About this site

I was a Governing Board Member of the San Carlos School District, elected November 2007 and again in November 2011. This site was originally used for the purpose of communicating with school district constituents, however now it is used for surfacing ideas and expressing opinions on various subjects in education, politics, business, or otherwise.

Please note that any opinion express here is purely personal and does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of anyone else or any organization with which I am, or have been, associated.

I will not accept anonymous comments, and all persons who post comments must have a valid e-mail address. Note that I reserve the right to edit, reject, or delete posts based on spelling, grammar, readability, or my judgment of what is appropriate discourse.


January 2012
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Welcome to Our New Board Members

Last night we finished a process that we kicked off last month to appoint two new school board members from the vacancies created by Carrie Du Bois and Mark Olbert who each successfully ran for other political positions in the middle of their school board term. We had seven applicants for the appointments who each first submitted a written application, and then at last night’s meeting took (random) turns giving an overview of their qualifications and vision and then were each asked two random questions to answer. At the end of the process, the Board unanimously voted to appoint Carol Elliott and Kathleen Farley to the school board. Although there were so many strong candidates, these two stood out for the board members. They will both serve out the two years remaining in those terms.

Carol is well known in the community as an active volunteer for the past 10 years, including with schools, PTAs, SCEF, and Spring Fling, and has previous non-profit management experience. Kathleen is a White Oaks parent and works for a Bay Area technology company with a previous education background. Both of these women are smart, big-picture oriented, and have a clear grasp of the issues and opportunities facing the school district.

This was one of the more unusual processes that I have gone through. Unlike a normal “job interview,” this process was completely open in public. It makes it difficult and awkward at times, so I suspect it was a bit nerve-racking for both the candidates and the board members. We set up a process as to avoid any potential bias in the system, which is why all orders of speaking and all questions were randomized. And unlike a normal interview, we didn’t have follow-up questions. In some ways of course, this is sub-optimal in getting to know everyone as best we can, but being a public entity, the goal of openness was paramount. At the end of day, the decision was easier that I had feared because both Carol and Kathleen were on all of our short lists when we finally each stated our top choices. I want to reiterate what I said in the meeting that there we so many qualified candidates that I could have seen almost any two of them getting selected, but of course one must make a decision! Many qualified folks did not get appointed, but I continue to encourage them to stay involved and potentially run for school board in 2 years or 4 years.

Here’s the press release from the school district and an article in San Mateo Daily Journal about last night’s meeting.

Welcome again to Carol and Kathleen, and I look forward to working with you both!

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