Los Altos resident Martha McClatchie, mother of three Bullis Charter School students, is the first candidate to declare her intent to run for a seat on the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees in the November election.
Three seats will be up for grabs – the terms of Trustees Tammy Logan, Doug Smith and Mark Goines expire this year.
The official registration window for the election runs July 14 through Aug. 8, but candidates may file financial statements now to begin fundraising for their campaigns. To date, McClatchie and Covington School father Sangeeth Peruri have filed financial statements.
McClatchie launches campaign
McClatchie said she is running for a seat on the board of trustees to serve the broader community.
“I think one of the unique things I bring to the table is my experience with my children in the district and at the charter school,” she said. “I believe that both programs have relevance and are wonderful. I don’t see one as being better than the other – they both have strengths. I think serving on the Los Altos School District board will give me a better chance to have a greater impact on the broad community.”
McClatchie has daughters in second, third and sixth grades. Her oldest daughter originally attended Oak Avenue School.
McClatchie is a stay-at-home mom, community volunteer, Girl Scout leader, board member of the Kiwanis Club of Los Altos, member of the League of Women Voters and treasurer and board member of the Bullis-Purissima Elementary School Foundation.
“I don’t represent the charter school in my candidacy,” McClatchie emphasized. “I do want to be seen as representing the community. I want to broaden the representation on the Los Altos School District board to include candidates who aren’t just parents of district school students.”
McClatchie said one of the reasons she decided to run is to help resolve the conflict between the school district and the charter school.
“I feel the communication between the school district and Bullis Charter School has not been great,” she said. “I believe I can make that better so that we can resolve the litigation.”
To resolve the friction, she said, the annual facilities allocation process must be more collaborative and involve more communication – communication that includes administrators, teachers and parents, not just board members. One possible way to take a step back from the six open cases of litigation between the district and charter school may be to pull a case into mediation and see if it can be settled that way, McClatchie suggested.
“I don’t think this problem is being resolved through the attorneys,” she added.
McClatchie’s reasons for running include her passion for education. She said she would like to help enhance school district programs and believes that the district should introduce foreign language starting in kindergarten.
“I would like to see some improvements to the programs within the Los Altos School District,” she said. “I base that from the programs I have seen working at the charter school.”
McClatchie, who has a background in finance, is also interested in overseeing how taxpayer dollars are spent.
She decided to file her candidacy early to allow time to introduce herself to the community at large. McClatchie is known by the school district and charter school communities, but she wants to engage with all members of the community.
For more information, visit democracy.com/marthaforlasd2014.