Concern for the future of education in Pleasanton led Sandy Piderit to run for the school board, she told a small crowd at her kickoff event Friday.
Piderit, who moved to the area with her family in 2008, said part of the reason for the move was the quality of Pleasanton schools. She said she became concerned after hearing about the state cuts to education and wants to explore new ways of looking at the district and new financial options, to bring in money.
"I think that the district could put more emphasis on grant writing, partly as a way of piloting new kinds of teaching experiments," she said, explaining some of the options could include online learning and new types of tutoring.
More than that, Piderit said she wants to get people talking.
"I think the real key is to get all the members of the community talking with one another about what's most important and how we can support our students and teachers, getting the work of learning done," she said. "We need to make sure that teachers are the best quality teachers we can recruit and be sure we challenge them to be sure they develop their skills throughout their career."
Piderit, who is a visiting associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, drew from her experience at the school. She pointed out that all naval programs are evaluated every three years to make sure they're accomplishing what they were designed to do, and hopes to bring a similar approach to the district.
"I want to do everything possible to make sure our schools here stay strong," Piderit said.
She has served on the Site Council at Alisal Elementary since August, 2009, and volunteered at the school in several different capacities.
Piderit holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and has taught management and organizational behavior courses for more than a decade.
Piderit and her husband Scott, live in Mohr Park. They have a 9-year-old daughter, Julia, who attends Alisal.
Piderit is one of three candidates seeking election to one of two open seats on the school board in the Nov. 2 election. The others are Joan Laursen and Jeff Bowser.
Two current board members, Jim Ott and Pat Kernan, are stepping down, choosing to not seek re-election to their posts.
The other members of the school board, whose terms expire in 2012, are Chris Grant, currently the president, and Valerie Arkin and Jamie Hintzke.