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32-year school board veteran Anne White seeks re-election

Improving student achievement, wellness among primary goals
Anne White
LVJUSD Trustee Anne White is seeking re-election in the Nov. 8 general election.

Anne White, who is currently the longest serving member on the Livermore school board, is seeking re-election in the Nov. 8 general election.

White was first elected to the board in 1990. According to her campaign statement, her goals for continuing on the board include improving student achievement in all areas, decreasing achievement gaps and prioritizing the mental and physical health of students and staff.

"Anne has been a board member for many years and knows that first and foremost a primary goal is to raise student achievement in the District -- for all students, eventually closing the achievement gap," White's statement reads. "Further, our children become better students if they are happy, healthy and well fed. We must address the newly obvious health concerns both physical and mental."

The other two at-large seats up for grabs this year are currently held by Clerk Emily Prusso and President Craig Bueno, who are also both seeking re-election. The five trustees of the board serve staggered four-year terms.

The new challengers are associate professor Steven Drouin, student and community organizer Hayden Sidun, development director Kristina Mazaika, retired legal businessman John Kupski, doctor and businesswoman Deena Kaplanis and community member and mother Alex Izarraraz.

In her statement, White said that the district's current strategies have not been effective in improving student achievement.

"What we are doing now is not showing much improvement. We must do something different. If we just roll over the program, we will get what we have always gotten year after year -- merely adequate achievement. We need to be innovative to help our students achieve more. And that is all students. The achievement gap must be closed," she said.

White noted that one recent step the district has taken toward prioritizing student health is establishing a new wellness coordinator position.

"We, collectively must do what we can to assure children come to school well nourished and ready to learn. Our recently appointed superintendent, Chris Van Schaack, has recognized this responsibility by establishing a new position of Wellness Coordinator. Long-time District psychologist Liisa Hannen Danner is leading this effort, " White said.

She added, "Much improved student achievement would be a touchdown, home run, hole in one -- depending on your preferred athletic analogy -- for our students as well as for the District."

White said that in addition to preparing students for higher education and careers, schools are also responsible for preparing youth for "their responsibilities as citizens."

"A knowledgeable and participating citizenry is critical to preserving our American democracy -- particularly in these troubled times," she said.

An Indiana native, White moved to California after earning degrees in developmental biology from Brown University and Purdue University. She worked at University of California, San Francisco on a team that gathered data to support FDA approval of a new inhaled, general anesthetic, Forane. She later married a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist. While her two sons were in school, White was active in their education as a classroom, computer lab and library volunteer. She was also on the school site council.

White has been a longtime delegate to California School Boards Association (CSBA) Delegate Assembly and has been appointed to many CSBA committees. She was CSBA director for Alameda County from 2014 to 2018. She has also reviewed instructional materials on a State Board of Education panel in the four core subjects (English language arts, math, science and social studies) as well as German.

"Anne’s experience and wisdom will be a valuable asset as the District explores innovations for improvement," White's campaign statement said.


Cierra Bailey

About the Author: Cierra Bailey

Cierra started as an editorial intern with the Pleasanton Weekly in 2014. After pursuing opportunities in digital and broadcast media and attending graduate school at Syracuse University, she’s back as the editor of the Vine.
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