I have served the BRSSD community as a member of the School Board for the last five years. Together, we have tackled difficult issues, modernized and expanded our facilities, improved our fundraising strategies, and managed our way through one of the worst financial crises in American history. All along, we have maintained our steadfast focus on student achievement. These first-hand experiences have taught me what it takes to be a successful Board Member.
After years of Board meetings, community gatherings, answering e-mails and meeting with people, I have decided to take a break from my life as an elected official to spend more time with my family. Even though I am not a candidate this year, I share your strong interest in seeing our District continue to provide our children with the opportunities they deserve.
This leads me to comment on November’s School Board election. Three seats are available. Thankfully, we have three candidates who possess the qualities it takes to successfully serve. Our District will face serious challenges in the coming years; challenges that must be met with courage, vision, and strong leadership. We need serious people to guide the District forward.
That is why I am urging you to join me in supporting Chuck Velschow, Suvarna Bhopale, and Rakesh Hegde. All three have given many hours volunteering in the schools and they have each taken time to understand the issues and our District. All three have the skills needed to engage all our stakeholders in building consensus and meeting our challenges.
Chuck is a teacher at Woodside HS and has served our community on the Board for several years. Before that, he co-chaired the Measure U parcel tax campaign. He even coaches girls softball in his spare time. Chuck takes his role as a Board Member seriously and has attended trainings sponsored by the California Schools Boards Association. He understands our fundraising model and has worked hard to put children first. Chuck is able to listen to disparate views, consider all relevant information, and come to a definitive, well-thought-out, conclusion. He has been endorsed by the teacher’s association. Chuck is a serious candidate for a serious time.
Suvarna Bhopale is another serious candidate. A lawyer by training, she has given up practicing for now so she can invest time with her kids and volunteer to support our schools. She has taken the time to learn and write about the District. Unlike some other candidates, she understands our funding model and what it means to be a “Basic Aid” District. She has served on multiple committees, held leadership positions with the Sandpiper PTA, and volunteered in classrooms. Somehow, she also found the time to serve as President of her homeowner’s association. Suvarna has also been endorsed by the teacher’s association. Significantly, she understands that board members are responsible for the whole District–not just Belmont or Redwood Shores. She brings a keen intellect and an important voice to the Board.
Rakesh Hegde brings a new and vital set of skills to our Board. After leading the School-Force business donors operation and working to raise a record $2 Million for our kids, he is ready for the challenge of the School Board. He is an entrepreneur–having started and successfully led high-tech companies. He has a sophisticated view of finance and understands the coming Common Core Curriculum. Rakesh will work to ensure that decisions are based on realistic expectations and planning. Endorsed by the Daily Journal, you won’t see him making promises he can’t keep. Rakesh will push to ensure that curriculum gives students the tools they need to operate in our world economy.
These three candidates, Chuck Velschow, Suvarna Bhopale, and Rakesh Hegde, are serious people who are running honest campaigns and will tell the truth. They are committed to serving our whole community, not just one part. And they get involved even when the issues only indirectly impact their kids.
The coming election will set the direction for the future of our District. Without reservation, I encourage you to vote for Velschow, Bhopale, and Hegde. They are the most qualified and committed candidates in the field. They want to support our kids, families, and all who make our schools work. They are serious people who are ready to tackle the toughest problems: I trust them and so should you. Please join me in getting out the word about these terrific candidates and then voting Velschow, Bhopale, and Hegde in November.
Suvarna Bhopale’s campaign site:
Rakesh Hegde’s campaign site:
Chuck Velschow’s campaign site: