Pleasanton Weekly endorses Joan Laursen, Jeff Bowser for school board

With new superintendent, board needs experience, expertise these 2 candidates offer

The Pleasanton Weekly Friday endorsed former PTA Council president Joan Laursen and businessman Jeff Bowser for election to the Pleasanton school board on Nov. 2.

In an editorial in its Oct. 8 print edition that was circulated to subscribers, businesses and Pleasanton homes, the newspaper cited the experience and expertise both candidates offer, including years of work with Pleasanton schools and strong financial backgrounds.

These qualifications are especially needed this year with a new school superintendent and a school board whose most senior member has just three years of service, the newspaper added.

The editorial follows:

For the first time in years, voters will have a choice of three new candidates vying for the two open seats on the Pleasanton school board. Both Jim Ott and Patrick Kernan, whose terms are up, have chosen not to seek re-election.

The two elected will serve on a board whose most senior trustee is Chris Grant, who was appointed to the board in February 2007 and elected to a four-year term just two years ago. Also new is the superintendent, Parvin Ahmadi.

We believe Joan Laursen and Jeff Bowser can bring the experience needed at this time.

Laursen, a financial analyst by training, is past president of the Pleasanton PTA Council and has served on the boards of numerous school and community organizations in Pleasanton over the last 15 years.

Bowser has extensive teaching and business experience and was an administrator at Amador Valley High and in outside districts before joining Qwest Communications, where he holds a senior management position.

We wish there were three positions available because Sandy Piderit also would make an excellent board member. A part-time professor with a young child in Pleasanton schools, she understands the educational needs of youth from start to finish and would be a welcome addition to the school board. 2012 perhaps?

--Pleasanton Weekly staff.

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Like this comment
Posted by West Side Observer
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

People should look again at Piderit because she is not heavily invested in the status quo in the Pleasanton schools. We need a fresh perspective to solve long-range school financing issues. And, she is well qualified.

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 8, 2010 at 8:51 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I agree. Piderit does not have years upon years of emotional attachment with the status quo. She is well-spoken and was involved in the committee which picked the new superintendent. She's definitely qualified. All the candidates in this race are pretty strong so the choice is not as easy as it appears.

Like this comment
Posted by You've got to be kidding
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Oct 8, 2010 at 8:56 am

West Side Observer

I did. You've got to be kidding me. Sandy has no K-12 experience and has only lived in Pleasanton for 2 years. Where is her committment to this community and what is her qualifications? Answer: When will she move again? and she has no qualficiations. Volunteering in your kids class does not qualify you to run a school district. After Sandy pays her dues in the schools, classrooms, budget advisory, PTA, parent groups will she be ready to run. Teaching part time military officers is not the same as teaching kids.

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 8, 2010 at 9:15 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Oh, so someone has to teach kids in order to be qualified as a school board trustee? I guess we've had unqualified trustees all these years then!

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 8, 2010 at 9:25 am

Stacey is a registered user.

P.S., Sandy _is_ PTA. She moved to Pleasanton _three_ years ago and hit the ground running. She's on the school site council at Alisal. She also played a role in the selection of the new superintendent and has been an outspoken proponent of the schools. That's a lot more than just volunteering in a classroom and a hell of a lot more involved than people who have lived here much longer.

Like this comment
Posted by Tina
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

It's important not to vote for a candidate endorsed by the Teacher's Union. We have to eliminate tenure for teachers, which the Teacher's Union want. Tenure allows not only incompetent teachers but teachers who verbally abuse students to remain in positions of power over children for decades.

Like this comment
Posted by Ptown Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

I agree that Piderit is absolutely the right candidate for right now. Experience, commitment and no attachment to the status quo--that's precisely what we need. Shame on the Weekly for taking the easy way out. They overlooked a real gem.

Like this comment
Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I'm voting for Piderit! And, I urge others to take a look at a woman who seems to be sincere, without aspirations for higher office, or allegiances that could prove detrimental to doing her job.

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