Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 10, 2010

City honors outgoing school board members Kernan, Ott

Kept budget cuts 'far from classroom' while also seeing gains in student achievements, councilwoman says

by Jeb Bing

Outgoing Pleasanton school board members Pat Kernan and Jim Ott were honored for their community service Tuesday night by Mayor Jennifer Hosterman and the City Council.

The city presented the two with special commendations that addressed their role as school board members during a time of major gains in student achievement and also during severe and growing budget concerns.

Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio, in reading the proclamations, praised the two for giving their time and energy "to serve e the community's most important assets -- our children."

She said Kernan has spent "an astounding" 13 years on the school board, first being appointed in 1997 and then elected in twice after that.

"Your contributions on the Pleasanton school board of trustees have had a profound impact on education achievements in our community," she said.

She said Ott was appointed to serve on the school board in early 2006 and elected to a four-year term later that year.

"He came on the board at the start of the school district's challenging budget crisis, which continues today," Cook-Kallio said. "He worked with his peers during these years to keep any cuts as far from the classroom as possible. Yet, during that time, we continued to see increases in student achievement and balanced budgets even in this challenging economy."

Ott, a former poet laureate in Pleasanton and a night school teacher at Las Positas College, thanked the council for its helpful partnership with the school district.

"In the coming months, the school board and district will face tough decisions about the needed investment in our schools to keep the momentum going," Ott said. "As we look at resources available in our community, we have to think about the needs in our schools."

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