Pleasanton Weekly

News - August 6, 2010

Now there are 3 in this year's school board election

Business executive Jeff Bowser joins Laursen, Piderit in November race; Kernan still undecided

Jeff Bowser, who ran unsuccessfully for the Pleasanton Unified School District board two years ago, announced this week that he will try again in what is becoming a highly competitive race to fill two seats on the board in the Nov. 2 election.

He joins two others who earlier announced their candidacy: Sandy Piderit, a Pleasanton resident since 2008 who is currently a visiting associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, and Joan Laursen, this year's president of the Pleasanton Parent Teacher Association Council.

Board member Jim Ott has said he will not seek re-election to a second four-year term. Long-time board member Pat Kernan, whose term of office also is expiring, has not said if he will seek re-election. Kernan was appointed to the school board in November 1997, was elected in November 2001 and ran unopposed, as did Ott, in November 2006. The school board has no term limits. Kernan has not responded to phone calls; he has until 5 p.m. today to file.

Bowser taught at Village High School for five years and was an administrator at Amador and in outside districts before managing a sales team that works with top clients at AT&T, where he has been a manager for the past 10 years. Along with having children in the school system, Bowser's wife teaches third grade at Hearst Elementary School.

Piderit holds a doctorate degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and has taught management and organizational behavior courses for more than a decade. In addition to her teaching position at the Naval Postgraduate School, she has served on the School Site Council at Alisal Elementary since last August. She moved to Pleasanton with her husband and daughter in July 2008.

She will hold a public ice cream social and campaign kickoff Aug. 27.

Laursen, who announced her candidacy back in March, 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 has spearheaded community fundraising.

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