Los Altos resident runs for seat on Cupertino school district board

Courtesy of Lorien Cunningham
Lorien Cunningham

Los Altos resident Lorien Cunningham is running for a seat on the Cupertino Union School District Board of Education after serving on all four of the district’s advisory committees that included parents among their members.

“At the end of the day, for me, it’s all about the kids,” Cunningham said of her campaign priorities ahead of the Nov. 6 election.

Cunningham began volunteering in the district eight years ago, when her son was a kindergartner at Montclaire Elementary School in Los Altos, which is in the Cupertino district because school district boundaries pre-date the formation of most cities in Silicon Valley.

She currently serves on the Budget Advisory and Parent Advisory committees and previously sat on the District Advisory and District English Language Advisory committees.

“In listening to parents and stakeholders from all over the district for years, I just really saw this need for a voice for the kids,” Cunningham said. “Having grown up here myself, I understand firsthand CUSD kids’ opportunities and challenges.”

Cunningham noted that students in the Cupertino district are under a lot of pressure while striving for academic excellence, so she would like to enact policies that address their social-emotional needs and help them achieve balance. She added that she would ensure that the district spends its funds wisely.

“My drive to run and to serve is based on what’s best for kids,” she said.

Cunningham acknowledged that her campaign could be an uphill battle because other potential candidates who have expressed an interest in the three open seats on the five-member board include incumbents Soma McCandless and Kristen Lyn, as well as Cupertino residents, who make up the majority of the district’s population.

However, Cunningham said she believes those Cupertino parents who know her well will vote for her, and she has support from many south Los Altos residents with children in Cupertino district schools. She noted that Los Altos residents who don’t have children in the Cupertino district could help her campaign.

“Many Los Altos residents are involved with our wider community,” she said. “If they have friends who are registered voters in Cupertino, they can share with their friends what they know about me and my campaign.”

Cunningham earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Scripps College and a master’s in physical therapy from Samuel Merritt University. She has worked as a physical therapist, clinical instructor and director of rehabilitation.

Cunningham also completed a fellowship program of Emerge California, one of the 22 branches of Emerge, an organization that cultivates Democratic female leaders.

For more information on Cunningham’s campaign, visit

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