Thu04242014

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County Office of Education candidates compete for one seat

In addition to casting ballots for local city council races Nov. 2, voters will choose among three candidates running for a single seat on the Santa Clara County Office of Education Board of Trustees.

The trustee position covers Area 2, which includes the Los Altos, Cupertino Union, Lakeside Joint, Loma Prieta Joint Union, Los Gatos Union, Saratoga Union and corresponding portions of Mountain View Los Altos Union High, Fremont Union High, and Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High school districts.

Following are brief profiles of the candidates.

Michael Chang

Cupertino resident and De Anza College instructor Michael Chang has served the community in various elected offices for 12 years, as a board member on the Cupertino Union School District Board of Trustees and as Cupertino mayor and city councilmember.

Although he has not served in public office since 2003, Chang, a recent empty nester, said he is ready to run again and wants to seek the next level of leadership.

Chang said he thinks he works well on a board and is known as a bridge builder.

“I’m a believer of a systematic process,” he said. “You have to understand the mission. I am also a believer of well-paced progress over time.”

Chang calls himself a “lifelong educator.”

“My passion is really teaching, education, public service and civic/municipal education,” he said.

Among his goals as trustee, Chang said the quality of students’ education would be paramount.

“If elected, my priorities during these challenging times will focus on greater budget effectiveness, innovative teacher development and, most crucially, improved student success,” said Chang in his candidate statement.

For more information, visit www.michaelchang2010.com.

Lynette Eng

Lynette Eng, a Los Altos resident for 13 years, currently serves on the Los Altos Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission. She recently concluded a two-year stint as a member of the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury.

Declaring herself a “nonpolitician,” Eng said she is running for the seat to make a long-term investment in education.

“I feel that I am here because I am committed to education,” she said. “We need someone who will be there and be focused.”

No stranger to elections, Eng unsuccessfully ran for the trustee’s seat in 2006 against incumbent T.N. Ho and twice mounted campaigns against incumbents for a seat on the Cupertino Union School District Board of Trustees.

Eng said this election marks the first time she is not running against an incumbent.

“It is important to meet the needs of all children,” she said. “I know I can bring a fresh perspective to the board.”

Eng said that while her opponents have more experience serving on boards, she has followed developments in education for years and has made an effort to visit various school districts.

Her main goals are to address the achievement gap and ensure that local school districts are doing all they can to serve the needs of students.

“We must close the achievement gap, decrease the high school dropout rate and provide more career technical education for all students,” said Eng in her candidate statement.

For more information, visit www.lynette4coe.info.

George Tyson

George Tyson, who moved to Los Altos Hills last year, is a biotech executive married to a teacher at Oak School.

Tyson, formerly of Cupertino, served on the Cupertino Union School District Board of Trustees for four years, sat on oversight committees and worked with the PTAs.

Tyson has used his campaign to reach out to the many districts in Area 2 to determine what they need from the county board.

“I hear at the local district level that they don’t feel like they are being represented by the county,” he said. “I would like to see stronger support for local school districts.”

Tyson said he hopes to bring his financial acumen to the table to address budget constraints.

“My goal is to use my extensive financial and business background to make sure that our limited school funds are spent as wisely as possible,” Tyson said in his candidate statement.

Tyson said he intends to keep an open mind about charter schools but believes they must run on their own merits.

“It is far better for the local school district to charter the school than the (county Office of Education),” he said.

Tyson said his longtime commitment to the county board, his regular attendance at county board meetings and his financial know-how set him apart from the other candidates.

For more information, visit www.georgetyson.org.

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