Santa Clara County Board of Education Appoints New Superintendent, Trustee

The Santa Clara County Board of Education on Tuesday announced the appointment of Dr. Mary Ann Dewan as superintendent and Kathleen King as its new Area 2 trustee.

Dewan joined the county Office of Education in October 2013 as chief schools officer, and was was later promoted to deputy superintendent. She has upward of 27 years of education experience, with an expertise in early learning and special education.

“Dr. Dewan has proven her ability to lead effectively both recently and during her tenure with the county office,” Board President Rosemary Kamei said in a prepared statement released earlier this week. “I am confident that under her leadership the SCCOE will accomplish the goals of the strategic plan initiative.”

The new superintendent replaces Jon Gundry, who left the county last summer with a $151,000 severance payment and a slew of harassment claims.

King, for her part, assumes the trustee seat vacated by Michael Chang, who stepped down in December to take care of his ailing mother. King, the CEO of the Healthier Kids Foundation, previously led the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation and worked spent 19 years as a tech executive at Applied Materials Inc.

“We are pleased to welcome Kathleen to the County Board of Education, and we look forward to working together,” Kamei said. “Ms. King provided thoughtful answers during the interview process and brings an impressive background of experience and service.”

It should be noted that King came under scrutiny in 2013 after a San Jose Inside investigation found that the Healthier Kids Foundation siphoned money meant for children’s health care to fund political campaigns.

King will serve on the board as a provisional appointment to finish out Chang’s term, which runs through November. Dewan, however, will start her new job immediately.


    • Agree with John Michael O’Connor. Kathleen King has a long history and well-known reputation of low ethics and lack of integrity. Very sad to hear that she is appointed to this position.

  1. Unbelievable. It takes less than a minute of research to know that Kathleen King’s reputation is filled with shady dealings and self-serving moves. She gets appointed to this position by having “thoughtful answers”? Perhaps the Board Of Education should have given more thought to appointing someone with such a poor reputation as King. Now we have someone who is more interested in herself, than in our kids, making decisions that will affect our children. At least San Jose Inside is keeping an eye on King, but it appears to do no good. Send the Board of Education a letter, protesting this very poor decision, at Santa Clara County Office of Education, ATTN: Mary Ann Dewan, 1290 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95131-2304, Phone: (408) 453-6500.

  2. Excellent vigilance JMO, CL34, and JOHN B.

    They slipped this one by me. It is a travesty.

    Just so everyone knows who the reptiles are who used their public trust to put this grifter on the Board, here are the names of the current Board Members:

    Joseph DiSalvo
    Darcie Green
    Rosemary Kamei
    Grace H. Mah
    Claudia Rossi
    Anna Song
    Kathleen M. King

    A small tip of the hat to Jaleny Reyes and San Jose Inside for committing some actual journalism and calling this to our attention.

    • Dictionary definition: “A grifter is a con artist: someone who swindles people out of money through fraud.” The perfect description of Kathleen King.

    • SAN JOSE OUTSIDE THE BUBBLE, That is very disingenuous of you to include Joseph Di Salvo in that list of reptiles. Did you watch the online public video of the selection??

      The voice of REASON was Joseph Di Salvo. Take him off your list of having played a role in this selection debacle.

      He begged twice to appoint someone with out political bias and history to fill the appointment — one that wasn’t going to be “gifted” the election when the seat comes up for normal democratic vote in November. [Think back to recent San Francisco Ed Lee and London Breed appointment politics.]

      Area-2 just lost their Democratic progress. Di Salvo listed all the board members of the past that were appointed to vacancies and then all smashed their full elections as they were seen as the experienced, political incumbents. Current members Rosemary Kamei and Darcie Green are most recent examples.

      Ms. King now gets 9 months to practice her candidacy, where the others that run for Chang’s seat wont.

      Di Salvo even refused to vote for one of obviously-insider-political appointment “gifts” when it was down to the “top” two candidates. Again begging to honestly put in a well-rounded, non-political temporary intern to fill Area-2 until the election.

