A section of Dublin voters will choose between an active parent volunteer and an experienced educator when they pick the new Dublin Unified School District Area 3 trustee next month.
The Nov. 5 special election will fill the seat that's been vacant since third-term trustee Dan Cunningham stepped down for personal reasons in March.
Malcolm Norrington, first-year vice principal at Foothill High School in Pleasanton, and Catherine Kuo, a business analyst and resident of Dublin for 20 years, are the only candidates in the running for Area 3, which covers parts of central and eastern Dublin. Both live in the same area but come from very different backgrounds.
Kuo, who has children ages 9 and 13 enrolled in Dublin schools, is a Bay Area native. Born in Redwood City and raised in Saratoga, Kuo later earned her bachelor's in psychology from UCLA and since then has worked in the fields of human resources, recruitment, business analysis and planning management.
She touts her past position as president of the Dougherty Parent Faculty Club and two years as a representative on the Superintendent's Council among her leadership experience. This past year Kuo also sat on both a principal's hiring panel and the Second High School Input Committee, the latter an issue that's woven into her campaign platform.
"I am strongly committed to further improving the education and experience for all Dublin children," Kuo said on her campaign website. "I will work to alleviate the impact of growth on our high school students by ensuring the completion of the second comprehensive high school."
Kuo also promised to ensure that "our limited funds are more effectively distributed to benefit all of Dublin's students, focusing on school safety procedures -- consistent policies and training for all sites, fostering solutions that embrace neighborhood elementary and middle schools, and I will strive to represent the best interests of all our diverse students, teachers, staff and community."
Norrington was raised by a single mother on the south side of Chicago and inner-city Los Angeles. The first in his family to attend college, Norrington graduated from Cal State Northridge with a bachelor's degree in English, then later earned a master's degree in education administration.
He spent 13 years as a police officer prior to teaching at several schools in Georgia and California, including Valley Continuation High School in Dublin, where he was a member of DUSD's Wellness and Community Review committees and helped start the tobacco use prevention education program. In June, Norrington was appointed as a vice principal at Foothill High by the Pleasanton school board.
A father of five children including two stepsons, Norrington is also a visiting committee member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and has coached high school basketball for more than 20 years. In a statement on his website, where he lists student safety and fiscal accountability among his priorities as trustee, Norrington said he knows about the importance of relationships in the Dublin community and will provide the community with guidance.
"As an educator, I know how important it is to have good leadership on our school board," Norrington said. "I am running for school board because you need a trustee who can do both, be an important leader for our schools and students and someone who can bring people together in our community. Students have always been my focus as a teacher, as a coach, and as an administrator."
In-person voting for the DUSD Trustee Area 3 special election is Nov. 5. Polling locations will be open that day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information about polling locations, early voting or mail-in ballot dropoff locations, visit the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office website at acvote.org.