Last updateMon, 16 Oct 2017 11am


Local leaders share their professional goals and personal resolutions for 2017


Krystel Malimban, Los Altos Hills recreation specialist

• Professional goal: My No. 1 goal for the next year is to increase registration in our recreation classes. While our town events have been experiencing an increase in attendance, our classes haven’t seen much growth. I plan on improving participation by ramping up our online marketing for each of our classes. I’d like to work with our instructors to increase their exposure via our town events. In the new year, we will be updating to new recreation software that should help facilitate registration as well. My hope is that as we continue to build up our town events and programming for all ages, residents of Los Altos Hills will feel a stronger sense of community.

• Personal goal: My personal goal is to pick up on my musical hobbies again. I’d like to shake off the rust and make performing a somewhat regular part of my life. Perhaps I can even learn a new instrument. And as I always seem to have on my list of resolutions, I really should exercise more.

Jan Pepper, Los Altos City Councilwoman

• Professional goal: I’d like to get started on organizing neighborhood associations throughout our city that will help build community in each neighborhood, and also implement neighborhood watch programs and Los Altos PREPARE programs on every street.

• Personal goal: Exercise more, of course! And make sure I spend more time with friends and family.

Neal Cohen, Chairman of the El Camino Hospital Board of Directors

• Professional goal: I will work with the board and hospital leadership to define and implement a strategic plan to ensure that the hospital serves the health-care needs of our community. In the evolving health-care environment, we must ensure that the hospital has the resources necessary to continue to deliver the highest-quality care. To accomplish these goals, El Camino Hospital will continue to collaborate with our physicians and other partners to meet the diverse needs of our community now and into the future.

• Personal goal: I want to maintain an appropriate work-life balance and find time for exercise and leisure activities.


Michelle Wu, Los Altos Hills City Councilwoman

• Professional goal: My No. 1 priority is to promote technology infrastructure to improve and modernize our town government process. We should use more online services and reduce paper use. For example, we can use digital signatures for building permits and applications. We should offer an interactive, step-by-step walkthrough to advise homebuilders what cannot be built according to the town’s guidelines. With a preventive and proactive approach, some of the post-construction errors can be avoided.

To accomplish this, I would like to create an information technology and communication committee. This committee will evaluate and recommend the technology products and services we need. Because we are in Silicon Valley, I hope to find some brilliant IT residents to come forward and join the team.

• Personal goal: As a newly elected councilmember, I am excited to be part of the town’s council team and eager to learn my new responsibilities. Having been in the high-tech industry for 20 years, I will need to develop new skills and abilities to adapt to the governmental process. I hope by the end of 2017 I will have a good understanding of government functions and be an effective councilmember. In the meantime, I will continue to pursue my professional career in the software business.

Debbie Torok, Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees president

• Professional goal: My primary goal is to ensure that our schools and teachers have the necessary tools and environment to prepare all MVLA students for post-graduation success. Our district is rich in diversity, which has proven rewarding but also challenging because of the broad socioeconomic spectrum of our students. MVLA has consistently done very well relative to national norms, and we are still improving. Recently, Mountain View High School received national recognition for achieving equal representation of low-income students in Advanced Placement courses; fewer than 1 percent of diverse high schools nationally can claim this accomplishment.

It is also time to revisit our MVLA six-year goals and mission statement. Since they were drafted back in 2011, enrollment has grown significantly, and evolving technologies and social media capabilities create new challenges almost daily. We also need to do more to help manage student stress and find more effective ways to communicate with parents.

• Personal goal: To finish a book club book before the book club meeting.


Judy Miner, Foothill-De Anza Community College District chancellor

• Professional goal: I look forward to increasing enrollments at De Anza, Foothill and the Sunnyvale Education Center, thanks to new classes, programs and services. Among many strategies, De Anza faculty will be adding online courses in numerous departments; Foothill is exploring dual enrollment with high schools; and Sunnyvale has already outperformed the Middlefield campus it replaced this fall.

• Personal goal: Because I fell far short of my 2016 goal to get more exercise, let’s see how I do in 2017!

Jeff Baier, Los Altos School District superintendent

• Professional goal: My No. 1 goal is ensuring that we have the very best schools for our community. This means preparing each and every one of our students to be in the position to learn and thrive after they graduate from our schools. To accomplish this, we need incredible teachers working with our students. This is becoming increasingly challenging, so it is critical we attract and retain the highest-quality teachers.

• Personal goal: I need to follow through on a number of backyard projects at home to get rid of some quickly developing weed patches. Figuring out how to add a few hours to the day might help with this. All ideas (and help) are welcome!

Jeff Harding, Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District superintendent

• Professional goal: Our schools have earned top marks for academic achievement, most recently ranked No. 3 in California with “A-plus” scores. My goal is to maintain our high levels of achievement while focusing on student wellness, making sure that all students are reaching their highest potential. We’re investing in student wellness with our new clinical services coordinator and by encouraging a healthy and balanced lifestyle for our students, with plenty of sleep, good nutrition and time to pursue their passions. And I’m particularly excited about our goal to expand the AVID program, which prepares our underrepresented students for college.

• Personal goal: Ride the 100K Wine Country Century without hurting myself in the process.

Sangeeth Peruri, Los Altos School District Board of Trustees president

• Professional goal: Do everything we can to help our teachers. If we want the best for our children, we need to hire, retain, support and train the best teachers. I want us to think outside the box to do everything we can to assist our teachers. Areas of focus could include: reducing the cost of housing, providing additional technology and support, providing child care, reducing the cost of student loans, additional training, reducing commute times, increasing salaries and enabling access to out-of-school, service-based stipends. We have implemented some of these ideas and more are on the way.

• Personal goal: Break two boards while performing a backflip during my third degree and my son’s first degree black belt tests. After six years of training, my son is ready to test for his first degree black belt test. Fortunately, I was able to time my training accordingly and join him for the fun. We have been training all year in preparation for the test in March. To impress my son, I have been learning gymnastics as well so that I can break two boards in mid-air while doing a backflip.

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