  3. See the last paragraph in the article: King’s appointment is “provisional” (to fill a recently-vacated position) and only runs through November 2018. I urge everyone to use this time to educate the Board Of Education on the history and consistent low integrity of Kathleen King, in the hope that her term is limited to just the next nine months. She will likely do enough damage in this time. See John B’s above post for contact information for the Board Of Education, and make your opinion known. This travesty should not be repeated, but it will take everyone’s efforts to avoid a repeat performance.

    • It is not the SCCBoE that you need to educate — it is the VOTERS of Area-2. They need to not just blindly vote for the “incumbent” but do some real research and decide who is the best of the candidates. It’s in their hands.

  4. I know someone that worked with Kathleen King for several years during her self-ballyhooed career at Applied Materials, and asked her for their opinion of King. She agreed that King is self-serving, dishonest, and cannot be trusted. She was apparently well-known at Applied Materials for cronyism and questionable ethics. Electing or appointing King to any position of public service does not serve the public well; it only serves her own agenda. Wake up, Board Of Education. Her “thoughtful answers” were certainly well-practiced BS. You’ve appointed someone that is unqualified in the education arena, has a history of dishonesty, and who is a very poor role model in general. Please find anyone else to replace her in November.

  5. Unbelievable that the general public can uncover these facts about Kathleen King, but that the Board Of Education couldn’t.

    • Oh, the Board can. Watch the online public video of the proceedings. Minds were already made up based on insider-politics. It was already decided ahead of time that Kathleen King and Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto would be the “top” two for a run-off.

      If you were unbiased and truly listening to the responses and candidate background, Ms. Allison Becker would have won the appointment. See her background at
      hear her statement and listen to her answers to the interview questions.

      But instead we got partisan politics.

  6. Well, well, well.

    More information surfacing on Kathleen King’s “colorful” political past:

    > Kathleen King, who sits on the VMC board and is executive director of the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, provided even fewer details. Her foundation gave $250,000 to the “Yes on A” push, but King denied a request to see her organization’s meeting minutes and cancelled an in-person interview in favor of an email exchange.

    > “I discussed your request for a copy of our minutes with my chair (Dana Ditmore) and he did not want to do this,” King wrote in correspondence with San Jose Inside. “He serves on many boards and his answer was no.”

    • > More information surfacing on Kathleen King’s “colorful” political past:

      She’s part of an elite club that keep each other employed and in office. I asked, “Where is my invite?” and they just looked at me.

      • > I asked, “Where is my invite?”


        Just ask Herb Waxman or Frank Mockery.

        I’m sure they have great connections with the elites and know how to make them like you.

    • A perusal of Kathleen King’s and Dana Ditmore’s respective biographies finds that they both were at Applied Materials at the same time. More King Kronyism …

  7. I would suggest that everyone forward these findings directly to the Santa Clara County Office of Education, ATTN: Mary Ann Dewan, 1290 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95131-2304. It certainly appears that the Board Of Education needs to be better educated on their appointments and personnel selections. As noted above, Kathleen King is an interim appointment, until November. Use the time between now and then to advise the BOE of their significant mistake with this appointment.

    • Should probably address these concerns to Rosemary Kamei, although both she and Mary Ann Dewan may well have been complicit in Kathleen King’s appointment. Who else can this travesty be escalated to?

  8. :

    ​​Internal Audit Hotline​
    The SCCOE recognizes an obligation to its students, faculty and staff, and to the community and organizations it serves or with whom it does business, to maintain the highest ethical standards.

    The intent of the audit hotline is to provide the SCCOE with an easy way to report ideas for improving processes or reporting concerns about possible fraud, waste, and abuse that may represent misconduct. You may file a report by contacting the internal audit line at (408) 453-3613 or email [email protected]. For report filers who wish to remain anonymous, they may create a free email account with any name they choose.

    Reports submitted through the internal audit hotline will be handled as promptly and discreetly as possible. Report filers should not be concerned with any retaliatory actions against them as the SCCOE is in compliance with the California Lab​or Code 1102.5 to 1106 regarding Whistleblower Protection. Please also see page 10 section j in the “Living Our Values, Code of Conduct Handbook” for more information about protection against retaliation. ​

    • I sent a letter to MS Dewan and sent an email with attachment to the internal audit e-mail you provided. I will also present the letter at the SCCOE Board Meeting tonight a long with a poster of SCCOE’s abysmal academic performance. Wish me luck and better yet plan on attending to provide me with moral support!

