Uploaded: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 7:06 AM
Three incumbents announce candidacy for school board seats
board seats Election could be cancelled if no challengers file by Aug. 10 deadline
|All three incumbent Pleasanton school board members have confirmed they will seek reelection this fall as their terms expire, although only Valerie Arkin and Chris Grant had filed paperwork with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters by press time Wednesday afternoon.
The filing deadline is Aug. 10 for the Nov. 6 election, although if no other candidates emerge, the election would be cancelled. The district authorized an election at one of its final meetings of the year.
The school board faces continued tough budget decisions in the coming year as the state grapples with deficits that have severely affected California school districts, including Pleasanton's.
Arkin was elected to her first term on the School Board in November 2008. Her priorities are to improve and maintain the excellent academic programs, ensuring that all students are given the opportunity to reach their maximum potential and fiscal responsibility.
"I consider the best interest of kids in every decision I make. During these challenging economic times, we have to work even harder to maintain our excellent schools with reduced funding from the state," Arkin said, adding that she worked with employees, parents and the community to find ways to keep important educational programs for the children.
"We could not have maintained our excellent educational programs without the support of our employees, parents and community. I appreciate the sacrifices and hard work of teachers, classified staff, administration, parents, businesses and others in the community," she said. "Being fiscally responsible and accountable to the public is vitally important in the role of a governing board member."
Arkin has been a member of the community for nearly 20 years, and was board president in 2011. She has advocated for maintaining and enhancing reading interventions, additional AP and advanced courses, music and the arts, having a student board member, and providing more outreach and communication to the public.
She was involved in the hiring of Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi, serving as liaison between the search firm and the rest of the board, and has been on the Strategic Plan Committee, the Budget Advisory committee, the Board Policies Committee, the Audit Committee, the city of Pleasanton/School Board liaison committee and the Hacienda Task Force.
Arkin is a delegate with the California School Boards Association and recently completed her Master's in Governance Training through the California School Board Association.
In making his reelection announcement, Grant said his desire to continue on the School Board is "rooted in his passion for public education and his numerous years of service to Pleasanton schools." Grant has served more than five years and twice as school board president and is the longest-serving member currently on the board.
Grant said he has extensive governance experience and a long record of Pleasanton community involvement. He is parent of three children in Pleasanton schools and senior vice president of corporate development and investments for Kaiser Permanente.
During his time on the school board, the district increased academic test scores, added new science specialists at each elementary school, increased academic intervention programs in reading, science and math, and maintained important art, music and athletic programs, he pointed out.
"Over the past six years, our School District increased API test scores by 25 points to 906, ranking Pleasanton schools among the best in the state," Grant said. "The addition of full-time science specialists to every elementary school has resulted in California standards scores increasing to 90% proficiency or advanced in science, up from 76% in 2007.
"I firmly believe that Pleasanton schools can continue to excel and perform at the top in state despite a challenging California budgetary situation."
Like Arkin, Grant credited partnerships with teachers, staff and the community.
He also noted that "97% of Pleasanton students pass the California High School Exit Exam on their first attempt in 10th grade, making Pleasanton the envy of many surrounding schools.
"Pleasanton has excelled in math, with a 99% proficiency rate in seventh-grade algebra 1 and 157 students taking geometry in eighth grade, one year ahead of schedule with 100% proficiency scores on the CST," Grant said.
In her announcement seeking reelection, Hintzke, who served as clerk of the school board in 2010-11, said that she has pushed for greater district transparency, tight financial control and accountability, greater public involvement in district decisions, advocating for reading intervention programs and improved methods to better serve the needs of all students.
In addition, during her current term, she had a major role in hiring the new school superintendent.
Hintzke said her priorities are "to ensure that students reach their full potential, strengthen communication and school/parent partnerships, continue to ask the hard questions about fiscal accountability, and push for answers and transparency, and to ensure that PUSD employees work in a supportive and collaborative environment."
"The parents and students of Pleasanton deserve trustees who have a deep understanding of our schools and the challenges facing them," she added. "I believe this is my greatest strength as a candidate."
A Pleasanton resident for nearly 40 years, Hintzke attended Pleasanton public schools and has two children in the district. From 2009-12 she served on the Alameda County School Boards Association as the vice president of education.
For the last two years, she also has been a trustee on the Tri Valley ROP Board and is currently that board's president. In 2012, she also completed the Masters in Governance training program.
Prior to taking office in 2008, Hintzke was active in the Parent Teachers Association at Alisal Elementary and Harvest Park Middle schools as well as the Pleasanton PTA Council. She served on several PUSD Committees as well as the California State PTA Board of Managers.
Hintzke is employed by Alameda County as a Community Relations Coordinator, working on a youth center project due to open January 2013.
"I look forward to the privilege of serving again to continue to do what the public has elected me to do: focus on our student's learning, policies and keeping an eagle eye on the budget," she said.
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