News

Trustee Steve Maher making another bid for Pleasanton school board

'My job is not complete,' incumbent says about running for second term

Pleasanton Unified School District Board President Steve Maher is taking another swing at four more years of leadership and running again for one of three available board seats in the Nov. 3 election, the longtime educator recently announced.

PUSD Trustee Steve Maher plans to run for re-election this fall. (Contributed photo)

After four initial years of finding a new purpose and putting his extensive classroom experience to use in a different way as trustee, Maher told the Weekly that "my job is not complete."

"I'd still love to continue, we're still on a path to stability," Maher said about how the PUSD administration has developed in recent years following multiple turnovers in key positions, including several middle and high school principals.

"When I first announced my candidacy back in 2016, I wanted to bring stability to the district. We're moving in the right direction for stability," he added.

With the district facing a number of unknowns amid the coronavirus pandemic including budget concerns and the eventual reopening of all 15 PUSD sites, Maher said that stability, especially in the leadership cabinet, is crucial now more than ever.

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"We don't need a lot of brand new people learning," he said. "They need someone solid but flexible. It changes by the day; you think you're moving in one direction, and you're not."

Guiding the district through a pandemic was not originally a part of his campaign platform, but Maher hasn't lost sight of the issues that spurred him to run the first time.

"Another platform idea was to improve special education," he said. "We're working towards it but I'm concerned when I look at the dashboard about how many students meet the standards. I would certainly like to put more emphasis on that."

With distance learning exclusively taking place when the new school year starts Aug. 11, Maher praised the district's teachers for adapting to the remote instruction model on a moment's notice back in March. "Everybody scrambled; I think we did a good job getting into it but as we're getting into the second round, we need to learn from the lessons of past experiences."

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, Maher will be practicing some distance campaigning this season. "It will certainly be different; I won't raise as much money," he said. "I'm not going down to the farmers' market, which is sad. I won't do that because that's a lot of contact, and I do not want at my age to expose myself more than I need to."

That means door-to-door walking and in-person meet and greets are out of the picture for Maher. Instead, he has kept his campaign signs visibly posted, plans to send out mailers as well as have volunteers pass out stickers when possible, and run a largely Internet-based campaign.

"There won't be any barbecues, unfortunately," Maher said. "It's going to be much different, it really will be."

The Pleasanton school board election will be held Nov. 3.

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Trustee Steve Maher making another bid for Pleasanton school board

'My job is not complete,' incumbent says about running for second term

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 10:18 pm

Pleasanton Unified School District Board President Steve Maher is taking another swing at four more years of leadership and running again for one of three available board seats in the Nov. 3 election, the longtime educator recently announced.

After four initial years of finding a new purpose and putting his extensive classroom experience to use in a different way as trustee, Maher told the Weekly that "my job is not complete."

"I'd still love to continue, we're still on a path to stability," Maher said about how the PUSD administration has developed in recent years following multiple turnovers in key positions, including several middle and high school principals.

"When I first announced my candidacy back in 2016, I wanted to bring stability to the district. We're moving in the right direction for stability," he added.

With the district facing a number of unknowns amid the coronavirus pandemic including budget concerns and the eventual reopening of all 15 PUSD sites, Maher said that stability, especially in the leadership cabinet, is crucial now more than ever.

"We don't need a lot of brand new people learning," he said. "They need someone solid but flexible. It changes by the day; you think you're moving in one direction, and you're not."

Guiding the district through a pandemic was not originally a part of his campaign platform, but Maher hasn't lost sight of the issues that spurred him to run the first time.

"Another platform idea was to improve special education," he said. "We're working towards it but I'm concerned when I look at the dashboard about how many students meet the standards. I would certainly like to put more emphasis on that."

With distance learning exclusively taking place when the new school year starts Aug. 11, Maher praised the district's teachers for adapting to the remote instruction model on a moment's notice back in March. "Everybody scrambled; I think we did a good job getting into it but as we're getting into the second round, we need to learn from the lessons of past experiences."

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, Maher will be practicing some distance campaigning this season. "It will certainly be different; I won't raise as much money," he said. "I'm not going down to the farmers' market, which is sad. I won't do that because that's a lot of contact, and I do not want at my age to expose myself more than I need to."

That means door-to-door walking and in-person meet and greets are out of the picture for Maher. Instead, he has kept his campaign signs visibly posted, plans to send out mailers as well as have volunteers pass out stickers when possible, and run a largely Internet-based campaign.

"There won't be any barbecues, unfortunately," Maher said. "It's going to be much different, it really will be."

The Pleasanton school board election will be held Nov. 3.

Comments

Doug Miller
Ironwood
on Jul 22, 2020 at 11:14 pm
Doug Miller, Ironwood
on Jul 22, 2020 at 11:14 pm
21 people like this

Steve Maher was a tremendous school principal at Donlon and PMS and has brought that much needed experience to the Pleasanton School Board. He deserves to be elected to second term.


