News

Meet candidates for Dublin school board special election

Foothill VP Norrington, parent-volunteer Kuo facing off for Trustee Area 3 seat

A section of Dublin voters will choose between an active parent volunteer and an experienced educator when they pick the new Dublin Unified School District Area 3 trustee next month.

The Nov. 5 special election will fill the seat that's been vacant since third-term trustee Dan Cunningham stepped down for personal reasons in March.

Malcolm Norrington, first-year vice principal at Foothill High School in Pleasanton, and Catherine Kuo, a business analyst and resident of Dublin for 20 years, are the only candidates in the running for Area 3, which covers parts of central and eastern Dublin. Both live in the same area but come from very different backgrounds.

Kuo, who has children ages 9 and 13 enrolled in Dublin schools, is a Bay Area native. Born in Redwood City and raised in Saratoga, Kuo later earned her bachelor's in psychology from UCLA and since then has worked in the fields of human resources, recruitment, business analysis and planning management.

She touts her past position as president of the Dougherty Parent Faculty Club and two years as a representative on the Superintendent's Council among her leadership experience. This past year Kuo also sat on both a principal's hiring panel and the Second High School Input Committee, the latter an issue that's woven into her campaign platform.

"I am strongly committed to further improving the education and experience for all Dublin children," Kuo said on her campaign website. "I will work to alleviate the impact of growth on our high school students by ensuring the completion of the second comprehensive high school."

Kuo also promised to ensure that "our limited funds are more effectively distributed to benefit all of Dublin's students, focusing on school safety procedures -- consistent policies and training for all sites, fostering solutions that embrace neighborhood elementary and middle schools, and I will strive to represent the best interests of all our diverse students, teachers, staff and community."

Norrington was raised by a single mother on the south side of Chicago and inner-city Los Angeles. The first in his family to attend college, Norrington graduated from Cal State Northridge with a bachelor's degree in English, then later earned a master's degree in education administration.

He spent 13 years as a police officer prior to teaching at several schools in Georgia and California, including Valley Continuation High School in Dublin, where he was a member of DUSD's Wellness and Community Review committees and helped start the tobacco use prevention education program. In June, Norrington was appointed as a vice principal at Foothill High by the Pleasanton school board.

A father of five children including two stepsons, Norrington is also a visiting committee member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and has coached high school basketball for more than 20 years. In a statement on his website, where he lists student safety and fiscal accountability among his priorities as trustee, Norrington said he knows about the importance of relationships in the Dublin community and will provide the community with guidance.

"As an educator, I know how important it is to have good leadership on our school board," Norrington said. "I am running for school board because you need a trustee who can do both, be an important leader for our schools and students and someone who can bring people together in our community. Students have always been my focus as a teacher, as a coach, and as an administrator."

In-person voting for the DUSD Trustee Area 3 special election is Nov. 5. Polling locations will be open that day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information about polling locations, early voting or mail-in ballot dropoff locations, visit the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office website at acvote.org.

Julia Baum is a staff writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. Reach her at jbaum@pleasantonweekly.com or 925-600-0840, ext. 111.

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Comments

11 people like this
Posted by Love Dublin
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:59 am

On one side we have a mother whose two kids are in Dublin schools and has been involved with the schools for a long time. On the other hand, we have a person who recently moved to the area, no kids in Dublin schools and above all, supported by the trustee who caused this election and the extra burden to tax players by quitting on the verge of being recalled.

There were also mention of a candidate having being involved in multiple lawsuits and also has sued a as cool district. With DUSD having constantly making poor financial decisions in the recent past (for example, the last superintendent), another person with history of suing a school district is the one Dublin needs


7 people like this
Posted by Dublin Residents
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 3, 2019 at 10:54 am

Check out the comments on this news:
Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Facts Matter
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 3, 2019 at 11:10 am

Ah, those pesky facts. Fixed it for you...

On the other hand we have Malcolm Norrington, a former police officer, an experienced educator including at a Dublin high school where he was dedicated to students, a member of two district committees, started a tobacco prevention program, learned coding so he could teach the students, participated in the district leadership team to the Museum of Tolerance to build cultural proficiency and develop a plan to increase equity, and a visiting committee member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) which travels to schools to make recommendations for accreditation.

You are certainly correct in that Malcolm's experience goes beyond just his kids school.


9 people like this
Posted by Love Dublin
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 3, 2019 at 2:56 pm

Thank you for agreeing that my statement is a fact though pesky. I would be more comfortable somebody who has held his/her family together forever looking over my kids.


7 people like this
Posted by Facts Matter
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 3, 2019 at 4:33 pm

You know that is not what I said. I wanted to be sure we were all dealing with facts. You should vote who you are comfortable with but not sure I understand what you mean by holding their family together. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Malcolm is quite proud of his family as well and his kids in college.


