Livermore school board clerk Emily Prusso has her sights set on a second term as one of the three incumbents seeking re-election this fall.
Prusso was first elected to the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) Board of Education in 2018 and has served as board clerk for the past two years.
"I am a parent and I am running for school board because I care about my kids, your kids and this community," said Prusso, who is a Livermore resident and mother of four. "I have served on the Livermore Valley School Board for four years. I believe that time and resources invested in K-12 education now is an investment that will pay dividends in our community for decades to come," she added.
The other two at-large seats up for grabs this year are currently held by Trustee Anne White 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 Alexandria Izarraraz.
According to her campaign website, Prusso's priorities include making sure students have strong fundamental skills in reading, math and science; the learning of practical life skills, including financial literacy; and developing students’ critical thinking and reasoning skills.
She plans to champion her priorities by prioritizing students, supporting teachers and empowering parents.
"When I decided to run for school board, four years ago, I had concerns about the achievement gaps within our district -- and I still do," Prusso said. "This is the main reason I decided to run then and now. Like most of the State of California, a majority of our students are not meeting standards in Math and many of them are not meeting standards in Language Arts. I want to be part of a solution in closing the gaps with our student achievement in all areas, but especially math and language arts."
She added, "Since being on the board, I have seen many of the efforts from administration, teachers and parents to improve students’ achievements and nurture success for all students to function after graduation, whether at college or in a career. I have also had the opportunity to serve as chairperson on the ROP Board. My passion for career technical education and ROP’s motto: Careers by Choice, not by Chance, has instilled in me an appreciation for unique career paths."
Aside from her work on the school board, Prusso and her husband own a small local construction business that she helps manage on the side. However, she said she considers herself mostly a full-time, stay-at-home mom. Two of her children are currently attending LVJUSD schools and two have already graduated.
Prusso holds a master’s degree in English literature from California State University, East Bay and comes from a family of educators, according to her campaign website. "I believe I have the experience and passion necessary to continue my role on the school board," she said.
Some elements of her learning philosophy include students knowing what they are learning and why, students having the opportunity to work at their own pace and explore their own interests and encouragement and support for test retakes and assignment re-dos, among other things.
The various aspects of her philosophy, "fit with a traditional academic path as well as a hands-on apprenticeship pathway towards trades careers," according to her website.
"I love living in Livermore and I care about education. I am hoping to be able to make positive changes in the LVJUSD that support student-centered learning," she said.
More information about Prusso and her campaign is available at emilyprusso.org.