Schools

Dave, Faillace poised to be re-elected to MVLA board

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The two incumbents are on track to be re-elected to the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees.

Incumbents Sanjay Dave and Phil Faillace lead the field in the race for two seats on the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees.

Dave is garnering 35.03% of the votes, with Faillace at 33.64%, as of 5 p.m. Monday. Challenger Laura Teksler sits at 31.32%. Countywide, an estimated 87% of the vote has been counted.

“I feel honored that people want me to still be on the board,” said Dave, who was first elected in 2016. “I appreciate it very much.”

Faillace similarly said it was gratifying to see that voters continue to have faith in his leadership.

“I’m very happy that the voters still have confidence in me after 24 years. Not to have worn out my welcome is, I think, quite an achievement,” Faillace said with a laugh.

Having served on the board since 1996, Faillace had been considering retiring as a trustee, but said he felt a sense of duty to run when the pandemic hit. Realistically, he acknowledged that this next term is likely to be his last.

Faillace said he wants to work as quickly as possible to repair “the damage done by distance learning and COVID-19,” as well as to create a plan for students to return to campus in some capacity. Currently, the district remains in remote learning, with only small groups of students returning to campus.

Dave likewise said his primary focus will be on figuring out how to get kids back in the classroom in a way that is safe for both students and teachers. He pointed to a hybrid model, where students are split into groups, each on campus at different times, as one possibility.

Beyond that, Dave said he will work to ensure fiscal stability, as well as continue to look at the possibility of opening a third high school to accommodate growing enrollment.

He also said he wants to address equity issues in the district. In recent months, students and alumni have raised concerns about racism in local schools.

Although vote totals aren’t yet final, Teksler said she is fairly certain she has come in third and has reached out to Dave and Faillace to congratulate them. She said she hopes the board is aware of the issues families and the broader community think are important.

Her campaign’s priorities included increasing communication with families, creating a plan to reopen schools (Teksler would like to see students return in a hybrid model next semester) and being responsive to concerns from students and alumni about inequity in the district.

“I was very proud of the support that I did get as a first-time candidate against two incumbents,” she said. “I do think that did show that there were things that I was saying in my campaign that resonated with the community.”

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