12 Contenders Vie for Pam Foley’s Vacated San Jose Unified Seat

UPDATE: Carla Collins, assistant director of the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy was chosen as the Area 3 trustee. In her application, she describes herself as “a San Jose native, lifelong feminist, firm believer in democracy, proud public servant and mom to three amazing SJUSD students, ages 6, 8, and 13.” Click here to read her entire application. 

After running for Congress, San Jose mayor, Santa Clara County supervisor and Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, Willow Glen denizen Pierluigi Oliverio is vying for an appointment as San Jose Unified School District trustee.

The ex-councilman is one of a record-breaking dozen candidates jockeying to succeed Pam Foley, who vacated her Area 3 seat when she was elected to replace Don Rocha in San Jose’s District 9. In his application for the appointment on the five-member board—which has become a stepping stone to higher office—Oliverio mentions being raised by two educators and earning a teaching credential through San Jose State University.

A few other familiar names appear on the list of applicants. Ruben Navarro, who unsuccessfully ran for Oliverio’s District 6 council seat in 2016, is up against Carol Myers, who served on the same SJUSD Area 3 seat for 14 years through 2004.

Charter school advocate Autumn Zangrilli is on the list along with Google operations manager Amar Vedi, CPA Darlene Marshall and former San Jose Teachers’ Association President Janice Allen.

There’s also Carla Collins, who works for the county’s Office of Women’s Policy and Willow Glen Neighborhood Association board member Jeremy Taylor, Booksin Elementary School Community Association board president Jennifer Maddox. And finally, there’s special education advocate Kristen Brown and Leslie Rodriguez, a partner of government relations firm California Strategies.

Whoever gets picked to serve alongside SJUSD trustees Teresa Castellaños, Jose Magaña, Brian Wheatley and Kimberly Meeks will have a challenging year ahead overseeing the largest K-12 public school district in the South Bay. The district is being sued by a charter school whose petition was denied by the past board, it will soon have to renegotiate a labor contract with its teachers’ union and it’s been grappling with criticism over the way it handles special education programs.

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7 Comments

  1. > The district is being sued by a charter school whose petition was denied by the past board, it will soon have to renegotiate a labor contract with its teachers’ union and it’s been grappling with criticism over the way it handles special education programs.

    Other issues for SJUSD:

    1. How supine and intimidated are they going to be to the teacher’s unions threats to join the L.A. and Oakland teachers unions strikes?

    2. Is ANY candidate for SJUSD going to push back against the dark cabal of government insiders and special interests who are trying to make the “school district” into a big time real estate developer and housing provider for teachers and other government employees?

  2. Extremist nut so-babble. Please read more “San José outside the bubble” and make your own conclusion.

      • You can forget it. Now that Empress Castellanos has her friend Carla appointed, they join her lapdog wheatley to form a majority. They will now do whatever she wants. I’d love to see some reporting by Jenn on how a trustee can spend every waking moment talking about how important it is to be bilingual and then stand up and argue for her friend over the more qualified (and bilingual) Leslie.

  3. Hope we have someone who’s really there to improve the higher standards education for our children NOT the special interest!

    • > Hope we have someone who’s really there to improve the higher standards education for our children NOT the special interest!

      It’s going to take a lot more than “hope”. The special interests are locked in tighter than a tick.

      Put your children in private school. The Clintons did. Obama did.

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