Election Snapshot: Alameda County School Board, Zone 7 | News
Tri-Valley voters will decide their representative on the Alameda County School Board for administration area 7, an open competition for three new candidates with longtime incumbent administrator Yvonne Cerrato not running .
The ballot includes Cheryl Cook-Kallio, former Pleasanton City Council member and retired teacher; DiemHa “Kate” Dao, Pleasanton resident and founder of Action Academy East Bay; and Eric Dillie, former principal of the now closed Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory School.
An outright winner will be declared in the primary, whether or not the top runner-up gets more than 50% of the overall vote. Unlike countywide elections, which can progress to a second round, the local seat in Area 7 will be determined based on who gets the highest percentage of the vote in June.
Zone 7’s position on the county council has been embroiled in controversy over the past year.
Cerrato, who has served on the council since 2002, was investigated and ultimately cleared by her colleagues on the dais on allegations that she was no longer a permanent resident of her trusteeship area and resided in made in Oregon, where she operates a 40-acre farm. in honor of his late son.
She denied wrongdoing. As the inquiry and public deliberations drew to a close, Cerrato confirmed that she would not be seeking re-election. “I’m not going to run anymore because it’s time for me to move on and do different things,” she said at the time.
One of the candidates is also no stranger to controversy.
Dillie, who appears on the ballot as a public school teacher, is best known in local educational circles as the former principal of Livermore Valley Charter Prep, which folded in early 2017 after the filing of balance sheet of its parent company.
While working at the school, Dillie was accused of failing to report child abuse in 2016, stemming from a campus guardian who aggressively grabbed and picked up a teenage student. The criminal case was resolved without conviction on Dillie’s case after he initially pleaded no defense to the charge, then a judge threw out the misdemeanor conviction after completing 30 hours of pro bono work and training compulsory journalist, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Dillie did not respond to questions from the weekly about his charter school tenure, the criminal case and his election campaign.
Cook-Kallio shared his thoughts on disbanding the Livermore charter school when asked.
“County council is the watchdog,” she told the Weekly. “It is of the utmost importance that board members are well informed and use this oversight function to ensure the best use of taxpayers’ money. A great example of what happens when this is not not well done is the now defunct Livermore charter.”
“It is the responsibility of the county council to be transparent, accountable and fiscally responsible. This debacle has left the county, the city of Livermore, LVJUSD, the Community College District and investors with an estimated $68 million in debt,” a added Cook-Kallio.
A familiar voice in Pleasanton, Cook-Kallio served on city council from 2006 to 2014 before reaching the city’s temporary term limit. She then ran for state assembly as a Democratic challenger, but lost to Republican incumbent Catharine Baker in 2016.
A retired public school teacher at Fremont Unified for 40 years, Cook-Kallio told The Weekly, “I have the experience and education to do the job well. I spent my career as a leader in advocating for good schools that serve students well.. I understand good ethical government and how to achieve it.
“I am a strong advocate for all children, from all walks of life, and I want to make sure our children have the best opportunities we can give them,” she said. “I understand the county office’s interaction and its oversight functions with local school districts and public charter schools. This is my home and it is where I have chosen to serve.”
“I believe in a well-educated population,” Cook-Kallio added. “That’s what I’ve tried to teach the thousands of students who have come through my class. Please do your research and look at all applicants. My record speaks for itself.”
Running for his first elected office, Dillie cites priorities on his campaign website, including putting families and students first, addressing parents’ frustrations with public education, early childhood and primary education, focus on leadership and declining enrolment.
“I am a first generation college graduate, raised in a blue collar union home, by parents who earned their GED. My parents instilled in me the importance of education, as well as caring, caring and the love that public school has shown me teachers are what inspired me to become an educator, administrator, association leader and Rotarian in a public school,” he said in his statement. the country.
“My professional experience includes a variety of educational communities, which has provided me with an understanding of the myriad challenges faced by schools and the families they serve. My knowledge and understanding of the issues will prove invaluable as a board member,” he added.
“I love serving my community,” Dillie said. “Allow me to use my experience to faithfully serve and support educational services for the people of Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton and Sunol as Trustee of Zone 7.”
Also a new candidate, Dao describes on her website a 16-year career in education focused on “developing individualized programs for K-12 students that emphasize critical thinking and problem solving” in which she “has helped countless students succeed academically and realize their full potential.”
His campaign priorities include “a focus on high-quality teaching and individualized learning, redirecting funds to the classroom, educational equality and preparing students for the job market, support from our teachers, support from our parents and keeping them in our schools”.
“As an immigrant, educator, entrepreneur and mother, I understand the importance of hard work and a good upbringing,” Dao, who did not respond to the Weekly’s interview request, said in her declaration of candidacy. “My mission in life is to advocate for children and provide them with opportunities for an equitable education, regardless of their background.”
“Our children deserve and can receive a quality education with taxpayers’ money well spent,” she added. “My leadership in education and in business has proven to be ethical, effective, inclusive and productive.”