The Castro Valley Unified School District board’s election took place on Nov. 8 in which five candidates fought for three spots. The three victorious candidates are Jo Loss, Lavender Whitaker and Monica Lee.
Loss won 24.9 percent of the vote with 7,509 total votes. Whitaker came in second with 24.2 percent or 7,307 votes. Monica Lee clinched the third and final spot on the board with 19.3 or 5,816 votes, edging Tojo Thomas who had 5,341 votes.
Loss is 60 years old and has been on the board for 21 years. She provides experience, leading many groups in education such as the Alameda County School Boards Association. In her statement for candidacy, she stated that, “I am proud that CVUSD has maintained the highest levels of academic achievement while the board has demonstrated prudent fiscal management.”
Whitaker is 37 and is a parent and environmental supervisor at Pacific Gas and Electric. She is a parent of a freshman at CVHS and has gained a unique perspective towards problems facing the school district as she was the wife of the former activities director, Nick “Dubb” Whitaker. Her educational background includes a degree from UC Davis in environmental policy. She is currently a business administration candidate at UC Davis and is focusing on organizational development. In her statement for candidacy she said, “I want to ensure that all students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community leaders have a seat at the table and that the lines of communication remain open and transparent.”
Lee is 57 years old and an attorney who has spent ten years as parent in CVUSD. She will bring expertise from a law and business perspective and also experience from volunteering in the Jensen Ranch PTA, school site councils, and the Superintendent’s Parent Leadership Group. In her statement for candidacy, she stated, “As a result of my experiences, I know how to work collaboratively to achieve positive outcomes.”
The most recent board meeting on Nov.11 was filled with goodbyes for departing member Charmaine Banther.
When elected, board members are expected to attend around 24 board meetings a year and are responsible for participating and attending school and community events. Members are expected to be committed to good leadership by understanding procedures that will lead to a strong leadership team.