Surprisingly, optometrist Stephen Page, who did little campaigning and declined newspaper interviews and invitations to join other candidates at public forums, trailed the three winners by less than 3,000 votes, receiving 6,303, or 13.77 percent, of the total votes cast.
Commenting on the Pleasanton Weekly's website, he said he didn't seek or accept money because he "wanted to test the idea that a person could run on the value of his ideas, merit, dedication to citizen-service, and the value of one's experiences."
Page also topped runners-up Jeff Bowser, who received 5,679 votes, or 12.40 percent of the votes cast, and Prasad V. Rallapalli, who received 3,172, or 6.93 percent of the votes.
Grant, Arkin and Hintzke will be sworn into office at the board's first meeting Dec. 9, when Grant, who is clerk of the board, could be elected its president for 2009. Hintzke and Arkin will succeed board members Steve Brozosky, who stepped down to run unsuccessfully for Pleasanton mayor in Tuesday's election, and longtime board member Kris Weaver, who chose not to seek another term on the board.
The newly-elected trio will join board members Pat Kernan and current board president Jim Ott at a time when the board and Superintendent John Casey and his staff will have to grapple with possible major budget cuts as a result of the state's $16-billion--and growing--budget deficit.
"I'm very pleased with the three that were selected," Ott said. "There will be new faces and new perspectives that we can tap into. We're going to have tough challenges ahead."
A senior vice president at Kaiser Permanente, Grant said his passion is for public education and service to schools. In a pre-election interview, he said his goals are to maintain class size reduction as well as reading, science and math intervention programs, and to aim for continued improvement in student achievement, fiscal responsibility and school safety.
While he is excited and confident in the new board, he recognizes a potentially difficult road ahead.
"I think we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work right away," he said. "The state situation is a challenge and it's going to be important that every program and every dollar has the greatest benefit to our schools and to our kids."
Arkin's work with youth over the past 11 years includes serving as a YMCA program coordinator and as a member on their board of directors. A library commissioner and parent of three children in the district, she has volunteered at Mohr Elementary, Harvest Park Middle and Amador Valley High schools. Arkin also holds a bachelor's degree in health science and an MBA, which she said will help guide the district through budget difficulties. Her priorities include "continuing and improving the high academic standards, maintaining programs during budget challenges and ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our students."
Responding to being elected, Arkin said, "I feel extremely honored to be elected to the school board. I am really looking forward to serving on the board and I feel proud to have the public put their trust in me."
A longtime education advocate, Hintzke has spent the last several years with the PTA and PTA Council, most recently serving as president, as well as education-related committees. Now that her post as president is over, the mother of two has set out to ensure all students receive a great education and the district can keep pushing for further excellence.
Hintzke said she looks forward to being sworn in and participating in the various activities to prepare the newly elected officials up to speed on being a board member.
"I'm really excited to be able to serve in this capacity," she said, adding that while it will be fun, it will also be hard work.
In looking ahead, Grant also said he commends each candidate for stepping forward with hopes to serve the district.
"I look forward to the opportunity to have Jeff, Prasad and Stephen to stay closely involved in our schools and participate on educational committees," he said.
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