The election results are out, and Gary Howard and Dorothy (Dot) Theodore are the new CVUSD board members.
Howard led the election with 38.3 percent of the votes, and Theodore came in second with 36 percent of the votes. Janice Friesen, who has served as a CVUSD school board member for the past 25 years, will not be returning to her familiar position this year.
“I know the community truly appreciates the time she has put in,” Theodore said. “But the community was ready for somebody new.”
Theodore is hoping to improve the school system by drawing from her own experiences as a mother of two children in the public schools, as well as from her former position as president of Castro Valley Elementary’s PTA.
“I want to create a more open culture in our district. I want parents, teachers, and staff to feel safe in criticizing district leaders, make suggestions, and offering solutions,” she said.
With a lot of new changes in administration, budget, and school standards (such as Common Core curriculum), the school district has an increasing demand for strong leaders who will be able to make many difficult decisions.
“This is an exciting and challenging time. We have terrific schools, but we will have to work creatively to keep them that way,” said Howard.
Many Castro Valley teachers and parents hope that Howard and Theodore will bring new perspectives and ideas that will carry the district forward.
Although Howard is not a newcomer to the CVUSD board, this will be his first full term as well. He originally stepped into the position in August 2013 to take the place of trustee George Granger who had resigned earlier that year.
Howard’s campaign emphasized budgeting and funding to maintain and improve many of CVUSD’s important programs and facilities, such as the ROP program and school nutrition standards.
Looking forward, Theodore hopes that Castro Valley citizens will assist and support them with the issues that the board will be addressing.
“I fear that many community members have lost faith in our district to make sound decisions. I hope to help rebuild and restore trust in our board,” said Theodore.