12 people like this
Posted by 20+ year Dublin/Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 3, 2019 at 4:53 pm

As a long time resident of both Pleasanton and Dublin, I've closely followed both Dublin and Pleasanton politics which (especially in recent years) have been obvious stepping stones for Dem 15 and Dem 16 party. Unfortunately, this begins at school board, which is supposed to be non-partisan. (follow current Dublin Mayor Dave Haubert from school board to failed attempt at State Assembly then council now leaving the Republican party to have a chance to win Haggerty's seat on State Assembly.)

If you support Dem 15 party, then Malcolm is your recruit. Take note: It is obvious he has no history in Dublin, no kids in their schools, appeared out of nowhere after several jumps around the country, strange google search, just moved to Dublin yet jumps into photo ops on projects which have been in the works for years, propped up by Dem 15 active members. (I am not Dem nor Republican, by the way, just an observer).

On the otherhand, If you support grassroots, someone who knows Dublin, a parent who is obviously not running for stepping stone to higher office, a mom who has volunteered for years, invested in schools, home, and community, PFC, School Site Council, then Catherine is your vote.
Kudos to both for running.
May the better (for Dublin) trustee win. I really hope Dublin (and Pleasanton) pay better attention. It seems not.

Vote wisely.


2 people like this
Posted by 20+ year Dublin/Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 3, 2019 at 5:09 pm

* Haggerty seat as Alameda Co. Supervisor


8 people like this
Posted by Involved Parent
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Oct 4, 2019 at 6:37 am

While I applaud Kuo's involvement as a school volunteer, I have to say that Norrington's commitment to kids and education as evidenced by his many years of experience as a police officer working in schools, and having actually EARNED the necessary credentials to become an educator and administrator through years of hard work speaks to his commitment to kids and public education. He knows how schools work, and the types of challenges that teachers and students face on a daily basis, in a way that people who do not work in classrooms can possibly understand. While it is important to be a resident of Dublin, "more" years as a resident doesn't matter much because the challenges that schools deal with stem largely from conditions imposed by the state in terms of California Ed code, the funding schools receives, unions, etc. so having worked in one California school district gives one transferrable skills and knowledge that can be applied to other California school districts. It takes a special kind of teacher to venture into administration AND throw your hat in the ring as a school board member (a thankless job, let's be real). As a Foothill parent where Norrington works as Vice Principal, I was admittedly a bit skeptical about this new guy especially having seen attempts on boards such as this to trash him (attempts at political smearing is what it amounts to imho, like other anonymous posts). I have seen him at work and have found him to be an attentive listener, responsive, above-board and he loves supporting students. I witnessed it all 3 times I stepped foot on campus this school year - he greets students and they greet him back! (kind of a miracle for teenagers) If his aspirations include higher office, that may not necessarily be a bad thing, maybe he just wants to make a better world for more kids. Sometimes NOT having long-standing ties with a particular community is a good thing, especially when it comes to politics. I'm sure that as a business analyst, Kuo will have great ideas around process, but applying corporate business concepts to a public school district goes over just about as well as a lead balloon. To truly improve a system, you have to know it inside out first and it looks to me like Norrington has the edge there. I am not a Dublin resident, but just sharing my perspective and first-hand experience with Norrington. Good luck Dublin and may the best candidate win.


3 people like this
Posted by Parents
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:37 am

I do not see any comments on this board smearing, instead involved parents from Dublin and Pleasanton stated FACTS and raised Legitimate questions.
You can check out more concerning comments here:
Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Involved Parent
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Oct 4, 2019 at 10:24 am

Parent,
Give me a break - that whole comments sections in your link is FULL of toxicity and if you don't recognize that perhaps you are part of the problem. Can you summarize your concerns? Is it because he was a plaintiff in a lawsuit and you consider that a wrongdoing? Is your concern about the application requirements and you consider that an issue because ...? It's no secret that a lot of what is written in the comments sections is opinion - people spouting off and writing things they would never say to someone's face. If you truly have legitimate concerns, talk to him or whoever it is you have your beef with directly. It just really bothers me when innocent people's lives and reputations are destroyed because of comments that may be defended as "factual" but actually do more harm than good.


2 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 5, 2019 at 7:48 am

For a public figure in the school district, parents have every right to know his background and history. It is the PUSD leadership or the candidate himself who shall explain to public to address parents' concerns and to gain trust. Please do not "smear" parents' concerns as "smearing" and try to keep parents in the darkness.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 5, 2019 at 8:36 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

IP, I have to agree that any person who is in contact with the children of this community, or is running for a public office, needs to be fully vetted. If there are reasonable explanations for the concerns researched and raised, it is the duty of administration to explain their decision for the hire. I haven’t seen that the DO or board have said anything publicly to allay the concerns. To be sure, there may be good answers, but letting this fester in the rumor mill serves no one’s best interests. Maybe the hope is people will just give up.


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