Pleasanton Weekly

News - March 26, 2010

Laursen to seek election to Pleasanton school board

Trustee Pat Kernan remains undecided on whether to run again

Joan Laursen, president of the Pleasanton PTA Council, announced Tuesday that she will seek election to the Pleasanton school board in November.

Two seats are opening this year on the board with the current four-year terms of board members Pat Kernan and Jim Ott expiring. Ott earlier announced that he will not seek re-election, but Kernan, the longest serving school board member, said he is undecided. His focus now, he said, was hiring the new superintendent.

Laursen has long been active in local school programs and fundraising campaigns. She headed last year's effort to gain voter approval of a parcel tax and also spearheaded community fund-raising campaigns.

"We are a team -- teachers, administrators, staff and parents -- who have all worked very hard together to build an excellent school district," Laursen said. "I feel compelled during these difficult times to continue my service to Pleasanton's students and families by running for school board."

"I believe I can make a real contribution," she added, "utilizing my extensive knowledge of school finance and educational issues and by utilizing my many years of experience at all levels, whether in parent groups or on school site councils, to continue to improve educational opportunities for all of our children."

School board elections are every two years on a 3-2 alternating basis for the five-member board. Kernan and Ott were elected after running unopposed in 2006, with current members are Valerie Arkin, Chris Grant and Jamie Hintzke elected in 2008.

The school district has no term limits for its elected board members.

--Emily West


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