Local school board races heat up

The Nov. 6 board of trustees elections for local school districts are on track for a competitive year, with more candidates than seats for nearly every race, with the exception of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District.

Potential candidates obtained nomination forms from the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. The deadline for interested candidates to return their completed paperwork is today, which was extended from the original Aug. 10 deadline in all of the local districts after at least one incumbent did not file his or her paperwork by that date.

Los Altos School District

Three seats – held by Vladimir Ivanovic, Bryan Johnson and Sangeeth Peruri – are open on the five-member board. Ivanovic and Johnson have expressed an interest in running again, but Peruri has said he is not running for re-election and is endorsing Vaishali Sirkay.

Two challengers, Sirkay and Ying Liu, have shown interest in running. Sirkay was president of the Los Altos Mountain View PTA Council for the 2017-2018 school year and serves on the board of directors of Mountain View’s Community Health Awareness Council. Liu, who has a daughter in second grade at Bullis Charter School, said her first priority as a trustee would be to foster harmony between the district and the charter school. She has been involved with several community organizations and is a member of the Los Altos Hills Education Committee.

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District

There are three open seats on the five-member board, and two incumbents – Fiona Walter and Debbie Torok – have indicated an interest in running for re-election. After 11 years on the board, Joe Mitchner has decided not to run for re-election, in order to pursue other community and family endeavors. Catherine Vonnegut has expressed interest in running. Vonnegut, who served as president of the Los Altos Mountain View PTA Council in 2003, could not be reached for comment.

Cupertino Union School District

Students living in the southern part of Los Altos attend Montclaire Elementary and Cupertino Middle School in the Cupertino Union School District. Three seats are open, held by Soma McCandless, Kristen Lyn and Anjali Kausar. None of the incumbents has committed to running for re-election, but four new faces have thrown their hats in the ring: Lori Cunningham, Jerry Liu, Wil Fluewelling and Satheesh Kumar Madhathil. Cunningham will be the first Los Altos resident running for the board in 10 years.

Fremont Union High School District

Students living in south Los Altos attend Homestead High School in the Fremont Union High School District. Three seats are open, held by Bill Wilson, Barbara Nunes and Hung Wei. Wilson is the only incumbent who has expressed interest in running for re-election. Six challengers have declared their intent to run: Meena Juttukonda, Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, Benaifer Dastoor, Don Sun, Jenny Yuan and Rosa Kim.

Foothill-De Anza Community College District

Two seats, occupied by Pearl Cheng and Bruce Swenson, are open in the November election. Cheng and challengers Patrick Ahrens and Eric Rosenthal have expressed interest in running for seats on the five-seat board.

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