City honors outgoing school board members Kernan, Ott

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

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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Like this comment
Posted by Yelrom
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2010 at 9:21 am

Having six children attend and graduate from Pleasanton schools I appreciate all who have worked so hard to make schools in Pleasanton the quality schools they are today. My children had all graduated by the time Jim Ott was appointed to the board but I had the opportunity to know and work with Pat over the years and thank him for all he has done.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 9:27 am

I was involved in the school budget issues last year and I had a lot of concerns about the plans being made by the board.

Jim Ott was the one board member who took the time to write back to me not once, but twice, in detail addressing my concerns and taking them on board. These weren't short emails saying "I got you meessage and will take it into consideration" (which is the most I got from others, many ignored my messages). Jim gave me detailed replies which showed he read the messages and thought about them. I will miss his contribution to the board even though we didn't agree on everything. I felt like my voice counted.

Like this comment
Posted by Jan Batcheller
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2010 at 9:51 am

A heartfelt thank you to Patrick Kernan and Jim Ott for their valuable contribution of time and talent to our schools. Education is the most vital component of the success of our democracy.

Like this comment
Posted by Debbie Look
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 9, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Kudos to Jim & Pat for their dedicated service to our schools and the children and youth of Pleasanton. They are to be commended for their selfless service!

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