  9. We have seen this movie so many times before not only with the scurrilous County Board but with School Boards of local school districts across the county. The Boards are politically motivated and will use the organizations to enhance their own outsized egos and also to line their pockets and the pockets of their relatives and friends. Of course they will offer the veneer of saying the right things about students, the achievement gap, yada yada yada. This SCCOE board actually hired the scoundrels Xavier De La Torre and Jon Grundy. The system will not change of its own accord. Is there really an need for a County Offices of Education? What do they actually do but act as a repositories for political patronage? Let’s get rid of all of them as they are cesspools of incompetence, graft, and greed. Grab some popcorn unless this movie sickens you too much!

  10. Just a little reminder of the incredible incompetence of the SCCOE Board, I did an analysis and data visualization of the performance of schools under the direct charge of the SCCOE Board and found that 0% – let me repeat that 0% of 11th grade students meet or exceed standards on the State Math Test. Check out the results on the Data Visualization page of I know that it is hard to take in but the “flagship” school district in Santa Clara County is a total and complete bust. Shut it down. Shut it down. Shut it down.

    • > I did an analysis and data visualization of the performance of schools under the direct charge of the SCCOE Board and found that 0% – let me repeat that 0% of 11th grade students meet or exceed standards on the State Math Test.

      DR. BILL:

      An amazing statistic!

      Can you say more?

      Someone has some ‘splainen to do.

      Question #1: How much tax money did the citizens of Santa Clara County provide for the math education of these 11th grade students?

      Question #2. How do the citizens of Santa Clara County apply for a refund?

      Where are all of the Democrats who were demanding that President Trump provide refunds to students of Trump University? (He DID provide refunds, by the way.)

  11. True enough SJ! After I got these results, I rechecked my Python scripts to make sure that they were capturing the data from the CDE research files accurately. And yes the scripts were operating as designed. Of course the leaders at SCCOE will whine that these are the most troubled students and one wouldn’t expect to be able to get them over the bar. However, these students are some of the best to work with especially in the Juvenile Detention Center. They are so to speak a “captive” audience. They are generally very well-behaved in class because going to class is a privilege in the system. It is the best possible teaching gig. (a well kept secret) However, in many cases the teachers are not expected to teach the Standards. When I was there, we made a big push to get the teachers to put the Standards-aligned learning targets on the Board. Very challenging though. If the practices come up to speed, it would be possible to prepare these students for college and career but unfortunately, it is a “baby sitting operation.”

    There is a huge budget for the SCCOE Schools. I say shut them down and let the kids go online with restricted access to quality education sites like the Khan Academy where they can actually learn the math and then incentive them to get up to speed and and become college and career ready. It would be much cheaper and would certainly get improved results. So Sad.

    We get 0’s on the State Test because we have 0s as leaders within SCCOE. Nuf said?

  12. Without good data, we are flying blind.
    If you can’t see it, you can’t solve it
    Kofi Annan

    We now have good data on the SCCOE Schools performance on the State ELA and Math tests and it is good because it is accurate but it is not good from a student performance perspective. We could solve it by improving professional practices but given the craven political motivations of a corrupt SCCOE Board, this will never happen. The children are the local District “throw-away” kids from the local school districts who really would prefer to preserve their ELA and Math scores, graduation rates etc. and then dump their kids into the SCCOE wasteland because who will ever look at that data? SCCOE can just absorb it without the worry of accountability. Nice system eh!

  13. Just one more little story. As you know, I am running the first ever Academic Olympics for Santa Clara County on my web site. Needless to say the local school districts hate this because it involves COMPETITION which in academic world is a BIG NO NO. American education is in a constant state of massive effeminization where we do a lot of collaborating, nurturing, and coddling. And that is a big reason why the Vietnamese and Chinese are kicking our asses in taking all the circuit design jobs in Silicon Valley and our nurtured and coddled kids are cleaning the bathrooms at the high tech firms.

    Each of the events involved overall performance and improved performance over 3 years. Well get this, in 2015, the SCCOE, amazingly and I am not kidding here, were able to get 1% of their 11th graders to meet or exceed standards. As I previously reported, in 2017, they were not able to hold on to 1% and fell to 0%. When I calculated the improvements for the 11 high school districts in Santa Clara, a drop of one percentage point placed SCCOE at the 6th level in the overall standings for this event – not at the bottom of 11 because other school districts dropped more than one percentage point.

