Pleasanton PTA Council School Board Candidates’ Forum (October 5)


Samantha Clinton

Moderator Linda Dewlaney, President of the PTA council Donalyn Harris, and the five PUSD school board candidates gather in a Zoom meeting to discuss their ideas and views on particular issues.

Samantha Clinton, Staff Writer

On Monday, October 5th, the Pleasanton PTA Council held a forum for the PUSD school board candidates via Zoom. 

During the 90-minute forum, candidates delivered their introductory and closing statements, and they answered questions from audience members and moderator Linda Dewlaney. 

A few of the questions requested candidates’ opinions on reopening schools during COVID-19, achievement gaps, and support services for special education.

“I think that it’s important that people, especially students, participate and share their voice in forums like these. Although most students can’t vote, they can listen in on what’s being said during the forum by each candidate and inform their parents or other adults,” said AV Leadership student Elizabeth Hollmeyer (‘22).

Community members look to school board members to govern and create well-functioning public school systems. To run for the school board, candidate must propose ideas that will better our district and keep the local schools on track.

Some of the PUSD school board’s responsibilities are to encourage diversity, to keep the public informed on relevant issues (relating to health, education, and safety), and to engage the community through training and student support. 

I think my years of experience as an educator makes me perfect for the role of a trustee. I know how the classroom works and I know how students and families would be affected by certain policies. Both of my own kids went through Pleasanton schools and I know first hand how much pressure there is in high school. There needs to be a balance,” said candidate Mary Jo Carreon.

As coronavirus concerns and questions continue to be brought up, the PTA council found the reopening of public schools to be a prioritized discussion. 

I would love to see more ongoing resources for our teachers, parents/families on specific issues related to the negativity of excessive technology usage, strategies for self-regulation study-skills, and hands-on strategies to cope with increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and other social/emotional effects of COVID,” said candidate Kelly Mokashi.

COVID-19 is unprecedented. Our plan for reopening must be thorough, well planned, and accountable. Foremost in our plan is that it must be safe for students, staff, parents  and community in order to open.  We must follow the Alameda County Public Health Department guidelines,” said candidate Steve Maher.

If you’re interested in watching the forum to learn more about each of the candidates, visit the PTA’s website