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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
School

Santa Clara County Board of EducationCandidate for Member, Trustee Area 1

Photo of Grace H. Mah

Grace H. Mah

Incumbent
52,016 votes (61.75%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Expanding access to high quality early learning opportunities for all children ages 1 - 8 in Santa Clara County.
  • Be a champion for Santa Clara County's most vulnerable children: foster children, children with special needs, Head Start preschoolers, at-risk youth, students in the criminal justice system.
  • Provide outstanding service to the county's local school districts and charter schools.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Santa Clara County School Board Trustee, Area #1
School Board Trustee, Santa Clara County — Elected position (2008–current)
School Board Trustee, Santa Clara County — Appointed position (2007–2008)
R&D (Research and Development) Project Manager, Agilent Technologies and Hewlett Packard (1992–2002)
Sales Manager and Account Manager, Integrated Circuits Business Division, Hewlett Packard (1987–1992)

Education

UC Berkeley Master of Science (MS), Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (1984)
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Bachelor of Science (BS), Engineering and Applied Science (1981)

Community Activities

Board Member, Stevenson House (Low Income Senior Housing Project) (2015–current)
Leader at Crittenden Middle School (Mountain View), MOUSE Squad of California (2012–current)
Founder , PACE for Kids (Palo Alto Chinese Education) (2002–current)
School Chair, PiE (Partners in Education) Foundation (2006–2012)
Board Member, Palo Alto Family YMCA (2003–2009)

Biography

I’m a 32 year resident of Palo Alto.  I have been married to my husband Don for 32 years and we have two kids.  One is a freshman at UC San Diego, and the other is a seventh grader at Terman Middle School.

I grew up in Northridge in southern California – yes, I’m a Valley Girl – and went to public schools through high school.  My bachelor’s degree in Engineering is from Caltech in Pasadena.  I received my MS degree from UC Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

I worked for HP and Agilent for 18 years at different jobs including manufacturing engineer, hardware design engineer, sales engineer, sales manager, and hardware and software R&D manager. During my last three years at Agilent, I was in a jobshare arrangement which allowed me to work part-time and spend time with my older child.  I was laid off from Agilent when the dot-com bubble popped and stayed home.  I had another child and starting getting involved in education.

My passion for bilingual education started with my first child’s bilingual Mandarin/English preschool.  I was so impressed by his education and seemingly effortless learning of Mandarin and 200 Chinese characters, that I wanted to see a Mandarin immersion program in Palo Alto’s public school system, patterned after the very successful Spanish immersion program that was in place for 10 years.

Over the course of 6 years, I built a grassroots organization, worked with school board members and school district administration, and co-authored federal and state grants to bring funding to Palo Alto for Mandarin language acquisition. As a result, the Ohlone Mandarin Immersion program was started in 2008. The middle school Mandarin Immersion Bridge program started in 2015 at Jordan Middle School.

I was appointed to the Santa Clara County School Board in 2007 and am involved with different programs throughout the county including early start preschools, alternative programs for our at-risk youth, special education classes for the medically fragile, and the juvenile hall schools. I’ve performed site assessments for the Head Start program, and volunteered with the 1000 Hearts for 1000 Minds program at Crittenden Middle School in Mountain View.

I am very passionate about serving all the children in Santa Clara County; I’m especially inspired by the graduates of our Special Education and Alternative Education schools.  The challenges faced by these kids due to social, emotional, and physical environments are very difficult and the beaming faces of the students and their families at graduation are very gratifying.

I commit to working to fulfill the educational needs of the children of Silicon Valley, and would be honored to have your vote on November 8.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisor, District 5
  • Rich Gordon, California State Assemblymember, District 24
  • Dr. Gloria Hom, Former California State Board of Education Member, Retired Mission College Community College Professor

Elected Officials (14)

  • Jack O’Connell, Former California State Superintendent, Former California State Assemblyman and Senator
  • Delaine Eastin, Former California State Superintendent
  • Hung Wei, Fremont Union High School District Board President
  • Val Carpenter, Former Los Altos City Mayor
  • Ted Lempert, San Mateo County School Board Member
  • Chris Norwood, Milpitas Unified School District Board Member
  • Leon Beauchman, Former Santa Clara County School Board Member
  • Barb Mitchell, Former Palo Alto Unified School District Board Member
  • Sangeeth Peruri, Los Altos School District Board Member
  • Fiona Walters, Mountain View Los Altos High School District Board Member
  • John Harpootlian, Los Altos Hills City Mayor
  • Courtenay C. Corrigan, Los Altos Hills City Councilmember
  • Camille Townsend, Palo Alto Unified School District Board Member
  • Ellen Wheeler, Mountain View Whisman School District Board Member

Individuals (6)

  • Jon Foster, Palo Alto Community Leader
  • Dr. Albert Wang - Friends of Children with Special Needs Founder
  • Debra Watkins, Founder and Executive Director of the California Alliance of African-American Educators
  • Jim Fruchterman, Palo Alto Community Leader
  • Victoria Liu, Palo Alto Community Leader
  • Barry Groves, Retired Superintendent Mountain View Los Altos High School District

Who else is running?

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