profession:Incumbent Piedmont School Board
Current Board President, Piedmont School Board — Elected position (2012current)
Member, City of Piedmont Public Safety Committee — Appointed position (2014current)
Member, Piedmont School District Budget Advisory Committee — Appointed position (2002current)
Board Member, Piedmont Education Foundation — Appointed position (20092012)
Fixed Income Institutional Sales, Lehman Brothers (19891996)
Fixed Income Trading, Lehman Brothers (19861989)
Fixed Income and Foreign Exchange Trading, Bank of America (19801986)
Foreign Exchange Trading Assistant, Republic National Bank of New York (19791980)
Barnard College BA, History & Literature (1979)

I am a candidate for re-election to the Piedmont School Board because:

 

Whenever I am asked where I live and I say Piedmont, the response is always along the lines of “oh yes, good schools”. Some communities are defined by their location, or their landmarks, or even their restaurants, but Piedmont is defined in its most essential and enduring sense by its schools-- by the children who attend them, by the teachers who instill in these children a love of learning, by the parents who contribute their time and resources to make the classroom experience extraordinary, and by the Piedmont community that supports these schools. In a small town like Piedmont, our schools are the heart of the community. 

I have lived in Piedmont for 25 years with my husband Paul and my two children, Lucy and Sam, went all the way through Piedmont schools, and have now graduated from college. For the last 20 years I have been an active community volunteer and am now President of the School Board. I am very proud of all that the School Board has accomplished over the last 4 years, and for my role in that success. We hired a new Superintendent after a national search and extensive public input. We undertook a Facilities Master Plan so we know what out facilities needs are going forward, and we restructured our math curriculum and course offerings; again after extensive public input. I understand that collaboration between students, teachers, parents, and our greater community is vital.

I am candidate for School Board because I have the ability, the experience, and the desire to make good things happen for our children. Stewarding my own children from kindergarten through high school, off to college and into the workaday world has given me a "big picture" perspective about the developmental needs of children and families over time.  I remember vividly the experience and challenges of the elementary years, but also the demands of raising teens with different learning styles and ways of relating to the world. I understand that as a public school district we are tasked with educating all of our students, from special ed to advanced learners, and all of the students in between. Our job is to support teachers who strive to find the spark in each child to make them successful whether it is math, science, art, history  or singing. We need extra-curricular options from sports teams to the feminist club. We need to provide equal opportunities for boys and girls, young men and young women, so they can compete on an equal footing. We do a very good job of educating our students in Piedmont thanks to good teachers, supportive parents, and a generous community, BUT we should always strive to do better. Today our students are competing not just with peers in NY or Michigan, but with students in Finland, South Korea, and Singapore. We need to position our schools and prepare our students  for the future so they can  graduate ready to be successful and respectful global citizens. We need to ensure that our students will continue to explore the world beyond with curiosity, rigor, flexibility and a moral compass that reflects empathy for their fellow citizens.

I respectfully ask for your support,

Andrea Swenson

  • The Piedmonter Newspaper,http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2016/10/11/piedmonter-editorial-pearson-smegal-swenson-for-schools/
  • Cameron Wolfe, Jr.
  • June Monach
  • Current School Board Member Rick Raushenbush
  • East Bay Women's Political Caucus
  • Former School Board Member Cathie Geddeis
  • Current City Council Member Bob McBain
  • Current School Board Candidate Amal Smith
  • Current School Board Member Doug Ireland
  • Current Assemblymember Tony Thurmond
  • State Senate Candidate Nancy Skinner
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 Andrea Swenson:

The Piedmont Unified School District has a Local Control Accountability Plan Advisory Committee that will meet 7 times between September 2016 and April 2017 to provide input for the 2017-2018 LCAP. All stakeholders are encouraged to attend the meetings to provide input.

Elementary Parent/Attorney
2,526 votes (16.44%)
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  • Comprehensive community input and transparency on school and curriculum updates
  • Cost and energy efficient updates to the Piedmont schools
  • Learning tailored to individual student need: special ed updates, social-emotional learning and differentiated instruction
Profession:20+ year attorney and advocate: public defender, civil rights, child advocacy and federal court; full-time parent of 4
Parent Member, PUSD Math Task Force — Appointed position (20142015)
Staff Attorney, United States District Court, Northern District of California (20032011)
Associate, Immigration, Van Der Hout & Brigagliano (20012003)
Staff Attorney and Trial Trainer, Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, New York, NY (19972001)
Law Guardian, Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, New York, NY (19931997)
Columbia Law School Human Rights Intern and Volunteer Attorney, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (19901994)
Columbia Law School JD, Law (1992)
Barnard College, Columbia University BA, American History (1987)
Secretary , Beach Parent Organization (20132016)
After School Enrichment Coordinator, Theater and Creative Writing, Beach School (20122016)
Co-President and Board Member , ALPS: Advanced Learner Program Support (20132016)
Co-Chair, Beach Elementary, Tri-school Carnival , Piedmont Harvest Festival (20122015)

With four children in Piedmont schools until 2026, I am deeply committed to ensuring long-term educational excellence.  Since 2011, I’ve volunteered: three years as Beach Parent Organization Secretary and Harvest Festival Carnival Co-Chair; on the Middle School Board; in classrooms, fundraising, coaching, and the arts.

 

On PUSD’s Math Task Force, I worked collaboratively with teachers, students, and administrators, implementing Common Core math curriculum/pathways. I am Co-President of a parent support group that works closely with PUSD to keep advanced learners challenged and recently funded 6th grade math enrichment and differentiation support districtwide.

 

With our deeply engaged community, we can improve PUSD policymaking by front-loading consideration of diverse stakeholder viewpoints.  We must provide excellence in 21st century learning with rigorous STEAM (science/technology) curricula and budget-conscious facility updates.  I’ll also focus on improving special education services and enhancing K-12 social-emotional curriculum use to foster inclusiveness/relationships.

 

A graduate of Princeton’s public schools, Barnard and Columbia Law, I’ve worked in NYC government and as a civil rights, criminal, and child advocacy lawyer for 19 years. I am independent, analytical and resourceful. If elected, I will work hard with administrators to represent our community in providing for our exceptional schools.

Risk Modeling
1,499 votes (9.76%)
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  • Expanded course offerings with detailed plans to support STEM and Arts programs
  • Web-cast and record all committee meetings, especially hand-picked committee meetings
  • Meritocracy in hiring and competitive bidding for construction projects, favoring new construction over renovations
Profession:Big Data Scientist
Board Member, Piedmont Makers — Appointed position (2016current)
University of Waterloo PhD, Computer Science (1993)
  • Transparency
  • Fiscal Responsibility by "doing the math"
  • Taking full responsibility of good governance (no excuses, e.g. we got bad advice)
  • Accountability (e.g. if we get bad designs or financing we don't use that company again)
  • Voting for experts in public office provides best oversight
  • Opening up the design process to public participation will allow more experts to weigh in decisions
  • There are too many ways to effectively bypass sunshine laws (e.g. The Brown Act)

 

Events

Videos

Local Election Forum — October 10, 2016 League of Women Voters of Piedmont

This forum, held from  7:00 to 9:30 PM on September 20, 2016, was composed of 3 sections:

Piedmont City Council Candidate Forum  7 - 7:55 PM

Piedmont School Board Candidate Forum  8 - 8:55 PM

Discussion of Measure H1, the School Facilities Bond Measusre 9 - 9:25 PM

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