I HAVE been honored to serve on the Berryessa Union School District Governing Board of Trustees in San Jose, CA. During the past election of November 2018, the voters in the district re-elected me to serve for another four-year term. School board members are elected public officials entrusted with governing the local community’s public schools.
The cornerstone of American democracy is citizen oversight, i.e., govern by civilians, so it is appropriate that we entrust the governance of our schools to individual citizens elected by their communities to oversee school districts and county offices of education.
As an elected official, I have five primary responsibilities:
1) Set the direction for our school district in establishing a long-term vision.
2) Establish an effective and efficient structure that supports the district vision and empowers the professional staff. Though the Board does not implement policies or programs, the Board is responsible for employing the superintendent and setting policy for hiring personnel, overseeing and adopting policies, setting direction and adopting the curriculum, establishing budget priorities, adopting the budget and overseeing facilities, and providing guidance for and adopting collective bargaining agreements.
3) Provide support for the superintendent and staff as they carry out the Board’s direction.
4) Ensure accountability to the public that includes evaluating the superintendent, monitoring, reviewing, and revising policies, including finances and bargaining.
5) Serve as a community leader providing communication to the community. Elected officials are chosen to represent the interest of school children. As Board members, we are advocates for students and the district’s educational program, as well as, public education.
Governing Board members understand that authority rests with the Board as a whole and not with individuals. I believe that we must work with the superintendent as a “governance” team and that we have unity of purpose. There are five members on the Berryessa Union School District Governing Board of Trustees. I am the only female serving and the first Filipina to be elected. We all serve with a unique style, background, and perspective.
I am a long-time educator, having served as a high school teacher and principal for almost four decades, as an adjunct professor for graduate students completing their teaching credentials, and currently as a professional expert coach to newly promoted school principals and administrators for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. I believe that all children can learn and thus deserve an excellent education. My goal is to promote and foster the moral obligation to educate our students well, meeting their needs academically, socially, and emotionally in a multi-culturally diverse society. As I am aware of California’s 6million-plus student population (which is greater than the total population of some states), I am highly committed to continuing to fight for what is right for our children, investing in their future and ours. What this means is supporting the passage of legislation for full and fair funding for public education that will improve the funding model for California’s children. Investing in their future is a win-win for all of us.
Hon. Thelma B. Boac
Governing Board of Trustees
Berryessa Union School District, San Jose, CA