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DUSD Trustee Catherine Kuo unopposed for Area 3

Freshman incumbent seeks another term on Dublin school board

First-year incumbent Catherine Kuo is uncontested in the Nov. 3 general election for Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees.

DUSD Trustee Catherine Kuo is unopposed in the Nov. 3 general election. (Courtesy image)

"I am really blessed that I am running unopposed, so I want to put out the assurance that I am committed to understanding what our community needs," Kuo said in a recent interview. "I'm really committed on all fronts, whether it's our budget, our facilities, our curriculum -- those things that are key to the job of a trustee, I am really committed to making sure that I understand."

Around the time of her swearing-in last December, following an off-year special election victory a month prior, Kuo said she had "a lot to learn" as a freshman trustee and expected a steep learning curve. What she didn't count on, though, was leading DUSD through a pandemic during her first year on the board.

"It's been really sort of a trial by fire," Kuo told the Weekly on Wednesday. "This has been difficult for everyone who has been in education. We're swimming in uncharted waters, and I'm making sure that I learn as fast as I can."

Kuo called public governance "its own creature ... in terms of policy making and procedures" compared to the private sector where she normally works.

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"In March, it was making sure I got my head above the water, and that has been echoed among the trustees," Kuo added.

Kuo originally campaigned on a platform of transparency, fiscal solvency and school safety, as well as building the future Emerald High School, which is scheduled to break ground on the first phase of construction this month.

With some projects underway, Kuo said she's focusing her next term on "working with the board to try to make sure we consider not only the majority, but also how we can best help our students and our teachers in these challenging times."

"Especially with regards to going one way or another with the pandemic, sometimes it's 30-30-30," Kuo said. "Regarding going back to school in person, that is a decision where I think it's very obvious we have to look at our own city. I think we'd like to get people into class as soon as possible. The ideal way to educate the majority of our kids is in person, but we want to be sure we consider safety first."

Kuo continued, "These things are very complicated and at this point, I really trust our staff to be looking at these things constantly. I have a lot of trust in our district staff."

A former member of the Superintendent’s Council and Second High School Input Committee, as well as past president of the Dougherty Parent Faculty Club, Kuo is a parent of two children in DUSD schools. She received her psychology degree from UCLA and works full-time as a business analyst.

With Kuo unopposed, the Area 3 election will not be held with the trustee as only lone name on the ballot -- under the state election laws for school boards. The district does have contested elections for Trustee Areas 1 and 4 on Nov. 3.

To learn more about Kuo, visit facebook.com/votecatkuo.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Trustee Area 3 would be forced to appear on the ballot even though Kuo was unopposed. County election officials subsequently stated that was not the case, and DUSD Area 3 would not appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.

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DUSD Trustee Catherine Kuo unopposed for Area 3

Freshman incumbent seeks another term on Dublin school board

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 11:04 pm

First-year incumbent Catherine Kuo is uncontested in the Nov. 3 general election for Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees.

"I am really blessed that I am running unopposed, so I want to put out the assurance that I am committed to understanding what our community needs," Kuo said in a recent interview. "I'm really committed on all fronts, whether it's our budget, our facilities, our curriculum -- those things that are key to the job of a trustee, I am really committed to making sure that I understand."

Around the time of her swearing-in last December, following an off-year special election victory a month prior, Kuo said she had "a lot to learn" as a freshman trustee and expected a steep learning curve. What she didn't count on, though, was leading DUSD through a pandemic during her first year on the board.

"It's been really sort of a trial by fire," Kuo told the Weekly on Wednesday. "This has been difficult for everyone who has been in education. We're swimming in uncharted waters, and I'm making sure that I learn as fast as I can."

Kuo called public governance "its own creature ... in terms of policy making and procedures" compared to the private sector where she normally works.

"In March, it was making sure I got my head above the water, and that has been echoed among the trustees," Kuo added.

Kuo originally campaigned on a platform of transparency, fiscal solvency and school safety, as well as building the future Emerald High School, which is scheduled to break ground on the first phase of construction this month.

With some projects underway, Kuo said she's focusing her next term on "working with the board to try to make sure we consider not only the majority, but also how we can best help our students and our teachers in these challenging times."

"Especially with regards to going one way or another with the pandemic, sometimes it's 30-30-30," Kuo said. "Regarding going back to school in person, that is a decision where I think it's very obvious we have to look at our own city. I think we'd like to get people into class as soon as possible. The ideal way to educate the majority of our kids is in person, but we want to be sure we consider safety first."

Kuo continued, "These things are very complicated and at this point, I really trust our staff to be looking at these things constantly. I have a lot of trust in our district staff."

A former member of the Superintendent’s Council and Second High School Input Committee, as well as past president of the Dougherty Parent Faculty Club, Kuo is a parent of two children in DUSD schools. She received her psychology degree from UCLA and works full-time as a business analyst.

With Kuo unopposed, the Area 3 election will not be held with the trustee as only lone name on the ballot -- under the state election laws for school boards. The district does have contested elections for Trustee Areas 1 and 4 on Nov. 3.

To learn more about Kuo, visit facebook.com/votecatkuo.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Trustee Area 3 would be forced to appear on the ballot even though Kuo was unopposed. County election officials subsequently stated that was not the case, and DUSD Area 3 would not appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.

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