School Briefs: Vice chancellor, fire and elephant fundraisers

Schools Briefs

FHDA hires Cheu as vice chancellor

Susan Cheu is now the vice chancellor of business services for the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, after serving in the role on an interim basis since the start of the year.

The district’s board of trustees voted unanimously at a Dec. 2 meeting to approve Cheu’s role. The appointment was included in the board’s consent calendar, where the trustees sign off on routine business.

“In terms of work, I’ve been doing the job, obviously, for 11 months, so that hasn’t changed,” Cheu said. “With the permanent part, it does allow more long-term, strategic thinking (about) how I want to take the department forward into the future.”

The position encompasses a variety of roles including budget operations, district safety and security, and operations and construction management.

Cheu was previously vice president of administrative services at De Anza College and assumed the interim role Jan. 1 after Kevin McElroy retired.

Oak students host fire victim fundraiser

A group of Oak Avenue School students are organizing a fundraiser so that they can give holiday gifts to victims of the recent fires in Northern California.

The students are accepting cash donations, new toys and wrapping supplies. They are aiming to collect and purchase a total of 500 gifts, which they will deliver to the town of Healdsburg this weekend. They will distribute the toys to local families through the Healdsburg Free Store, which provides supplies to fire victims at no cost.

The region has been hit by multiple fires in recent years, including the Kincade Fire in October and November. Fifth-grader Chase Nakayama said he is organizing the fundraiser to “spread holiday joy” to people who lost their homes in the fires.

“I heard on the news what was happening,” Chase said. “It just really made me feel sad for them and I wanted to do something.”

To donate to the fundraiser and for a list of toy drop-off locations, visit

Elephant fundraiser postponed a week

Eighth-grader Uma Chirotarrab’s annual fundraiser to help save elephants has been pushed back a week due to inclement weather.

Chirotarrab is set to collect money in downtown Los Altos Saturday. She previously planned to host the fundraiser Dec. 7, but wet weather caused her and her family to move the date.

This will be the fifth consecutive year the Egan Junior High School student has raised funds for Tusk, a charity focused on African wildlife conservation.

Chirotarrab and a group of friends plan to set up a table in front of Sethi and Starbucks on Main Street, as well as in front of Le Boulanger across the street. They will hand out cookies baked by her mother, Shaye, and educate passersby on the plight of the elephants.

For more information on Tusk, visit

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