Five Candidates Vie to Replace Former SCCOE Board President

The Santa Clara County Board of Education (SCCOE) has its pick of five candidates to replace Michael Chang, who resigned as board president in December to spend time with his stroke-weakened mother.

SCCOE trustees will convene at 6:30pm on Feb. 13 to interview the applicants. The final pick will serve out the rest of Chang’s term, which was set to expire in November.

Chang’s abrupt departure left the seven-member board at a pivotal juncture. The Area 2 trustee would often cast the swing vote on divisive issues, including charter school petitions. Contenders for his replacement include former teacher Allison Becker, Healthier Kids Foundation CEO Kathleen King, parent organizer John Mumy, YWCA Silicon Valley housing director Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto and Foothill-De Anza Community College District trustee Gilbert Wong.

Becker spent seven years teaching in public, private and charter schools, according to an SCCOE news release, and spent time in the field as a Teach for America instructor. Before that, she worked as a testing coordinator and math and literacy instructor.

King worked for nearly two decades as an executive at Applied Materials before entering the nonprofit world. Several years ago, she came under fire after a San Jose Insider investigation found that she was using nonprofit funds earmarked for children’s health for political purposes.

As parent to a middle school student, Mumy has been an active volunteer in his local school system since 2007. Over the years, he has volunteered for the Luther Burbank Community Association, the Lakewood Village Neighborhood Association, San Jose Dance Theatre and the Los Gatos Ballet, among other organizations.

Nakano-Mastumoto boasts more than three decades of social work experience—25 of which was spent in the nonprofit sector. In addition to her work at the YWCA, she volunteers for the Homestead High School PTSA, the Girl Scouts, Midori Kai of Silicon Valley and the Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy.

Wong boasts a background in finance and real estate as well as in civic service, having served two terms as mayor of Cupertino. The current community college district trustee has two children in the Cupertino and Fremont Union high school districts.

The interviews will take place at the SCCOE board room, 1290 Ridder Drive, in San Jose. For more information, call the superintendent’s office at 408.453.6540.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the News Editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

5 Comments

  1. Anyone but Kathleen King. An excellent series of SJ Inside articles (link below) have shown her to be someone more interested in advancing herself (politically and monetarily) by heading an organization that does not put the majority of its funds toward charitable work. These articles are worth reading.

    https://www.sanjoseinside.com/tag/kathleenking/

  2. Agree with BR’s comment. See the above article: “Several years ago, she came under fire after a San Jose Insider investigation found that she was using nonprofit funds earmarked for children’s health for political purposes.” Also see more on the link that BR posts above. It has also been noted, elsewhere, that Kathleen King’s “executive” tenure at Applied Materials was fraught with questionable ethics. Why on earth would anyone consider voting for someone with such low integrity, into a Board Of Education position? Is this the type of individual that we want to make decisions on our children’s education? No!

  3. Above comments re: Kathleen King are well-founded. In addition to her shady reputation, it should be noted that she has zero experience in the education field.

  4. Allison Becker, Gilbert Wong, Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, and John Mumy appear to be viable candidates, based on their respective backgrounds. However, Kathleen King is certainly not. She seems to flit from industry to industry (technology, politics, health, and now education), hoping that her poor reputation will not follow her. Kudos to poster BR for pointing out King’s lack of integrity, as repeatedly demonstrated in her previous positions. (Read up on King’s background and you will conclude the same.) Decisions made by a Board Of Education have significant effects on our children’s lives, and it is critical that BOE members be qualified and of highest integrity. Kathleen King is not qualified for this position, for a number of reasons, most notably her consistent self-serving actions targeted solely to line her bank account. Avoid Kathleen King.

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