Less than a month after announcing her candidacy for the Palo Alto Board of Education, parent Gina Dalma is ending her campaign, citing a family situation in an email to supporters on Monday.
"My present personal family situation and priorities as well as work responsibilities make it very hard for me to campaign strongly and if elected, serve effectively," Dalma wrote.
Dalma a parent in the district and advisor for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a Mountain View-based nonprofit that seeks to address social issues through research, advocacy, fundraising and other initiatives ran unsuccessfully in the 2014 school board election. She received 14 percent of the vote, or 5,077 counted.
Dalma told the Weekly Monday that she hopes to encourage others to run this year by announcing her decision early.
"It is a really hard choice for me, but I do believe it is the right one," she wrote in an email. "I am hoping to encourage others to run by announcing this early. We need new folks on the board."
In her email to supporters, Dalma said she is "hopeful that this new election cycle brings us more new thinking about key challenges," including using data to "drive action at every level;" making sure funding investments support students and reflect the districts goals; and providing teachers, staff and administrators with the resources and training they need to fully take advantage of "massive policy shifts" underway in the education world.
"I have the huge privilege to be able to think about these challenges in our state and nation as part of my professional life," she wrote, "and I am committed to keep working with our parents, educators and leaders locally to help us all provide the environment we want for our kids one where they can all thrive."
Dalma currently serves on the district's Minority Achievement and Talent Development (MATD) committee and said she will "use the time to keep working on ensuring we implement the MATD recommendations in a thoughtful and real way."
Current board President Heidi Emberling and parent Todd Collins remain the only other two candidates who have publicly announced bids for three open seats. They are in the running for seats currently held by Emberling and board members Melissa Baten Caswell and Camille Townsend.
Emberling, who edged out current board member Ken Dauber for a seat in the 2012 election, is finishing up her first term.
Townsend has said publicly that she does not plan to run.
Baten Caswell has not yet made a final decision but has said she is "seriously considering a run for another term." If she runs again and wins, it would be her third term on the board.