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Nicole Chiu-Wang declares run for Palo Alto school board, incumbent Ken Dauber won't seek reelection

Original post made on Jul 14, 2022

Chiu-Wang's priorities including improving mental health services and investing in early childhood education.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 2:42 PM

Comments (29)

Posted by Green Gables
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 14, 2022 at 12:04 pm

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Everybody wants to live in Palo Alto because of the terrific schools. Well, there are other towns - Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Altos to name a few - that have terrific schools. What is the real reason - because if is so chi-chi. Oh, tsk, tsk

Posted by Palo Alto Res
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 14, 2022 at 3:27 pm

Palo Alto Res is a registered user.

Do we need yet another lawyer on the school board? She is a lawyer. Shounak already votes on Board issues through the lens of a lawyer. Do we need yet a 2nd lawyer on the school board???!!

Do we need another Ohlone parent on the school Board? Jennifer DiBrienza already brings the Ohlone philosophy to the school board meetings. Another Ohlone parent yet again on the Board?

Shounak already said he represented Asians on the Board. I fail to see what new insight this person brings other than parroting and nodding to what the current school Board says.

Posted by Palo Alto Res
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 14, 2022 at 3:28 pm

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I suspect if the school board keeps going down this path, PAUSD education will end up in the gutter. Don't expect property values to remain high given the lowering of standards by current school board members and this candidate who agrees with them

Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2022 at 3:41 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

It would be great to see an educator run. We have many wonderful retired teachers who live in Palo Alto who understand the challenges our district faces. Classroom management is hard work. It would great to get the perspective of an experienced and gifted educator on our board.

Posted by Shana Segal
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2022 at 4:38 pm

Shana Segal is a registered user.

I also plan on running for School Board. I grew up in Palo Alto, and attended Ohlone, JLS, and Gunn. I taught high school English and ELD for 10 years at Lynbrook High School, have a Teaching Credential, MA degree in Education, MA degree in Educational Leadership, and an Administrative Credential. I am currently a School Consultant and a Substitute Teacher for PAUSD. I have two children at Palo Verde, entering grades 1 and 3. My top 3 priorities are Differentiated Instruction, Data Driven Policies, and Equity. It is essential that teacher and parent input be more valued. My website for my School Consulting business is I will update it soon to reflect my run for school board. July 19-August 12 is the nomination period for School Board, so I plan on filing next week. I have reached out to the Palo Alto Weekly/Daily and hope to be interviewed, as well.
Shana Segal

Posted by Anony Mouse
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jul 14, 2022 at 5:00 pm

Anony Mouse is a registered user.

I am very interested in this candidacy. Initial thoughts are that we have here a thoughtful, intelligent, civic-minded person. That is a good start. I think she might be an upgrade from current Board members. She might be a bit more human-centered rather than just a numbers person? That too is an upgrade. Mr. Don might be a bit worried, though. He may have over-corrected in his pandering to the "numbers are everything" group on the PAUSD Board. Keep an open mind, my neighbors!

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 15, 2022 at 1:20 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@Shana “Data driven Policies”? That feels like I am being hammered down a hole of nowhere! As a PAUSD parent, I am dismayed you have not embraced the Pandemic as a priority to student health and well being. Our district enrollees and families are suffering from PTSD from last two years. Pre-K thru 12th. Take a look at the data there. GIT and platform health and well being based on 2.5 years of near hell for our school age children and families. As well many of our district students are unhoused or incredibly stressed for housing insecurity and unfashionable cost of shelter in this city. Can u perhaps embrace a more hope filled and forward thinking platform than “our schools are great, let’s make ‘em better” mentality. That’s so last Century! Our kids are not a venture capitalist opportunity. They are mammals, live and breathe the Earth’s oxygen unlike Google bots!

Posted by Shana Segal
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 15, 2022 at 2:21 am

Shana Segal is a registered user.

@nativetothebay: I share your concerns.
Please read more about my platform when it is highlighted in the newspaper. Mental health and the pandemic are also huge priorities, as is equity, and my goal is to look at data in our district to determine needs and goals. This includes mental health data. My very short blurb was just to explain that an educator and parent is running and to look out for more details in the newspaper in the coming weeks. :)

Posted by katherinecausey
a resident of University South
on Jul 15, 2022 at 10:11 am

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I'm so excited for Nicole to run I think she's an incredible candidate, she has such a passion for early childhood education an deeply cares for our students, she's accomplished a tremendous amount in her career and will bring so many unique skills and perspectives to the board!

