Three parent leaders have confirmed that they are strongly considering running for two open seats on the Palo Alto Board of Education this November.
Ken Dauber, a software engineer and sociologist, Terry Godfrey, a businesswoman and volunteer, and Catherine Crystal Foster, an education lawyer and scholarship fundraiser, all told the Weekly they are laying the groundwork for fall campaigns, though none officially has announced a candidacy.
Two incumbent board members, Barb Mitchell and Dana Tom, both on the board since 2005, said they do not intend to run for third terms.
Dauber, who ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2012 and has been gathering endorsements for another bid, said he is "seriously considering" running again.
"This election is a good opportunity to renew our district's traditional focus on innovation and on providing all students an excellent education," he said. "We also need to work to improve transparency and accountability on the school board."
Godfrey, a longtime school volunteer -- most recently as board chair of the parent-led fund-raising foundation Partners in Education -- recently emailed board colleagues about her intention to resign in order to prepare a bid for school board.
"I feel very strongly that providing an excellent public education is one of the most important duties we have to our youth," Godfrey told the Weekly, adding that her experience would help her "contribute to upholding this very important duty."
Foster, who recently stepped down after two years as executive director of the Peninsula College Fund, which raises scholarship money for low-income students, said she is "leaning toward" running.
"This is an exciting time to join the school board, with so many opportunities to have an impact -- Common Core implementation, a new superintendent, new pathways (curriculum) in the high schools and more," Foster said.
Godfrey, who holds a bachelor's degree in math from the University of California at Irvine and an MBA from UCLA, has worked in finance, venture capital and human resources at Xerox, Intel and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She now independently consults for nonprofit organizations and has extensively volunteered in schools, chairing the district-wide PTA council and taking leadership roles in Project Safety Net, the community coalition that formed after a series of high school student suicides in 2009 and 2010.
Foster, who holds a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a law degree from Harvard University, has worked in child welfare and education policy with an array of organizations and foundations, including the Alliance for Children of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children's Defense Fund of California, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Dauber, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Yale and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Arizona, is a Google software engineer with a longtime interest in education policy. He has consulted with the U.S. Department of Education, Education Trust West and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and co-founded a Palo Alto parent group, We Can Do Better Palo Alto, which has lobbied for stronger initiatives to combat academic stress and to reform high school counseling. He placed fourth in a field of four candidates vying for three school board seats in the 2012 election.
The filing period for the Nov. 4 election opens July 14 and closes Aug. 8. The deadline will be extended to Aug. 13 if an incumbent does not file by Aug. 8.