Join us at the ACOE School Board Candidate Forum from FIA, TOMORROW on Facebook at 5pm!

Tomorrow is Families in Action’s ACOE virtual candidate forum streaming live on their Facebook page. Four areas (Areas 2, 3, 5 and 6) across Alameda County are up for grabs, and the decisions of the new board will impact Oakland’s public schools. 

What is the ACOE?

The Alameda County Office of Education’s School Board is responsible for making policies and decisions that impact school districts, charter school renewals and appeals, and specialized programs benefitting some of our most vulnerable students, such as teen moms and students in alternative schools. They oversee substantial school funding and managing district finances as well, with jurisdiction of all of Alameda County from Albany to Allendale and beyond. The elections directly impact these critical aspects of our educational system.

Who is Running?

There are eight candidates who are running for four trustee areas in Oakland, Piedmont, Alameda, Hayward, Fremont, Newark.

Candidates for Area 2 include Angela Normand and John E. Lewis.

The incumbent for Trustee Area 2 is Angela Normand. Area 2 covers Alameda, a small northeast portion of San Leandro, a portion of Oakland– including West Oakland, Uptown and part of Jack London Square, with the remaining area stretching east along International Blvd into East Oakland. Angela Normand’s career in public education was preceded by ten years of service in the United States Marine Corps. Her experiences in the field, in the classroom, and in leadership have prepared her to serve as a school board member.

John is a proud alumnus of Cal Berkeley and a committed long-time resident of the East Bay. He has stated that he is honored to present himself as a candidate for positive change.  He was brought up in a large family, where his mother instilled values of discipline and academic excellence. He has collaborated with the Our Kids and Second Start programs and contributed to the transportation department at his local church.

Area 3 is uncontested and the incumbent is Trustee Ken Berrick. The area includes Piedmont, the northeastern portion of Oakland along Highway 13, central and eastern portions of Oakland, including Lake Merritt, Diamond District, Montclair, and half of Jack London Square. Ken Berrick is the founder and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seneca Family of Agencies, a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing Unconditional Care to children and families through comprehensive education, mental health, juvenile justice, placement and permanency services. Mr. Berrick champions a concept called Unconditional Education, which supports vulnerable students, including those with trauma and learning disabilities.

Area 5 has three candidates running, including incumbent Janevette Cole, Guadalupe ‘Lupe’ Angulo, and Joe Orlando Ramos. Area 5 includes Hayward, Union City and a northwestern portion of Fremont along the 84 Freeway.

Janevette Cole is a graduate of Mills College with a degree in Administrative and Legal Processes, finishing top in her Master’s Program of Public Administration and Policies at CSU East Bay, Janevette worked with Hayward Promise Neighborhoods (HPNs) at CSU East Bay, as a Community Resident Engagement Specialist as well as overseeing Government Relations.

Guadalupe’s passion is working within and for the community. In her current role, she helps guide and advocate for youth and their families as an Alameda County community outreach worker.  Guadalupe practices positive youth development and restorative justice and has a B.A. from CSUEB in Human Development with a concentration in Women’s Studies.

Joe spent the earlier part of his adult life as a U.S. Marine (1977-1991). He joined the US Marine Corps Reserves after active duty in 1991 and left the U.S. Marine Corps in June of 1995 as a Gunnery Sergeant (E-7). Joe was awarded several medals and three Honorable Discharges. After active duty, Ramos spent several years teaching middle school and working for several East Bay School Districts. First, he worked as a middle school teacher in a special education classroom, and later he taught English and social studies in middle school and Spanish and word processing in high school. He was elected to the Hayward Unified School District as a short-term board member on November 8, 2022.

Area 6 has two candidates, including incumbent Eileen McDonald and John Leon Guerrero. The area includes Newark and Fremont, with the exception of the Northwestern portion of the city above the 84 freeway.

Eileen has owned a small local business and has taught in several programs in the Bay Area which include the Fremont Unified Regional Occupational Program (ROP), Ohlone for Kids, and the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. She holds a B.A. from Cal State East Bay (formerly Cal State Hayward) in Speech Communication and has completed graduate coursework in Correctional Education. She has used that training to serve the community on the Board of Directors for Second Chance and on the Alameda County Safety Corridor Committee.

John is a retired Vice President of engineering.

How can we participate and learn directly from the candidates live?

What are the candidates’ values? What experience has prepared them for service? Why are they running and what are their priorities? Come and find out tomorrow, February 8 at 5:00 PM at the Families in Action ACOE Virtual Forum before the primary on March 5, 2024! Snap the QR code or click the link here to RSVP, and we will see you on FIA’s Facebook, Thursday (tomorrow), February 8th at 5:00 PM!

What do you think?

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