    I brought this very strange anomaly up to the Academic Olympic Committee (Me!) and we I mean I decided that this was not tenable and I made the command decision to push SCCOE back down to the last position in the standings for this event. Dropping only one percentage point to get to 0% should not constitute an advantage to move up in the standings. I am sure though that SCCOE will figure out away to subtract knowledge from their 11th graders in order to move them below 0% and into a new uncharted negative % value for the State Math tests. Let’s wait and see! Stay tuned at

  14. The issue here is that only a small population of people will read these posts and see the evidence of the consistently corrupt history of Kathleen King — and this reader population likely does not include any real decision-making authority of the Board Of Education. Methinks a strong letter writing campaign is needed, and/or further publicity to a larger audience than San Jose Insider readers . Who’s in? C’mon folks … you can’t solve this problem by just writing posts.

    • Excellent point McAllister. I will write a letter. We should all just commit to doing one significant action a day to combat the rampant corruption in Santa Clara County. There are no real checks on these miscreants except our voices!

  15. I have children that attend Santa Clara County public schools, and am appalled by what I have read about Kathleen King. We cannot accept her in any type of decision-making role that impacts our children’s education. What can be done about this?

  16. Looking forward to presenting a letter demanding the resignation of MS King as trustee as she is political vermin and a thief of money that should support children’s health. I will wear a surgical math to protect against the toxic fumes emanating from these pustules of piss.

  17. My observation is that for every single one of the posts against Ms. King on this message board (especially those who find a lot of time in their day to post here every single day or in some cases multiple replies to the same article in the same day), you could be putting together a well-organized campaign to replace her with yourself.

    • I do MAKE time for issues that impact my children’s lives. And I already have a job, thank you. It is just a travesty to have someone, with such a well-known negative reputation, be appointed to a position where she can clearly have negative consequences on our children’s education. You seem to have more of an issue with the public expressing their opinions, than of the real issue.

  18. Would some type of petition help make the case to remove Kathleen King from this position? Strength in numbers …

  19. Let’s see what happens at the Board Meeting tonight. We are taking action. I also like the entertainment of watching blowhard Joe DiSilva go ballistic when I call out LOCK HER UP when they introduce the newest crook to the Board. I will try and capture it on my phone for all to see later.

    • I would recommend consistent and rationale justification for objections to Kathleen King’s appointment, versus “entertainment”. Although shouts of “lock her up” may indeed be dramatic and entertaining (and, I confess, I would indeed probably love to see it), I think a more reasoned approach would be more productive. Just my opinion. I regret that I cannot attend the BOE meeting but look forward to hearing the outcome.

  20. > I would recommend consistent and rationale justification for objections to Kathleen King’s appointment, versus “entertainment”.


    It took me a long time to recognize that “rational justification for objections” does NOT move politicians and bureaucrats. All it takes for a politician to slough off a rational objection is a COUNTER RATIONALE. It doesn’t have to be a good rationale. It can be any rationale: good, bad, stupid, preposterous. It doesn’t matter.

    All a politician has to do is say something that says “I’ve answered your objection, you’ve had your say, IT’S OLD NEWS, now we can move on.”

    The Clintons were world class masters of this technique. They had an explanation for EVERYTHING! Nothing was ever their fault.

    Stored top secret emails illegally on your home brew server?

    “It wasn’t marked TOP SECRET. I didn’t intend to violate the Espionage Act.”

    Well, then, let’s move on.

    Rationality doesn’t move politicians. The ONLY THING that has a chance of affecting their behavior is PUBLIC SHAMING. That’s why they love to have their meetings late at night when the public has gone home and the news deadlines have passed.

    “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, is the tree ashamed, and does anyone care about its rationale for falling?”

    • San Jose Outside The Bubble … no argument! You make a very good point. I am not confident that anything will be done … I assume that the people that made this poor decision would be the same ones who would have to rectify it … and thus admit their error. Public shaming may indeed carry more weight that I had thought. I stand corrected.