Toni
Ironwood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:11 am
Toni, Ironwood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:11 am
19 people like this

Maher tried to impose another tax on Pleasanton citizens not long ago. The voters did not approve it for many reasons. Maher is out of touch with the community. He will try it again and cry out schools are suffering while he and his fellow board members bungle the money they already have.


Margo
Hacienda Gardens
on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:02 am
Margo, Hacienda Gardens
on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:02 am
17 people like this

Steve Maher was an excellent teacher and principal and continues to be an excellent School Board member. Pleasanton is fortunate to have him.


Olorin
Val Vista
on Jul 23, 2020 at 8:18 pm
Olorin, Val Vista
on Jul 23, 2020 at 8:18 pm
23 people like this

Some people just don't know when to get off the stage.


We need better board members
Foothill Place
on Jul 24, 2020 at 10:46 am
We need better board members , Foothill Place
on Jul 24, 2020 at 10:46 am
15 people like this

Time for us to ellect better board members. We already know that the old are not good at their job.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Vintage Hills
on Jul 24, 2020 at 11:09 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
on Jul 24, 2020 at 11:09 am
Like this comment

I would give the jobs to Maher, Wang, and Mokashi. Yee has served 12 years, and it is time for her to step aside. The other three people have children and grandchildren in the schools. It is important that we turn this over to those who still have that connection to the schools.


Bay Area Native
Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm
Bay Area Native, Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm
17 people like this

I interacted with Maher while he was interim principal at WG. Once he makes up his mind that's it. He is not open to analyzing or considering alternative perspectives. I think he behaves the same way as a Trustee.

He should recuse himself from decisions that benefit his daughter who is a PUSD employee but he never does.


Karl Aitken
Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 24, 2020 at 2:35 pm
Karl Aitken, Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 24, 2020 at 2:35 pm
13 people like this

I met and worked with Steve while trying to address the Gatetree Circle neighborhood concerns with PUSD and the city staff.

I found Steve to be helpful and positive - he truly wanted to help resolve the issue. I was treated as an equal and with real respect.

I think he is one of the "good" members of the school board. I've also been impressed with him the numerous times I've watched the school board meetings on TV.

My impression of many of the other board members, including the superintendent, is they are a group of people who do not consider me their equal - they have superior attitudes and look down on people like myself that do not have Phd's (although I have BS and MS technical degrees from national recognized engineering schools). They seem to be the type of people that always feel they are the smartest person in the room.

Pleasanton doesn't needed the same old approach by this group of Phd's. We need out of box thinkers, with common sense, to effectively address the issues we are seeing in our city schools. Superior financial knowledge and demonstrated sound financial decision making is also key.

No more wasting our tax dollars on poorly planned, out of date solutions.


Maddia
Downtown
on Jul 26, 2020 at 6:23 am
Maddia, Downtown
on Jul 26, 2020 at 6:23 am
10 people like this

Maher will again support a school bond tax. We do not need more taxes now or in the future. He does not think beyond his own kingdom. We need school board members with broader vision.


Mom
Amador Estates
on Jul 30, 2020 at 1:56 am
Mom, Amador Estates
on Jul 30, 2020 at 1:56 am
Like this comment

I support anyone who proposes a tax increase. We need the money now more than ever for the students enrolled in PUSD.


This Town
Birdland
on Jul 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm
This Town, Birdland
on Jul 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm
4 people like this

It is time for a change of trustees. If they do not have a connection to the schools such as a child, grandchild or other relative they should move along. Some (or most) are there as one person put it "the stage" and to benefit their own families. In this unprecedented times do we really want to continue with the same old same old?


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Vintage Hills
on Jul 30, 2020 at 4:37 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
on Jul 30, 2020 at 4:37 pm
3 people like this

This Town, just to be clear and in case you didn’t already know, Maher has grandchildren in the district.


Bye
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2020 at 4:45 pm
Bye, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2020 at 4:45 pm
7 people like this

These are not lifetime positions....give other community members a chance, especially since he just went against what the majority of PUSD parents said they wanted with a return to the classroom. He voted for what the Union wanted, and always does. We need an advocate for our students and parents, not unions!


fackchecker
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2020 at 5:10 pm
fackchecker, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2020 at 5:10 pm
4 people like this

No one is more of an advocate for our children then Steve Maher!!! We should be grateful that he is willing to serve another term.


Steve
Parkside
on Jul 31, 2020 at 5:03 am
Steve, Parkside
on Jul 31, 2020 at 5:03 am
8 people like this

Maher needs to be replaced by fresh blood with an open mind. His orientation is stale. Distrust of him and his cohorts is evident by the majority voting against the school bond tax he advocated. Poor judgment on his part and short sighted community vision.


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