Pleasanton school board candidate Joan Laursen said the experience she already has working with schools makes her "uniquely qualified" for the board.
"I have spent 15 years volunteering and working extremely hard with our staff and parents in our community. That's why I want to run," Laursen said.
She worked in banking for twelve years, she said, which gave her experience analyzing data, setting up systems and measuring goals.
"I'm very comfortable with numbers and budgets," Laursen said. "The job of a school board member isn't to get down in the minutia of a budget, but it is to understand "is what you're getting out worth what you're putting into it?'"
Laursen has also served on school site councils, a number of district-wide committees, including budget advisory committees; in band booster groups, and on the Parent Faculty Association & Parent Teacher Association boards.
"Most recently, I was the President of the Pleasanton PTA Council, representing over 5,000 members in Pleasanton," she said, noting that in 2009, the Pleasanton PTA Council was named Outstanding Council for California by the state PTA. "During my tenure on the PTA Council, we hosted flu vaccination clinics, trained and mentored PTA officers at school sites, conducted a school board candidates' forum, and held many parent education workshops."
Laursen said her work as a volunteer has given her an understanding of educational issues and how complicated the system can be.
"Getting changes made, that has to do with having the knowledge and the background so that you have an understanding of the process," she said.
Laursen said the school board needs to be able to set policy and have a vision for what the Pleasanton school district is going to look line in the next 5 to 10 years.
"This community is taking a deep breath and we're ready to look forward and move ahead to decide what they want to change and what they want to keep in the next few years," she said. "I'm really looking forward to it."
Laursen and her husband, Darrel, have two children. Their son is currently attending the University of California San Diego, majoring in engineering physics major, and their daughter is an 8th grader at Harvest Park Middle School.
A kickoff event was held last month.
Laursen is one of three candidates seeking election to one of two open seats on the school board in the Nov. 2 election. The others are Jeff Bowser and Sandy Piderit.
Two current board members, Jim Ott and Pat Kernan, are stepping down, choosing to not seek re-election to their posts.
The other members of the school board, whose terms expire in 2012, are Chris Grant, currently the president, and Valerie Arkin and Jamie Hintzke.