Kernan opts out of school board race

Three so far have filed to run for two open seats

Longtime Pleasanton School Board Member Pat Kernan confirmed Thursday that he will not seek re-election.

"It's been a long week, and I've had many discussions with Parvin (Ahmadi, Pleasanton school superintendent) and a number of board members, and I am not going to be re-upping for my fourth term," Kernan said.

Kernan is currently the board's clerk and has served since the late 1990s. As an incumbent, his filing deadline was today.

Board member Jim Ott has also opted not to run, and three people have filed for the two seats that will be vacated. Non-incumbents have until midnight August 11 to file campaign paperwork.

The winners will be sworn in Dec. 14.

Jeff Bowser ran unsuccessfully for the Pleasanton school board two years ago and has announced he will try again. Bowser has a long history with the Pleasanton Unified School District, first as a teacher at Village High School, then as an administrator at Amador Valley. He's now a manager at AT&T.

Sandy Piderit, who moved to Pleasanton in 2008, is also seeking one of the two open seats. Piderit is currently a visiting associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.

Joan Laursen, president of the Pleasanton Parent Teacher Association Council, announced her candidacy in March. Laursen has been active in local school programs and fundraising campaigns. She also headed last year's effort to gain voter approval of a parcel tax and has spearheaded community fundraising campaigns.

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Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Aug 5, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Trustee Kernan and Trustee Ott will be missed. I look forward to hearing ideas from the candidates seeking election. These will be interesting times with the state of the budget, a new superintendent, and two new board members.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 5, 2010 at 11:14 pm

They will indeed be missed., Thanks for your service.

Like this comment
Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 6, 2010 at 9:50 am

Wow! Does this mean that Mr. Kernan will no longer be living out of his law office in order to prove Pleasanton residency for the school board, and that he can finally join his family in Camino at their real residence? Well, I'm sure they will be glad to have him "officially" home!

Like this comment
Posted by Thank you for your service
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Aug 6, 2010 at 10:00 am

Thank you Jim and Pat. Ott and Kernan served the board well during their time. Alas times have changed and it is time for a change in the board.

Like this comment
Posted by No thanks
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2010 at 10:54 am

Re: Thank you for your service,

Sorry, but I disagree. Interesting that when the (financial) going got tough, Jim Ott and Pat Kernan (and John Casey) headed for the door. And, oh, "What--you mean I actually have to run against somebody to get re-elected?" Hmmm, that could be a challenge, too.

Don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out, guys.

Fairly easy to handle things when the money tap is flowing freely, as it had for years. Now that the going's tough, tough times call for tough people.

With two kids in the PUSD system, I look forward to folks who are ready, willing, and able to handle the tough challenges the present economic situation presents for our schools, not just push paper, make glowing proclamations and rubber-stamp programs. That's easy.

If those that are replacing these folks can handle the tough challenges, think of what they may be able to accomplish when times get better.

People don't get tested when times are good. Tough times show what people are really made of.

Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 7, 2010 at 11:29 am

While I can't say I'm sorry to see either Ott or Kernan leave these posts, one could say they were just blinded by the mysterious charms of the former superintendent. Kernan, I think, had good years with the board prior to that.

We have a new superintendent; I wish her well. She has a runaway stagecoach on her hands, and I am hopeful she can grab the reins and at least run the journey better in what are the ruts of the California education system. It will still be a bumpy ride. With the addition of two new qualified candidates on the school board, there is a chance for many positive things to happen for the community's students. I would even say it is possible to get a parcel tax passed if it is properly handled. I wish the new team the best.

Like this comment
Posted by unclehomerr
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Do you think they're just staging to re-introduce the parcel tax??

Start practicing saying.. "NO! Reduce expenses.. don't raise taxes!!"


Like this comment
Posted by Arthur Graham
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I would gladly vote for a parcel tax. We moved to Pleasanton because of the schools. They are doing a great job. Our oldest has greatly benefited from the schools since we moved here. There is only so much a parent can do. Good schools and good teachers really made a difference in his academic achievement. I wish we could have always had him in these schools. My youngest will be in the schools here for quite a while, and I hope he is able to get the same quality education that his older brother got.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm

And I will happily cancel your vote and one other Arthur. Sorry, but new taxes are not the solution.

Like this comment
Posted by Jimmy the Jet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm

KR is still baggin on Casey? Let it go.

Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 9, 2010 at 9:44 pm

No love lost from any corner, I'm sure. More importantly, I'm sincerely wishing the new group all the best.

Like this comment
Posted by Arthur Graham
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2010 at 8:16 am

To "resident",

You may not be aware of what a fantastic school district we have here, but it is quite good. We moved in from a district that was not well run, and I can tell you it has made all the difference. These schools are a very important part of our community. You can bet this district would put the money to good use. Have you been to any of the meetings? Do you want to meet somewhere to discuss this?

Like this comment
Posted by School Volunteer & Parent
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 10, 2010 at 9:33 am

Jim & Pat - thank you for your long years of service. We appriciate the hard work you have done while on the board - even if we didn't always agree with your positions. A change of face and tenure is always good for a district.

For those of you griping - if you have volunteered multiple hours in our schools - you know the hard work and number of hours that goes into supporting and creating our wonderful schools - especially in these tough times. If you won't vote for a parcel tax, I hope every parent will volunteer to chair a committee in their local school's PTA. PTA's and PFC's who help with Registration and are picking up the holes left by the budget issues. All schools are in need of volunteers to lead committees, and help in all areas to keep our schools great.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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