Meet the candidates: A look at the Board of Trustees hopefuls

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, voters will cast their votes to elect three members of the Sequoia Union High School District Board of Trustees in the first all mail-in election in San Mateo county. The five candidates, including three incumbents have been vying for three open spots on the Board for months.

During a forum set-up by the League of Women Voters on Sept. 24, four candidates presented themselves and their positions on many issues ranging from the future of school libraries to how to decrease student stress. Here is a look at the hopefuls and where they stand on some of the most important issues facing the Board:

Carrie DuBois, incumbent since 2011


Photo courtesy of Carrie DuBois


  • Creating a Community where all students succeed
  • Teacher inspired priorities and goals
  • Social and emotional support for student academic success
  • Creating a focus on Foster Youth
  • Addressing student stress

In her own words:

“We’re so focused on success in this narrow, academic way–we need to focus more on [the whole student].”

“I have a real concern for how large our schools are and how they’re growing. They’re structures under strain…the college counselors are under strain. The guidance counselors are under strain. The mental health officers are under strain…So this is something we need to talk about–if we want to make our schools larger, we have to make sure support is in place for all of our kids.”

“I would say the amount of homework [my kids] are doing is just right and I don’t want to micromanage teachers. I am much more concerned with our focus on grades and testing–I think that’s what’s causing stress…it is wrong to be focusing daily on grades”


Georgia Jack


  • Ensuring every student is prepared for college or career
  • Addressing teacher shortage, including housing issues
  • Listening and responding to parents, staff and community member

In her own words:

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for me, personally, to hear from students because we don’t know as adults, parents, sitting in the district office what’s really going on in those classrooms. They can give the unvarnished truth, and they’re very accurate in their assessments.”

“We need to encourage teachers to start talking to one another across the subject areas so that they are aware of what’s happening when they’re assigning that project or assigning that big test the next day. I think the district needs to acknowledge that that’s a problem–that we are piling up some students with way too much homework”

“My first issue is making sure that we have the ability to retain as well as hire new teachers, especially as our core of teachers start to retire. And again, that’s a regional issue that goes back to housing.”

“I think the other issue for me is finding that balance between challenging and stress-inducing course loads for our students. I’m a parent, so this matters to me quite a lot.”


Allen Weiner, incumbent since 2011

  • Maintaining core academic excellence in schools
  • Reducing the achievement gap in order to educate all children without compromising programs that foster excellence
  • Preparing as many students as possible for college and, for those for whom college is not the right choice, providing skills for 21st century jobs

“I think the single most pressing issue we have as a school district is making sure that we are educating our students–that’s our core mission. I think we’re entering a new area where we are implementing a new curriculum, Common Core curriculum, and I think we need to figure out a way to teach the fundamental skills that our children are going to need to survive. We need to focus on literacy, we need to focus on numeracy, we need focus on critical thinking, we need to focus on collective problem-solving…the most important thing we can do is educate our students and make sure they have the fundamental skills they need to survive in our society today.”

“I’m someone who believes very strongly in rigor and I believe that our students are really, really capable of rising to the expectations that are set for them, so I don’t think there should be any effort on the part of schools to diminish the level of rigor, but I think we’ve gotten to a place where there’s a false equivalence between courseload and rigor.”

“We have to make sure that we don’t simply say we’re going to listen to the 3, 4 or 10 most vocal students and treat their views as representative of all students.”

Laura Martinez, incumbent since March 2015

Laura 2015

Photo courtesy of Laura Martinez
  • Preparing our students for college and careers with outstanding academics
  • Working with communities and cities on open communication and planning for transportation, development, and safety needs
  • Ensuring SUHSD’s strong fiscal health, including overseeing the $265 million Measure A bond

“I’m all about student voice and I welcome the idea of more student voice.”

“The health of our students is very important to me and I think this is something we need to have an open conversation about.”

“Growth and development in our region [is the most important issue] because it affects our schools. It affects our teachers–where they live. It affects our class sizes. It’s important to work with cities and communities on open communication and plan for transportation and safety needs and I would like to see more of that…we would like to encourage our students to walk or bike to school.”