Pleasanton Weekly

News - October 1, 2010

Teachers' union endorses Bowser, Laursen for school board

3 vying for 2 seats in Nov. 2 election

by Jeb Bing

The Pleasanton schools teachers' union has endorsed Jeff Bowser and Joan Laursen for election to the school board on Nov. 2.

In announcing the endorsement by the Association of Pleasanton Teachers, its president Trevor Knaggs did not mention a third candidate, Sandy Piderit. Piderit, a visiting associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, served as chairwoman of the superintendent interview panel that ultimately chose Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi to head the district.

The three candidates are vying for two open seats on the school board. Incumbent board members Jim Ott and Patrick Kernan chose not to seek re-election.

Knaggs said the union's selection came "after an extremely thorough selection process."

In its endorsements, the union's selection committee, according to Knaggs, had these comments on the two candidates it has endorsed:

Jeff Bowser

"He knows how education works. He has a master's degree in Educational Leadership with a credential as a professional educator. He worked for 13 years as a teacher and an administrator at the school, district and county levels.

"However, he combines this experience with his expertise in business and management in the private sector, which gives him a unique perspective on education in our district."

Joan Laursen

"Joan Laursen cares deeply about Pleasanton schools and she has gained invaluable experience through serving on the boards of numerous school and community organizations. She has a solid understanding of governance, oversight and fiscal responsibility.

"Her extensive knowledge of education and finance will help the district navigate these challenging fiscal times, while continuing to ensure that all students in Pleasanton receive an outstanding education."

The Association of Pleasanton Teachers is affiliated with the 340,000-member California Teachers Association and the 3.2 million-member National Education Association, Knaggs said.

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