Two incumbents and three challengers are vying for three open seats on the Palo Alto Board of Education in this November's election. Melissa Baten Caswell and Heidi Emberling are seeking re-election, while Camille Townsend has decided against running after her third term ends this fall. Whoever is elected will join at the dais software engineer Ken Dauber and financial director Terry Godfrey, both elected in 2014.
The five candidates hope to serve a district that is well-known for its high academic achievement, variety of "choice" programs, strong community support and comparatively robust resources. At the same time, the district is grappling with how to continue to innovate, close a persistent achievement gap and balance academic performance with student well-being. The new board members will also be tasked with addressing a budget deficit that, by the district's own projections, will have a multi-million-dollar impact for years to come.
View profiles of each candidate below, as well as video endorsement interviews the Palo Alto Weekly conducted with each candidate and answers from the candidates on 10 questions on current and future issues facing the school district.
Melissa Baten Caswell
The Palo Alto Weekly has created a Storify page to capture ongoing coverage of the school-board election. To view it, go to storify.com/paloaltoweekly.