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Stewart, Lewin stepping down from high school board

Original post made on Jul 22, 2009

There will be two new faces on the Sequoia Union High School District board this fall, as both incumbents with seats up for election on Nov. 3 have decided not to run again.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 10:57 AM

Comments (7)

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Posted by Interested citizen and parent
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Jul 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Could you please post a link to requirements and registration procedures for candidacy for the Sequoia HS District school board?


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Posted by cynic
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:31 pm

According to the San Mateo newspaper, the successors have already been picked. If the SUHSD is anything like the MPCSD, it would be foolish to run against them:

"Two names are already being floated to possibly replace the long-time trustees — Alan Sarver, who is a former district volunteer of the year, and Virginia Chang Kiraly, who serves on the Sequoia High School Foundation and works on the district career technical education steering committee.

Sarver, who is currently in Europe, confirmed via e-mail his intention to run.

Chang Kiraly did not want to comment."

I'd say that's a "yes" from Virginia.

If you're still determined to get slammed in a general election, the forms are online at Web Link


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Posted by interested citizen and parent
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Jul 24, 2009 at 8:24 am

Thanks, Cynic, for the web pointer and background information. Important to note that the filing period to submit the initial forms to declare candidacy closes on August 7. Unfortunately I can't take this on, much as I would love to.

Here's my discontent with the current Governing Board - its dedicated and consistent opposition of Summit, and now Everest. Summit tests by every measure as an outstanding educational institution, delivering this remarkably high educational value at a very low cost, yet it has been opposed by the Sequoia Union HS district every step of the way. Everest is now enduring the same opposition. I HOPE some excellent candidates will take on the challenges of running against the status quo. This district sorely needs a change, starting with a Governing Board that isn't filled with already-insiders, who consistently oppose the educational excellence demonstrated by outstanding public Charter High Schools.


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Posted by David Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Jul 24, 2009 at 11:28 am

David Boyce is a registered user.

Since Gordon Lewin and Sally Stewart are incumbents choosing not to run for re-election, the candidate filing period is five days longer.

The extended deadline is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12.


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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Whomever runs, PLEASE, before you vote, make sure their position is to NOT renew Gemma's contract. If they won't commit to that, vote for someone who will.


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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 25, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I don't think a position that Gemma's contract should not be renewed is a fair start. I would ask any candidate to demonstrate an open mind and a willingness to look at creative solutions for educating our children for the future. With an informed and active Board of Trustees holding Gemma accountable, I wouldn't prejudge that he has to go. At present though there appears to be a rather closed power structure (Superintendent, Board of Trustees, Teacher's Unions) which has essentially monopolized education dollars and power and does not appear responsive to the local community. That is what need to change.
Gemma is upset at any potential competition, teachers appear to not want any changes that might allow assessment based on anyting other than longevity, and the BOT has been, by all accounts, rather passive on these issues.
While I expect such a Board will have difficult decisions to make, it would be nice if the basis for making these decisions was both transparent and honest. I would expect any member of the board of Trustees to arrive with creative ideas about stimulating innovation within our schools. I also suspect outsiders who have not worked the system from inside would be a breath of fresh air and would at least potentially introduce some checks and balances that have been sorely lacking in the last 5 years (or more).


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Posted by you should know
a resident of Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Jul 27, 2009 at 10:59 am

Virginia Chang Kirally has been forced out of nearly every single organization and Board that she has ever been affiliated with. She is not one to be trusted.

Having said that, perhaps her Republican background will help her see the benefits of Charter Schools and non-union employees. The CTA needs to go as does the superintendent! If she will commit to making schools the best they can be within a free-market...I will concede that she is at least tenacious!


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