  21. Well the bad news is that Strapped for Kash Kathleen did not instantly resign after my brilliant two minute presentation highlighting her skullduggery. I think I detected a very very very very slight twitch in her right antenna though! Some progress. I got to the meeting a little late because my data poster was not finished until 4:30 and the meeting began at 5:00 pm. The Board was stroking itself with an award celebration to 17 students who had won awards on wonderful History day. Good for these students and their families. Only 91 students overall participated in the event out of a possible 250,000 or 0.000364% or about 3 students per school district. Even Sex Harassin Joe mentioned this low participation in his remarks. He should have also noted that none of the students from the SCCOE schools participated. Anyway, after this celebration there were only about 3 people left in audience – me and two women who took their two minutes to confront Sex Harassin Joe on his ongoing women harassing ways. It is not easy to move this mountain as SJ and McCallister have so eloquently noted. I am just going to offer it up to my Lenten penance! I left the poster not wanting to sit waiting for them to finish a 1.5 hour closed session and the State Accountability Indicator at the end of the meeting = 1 am.

  22. Thanks to Bill Conrad for his personal visit to the Board Meeting. It seems to be increasingly clear that some escalation of this issue, above and beyond the Board itself (who is likely complicit in Kathleen King’s appointment, as noted by Linda M, above), is needed. Ideas?

  23. Check this out: Kathleen King’s husband, Mark Stark, has a GoFundMe page, to “raise funds” for another childhood disorder. Hmmm … Like wife, like husband? … “Let’s see if we can fleece monies out of the public, and line our pockets, by playing on their sympathy for children.” Where’s the accountability for where this money goes? Why is more funding needed when his wife runs a children’s health foundation? Mr. AND Mrs. Grifter! What a pair!

  24. I am in contact with the United States Common Sense Organization to fight the political and financial corruption scandal of Ms Kathleen King, a recent appointee to the Santa Clara County Office of Education. I recommend that you contact this organization as well to protest the illegal political and financial action of this scurrilous political official. I will also contact the State Prosecutor today as well and will keep everyone posted. As the patriot John Paul Jones once said; “We have not yet begun to fight!”

    United States Common Sense
    2483 Old Middlefield Way
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    Phone: (650)625-9480
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Sample E-Mail Message:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I have been pursuing actions to force the resignation of Kathleen King, an interim trustee, to the Santa Clara County Office of Education School Board. She has been involved in explicit illegal actions in contravention to the Political Reform Act. I have attached a letter that I wrote to the Superintendent demanding her resignation. I have also sent an email to the SCCOE whistle-blowing hotline.

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could advise me of more specific actions that I could take with a state prosecutor or other judicial entity to see that MS King is charged with illegal financial and political activity.

    I would also appreciate any additional recommendations for actions that I could take to bring this political miscreant to justice.

    Thank you so much for all that you do to protect our community from political and financial corruption from our elected officials.

  25. Just wrote a complaint to the Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, asking his office to pursue legal actions against the financial and political crimes committed by Ms King: Trustee of the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Please submit your own complaint at:

    Let’s get busy!

  26. I just found this thread and am appalled at learning that Kathleen King is now on the Santa Clara County Board Of Education. I am a Saratoga resident, and interacted with Ms. King on a civic issue several years ago, during her tenure on the Saratoga City Council. During that interaction, I found her to be quite shallow, lacking any knowledge of the issue (and not seeming to care), and clearly only interested in her own agenda. She appears to have made a nice (and nicely paid; she lives in an expensive area) career for herself by her political machinations. I would urge whatever action is necessary to replace Ms. King with someone that is more trustworthy, knowledgeable, and who has the appropriate background to bring value to our children’s education. We can only hope that her interim term on the BOE is her only term.

    • > I . . . am appalled at learning that Kathleen King is now on the Santa Clara County Board Of Education.

      I suspect that the reason that Kathleen King prospers in the political system is that she is well plugged into the “one-party democracy” crony network.

      The one-party cronies place a lot of value on things like gender identity and crony loyalty but not much else that has anything to do with good government.

  27. Kathy King is ignorant of facts on issues, narcissistic, craves attention, and brings zero value to any position that she is in. She has made a handsome living and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle on the backs of others. This type of self-serving grifter has no place in our education system.

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