Posted by Paly Student
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 15, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Paly Student is a registered user.

I'm a recent Paly grad and I'm very glad Nicole is running! She emphasizes the issues that matter the most to students!

Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2022 at 9:47 am

Alice Schaffer Smith is a registered user.

What a breath of fresh air Nicole has proven to be.

Having moved to Palo Alto in 1964, I have observed the diverse needs of a community and some limitations, including that some believed not invented here isn't good enough for PAUSD resulting in PAUSD's floundering sometimes.

I am pleased to add my name as a supporter of Nicole Chiu-Wang's campaign: she is bright, engaged, inquiring, quick to grasp ideas and asking for information from many who have lived here for 1/2 century, worked for PAUSD, observed PAUSD.

Posted by Meghan Roth
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 16, 2022 at 10:39 am

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Nicole Chiu-Wang will also provide an active voice for Mandarin parents with school children in Palo Alto.

Their scholastic needs must be fully met to ensure the professional and economic success that Mandarin parents highly value.

Posted by S. Underwood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2022 at 3:28 pm

S. Underwood is a registered user.

I have no set opinion of Ms. Chiu-Wang yet. I find it strange we have a candidate lined up endorsements and all from the status quo group the moment Dauber announces he's not running. How can you endorse before you know who's in the field?

The current board would have an easier time wrangling the cats that are we Palo Alto parents if they didn't always try to be so controlling. I wish Ms. Chiu-Wang, Ms. Segal, and all other candidates a warm, open-minded, and friendly election cycle!

Posted by Pamela Tieg
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 16, 2022 at 4:01 pm

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> How can you endorse before you know who's in the field?

Ms. Chiu-Wang is the presumed front runner and will have the full electoral support of Palo Alto's emergent 40% Mandarin community.

Posted by Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 18, 2022 at 2:20 pm

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We need School Board members who have experienced at least through high school in Palo Alto, otherwise they don't understand the entire system and their opinions are limited. Chiu-Wang stating that she wants to improve students' sleep and reduce unnecessary academic pressure already shows lack of knowledge. Paly's schedule started at 9:00 this year (formerly 8:20) and the School Board has already attempted to reduce academic pressure by eliminating homework deadlines. This has actually created more stress because math teachers give quizzes instead, which are more difficult than completing homework. They also told teachers to assign less homework so high school students are not learning to write because papers are not being assigned. My student was assigned maybe 2 papers per year and the teachers claim they don't have time to correct them so there is very little feedback. In middle school and high school, English teachers often have the students correct each other's papers (peer grading), much less effective than an adult with an English degree correcting papers. The School Board eliminated homework due on Mondays, which was helpful. My son has much less homework than my other two children had at Paly but the lack of writing practice is upsetting.

Shana Segal announcing her candidacy for School Board on this thread is a poor choice, lost my vote.

Posted by Greene and Paly Parent
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 19, 2022 at 2:23 am

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Can Chiu-Wang be an effective voice for our Asian families?

Indeed, 40% of PAUSD students are Asian. Indeed, for many years Asian family values, such as hard work and academic excellence, had been stigmatized and vilified by PAUSD and its board in a blame theater (debunked by data).

But Chiu-Wang is being enthusiastically endorsed by the very creators of the unacceptable status quo, and this endorsement came surprisingly quickly, even before the list of qualified candidates was announced (!!)

Our current board failed. Despite a 28k per student per year budget, the program is forcibly being narrowed down, contrary to evidence, in support of a one-size-fit-all approaches that serve political aspirations but do not serve the majority of our diverse body of students. We do need a change. But someone endorsed by the status-quo so enthusiastically does not seem like the needed change.

Posted by Mick Buford
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 19, 2022 at 4:06 pm

Mick Buford is a registered user.

Watching Palo Alto's emergent Mandarin population becoming more active in municipal politics and public education is a step in the right direction.

Hopefully more Mandarin candidates will follow suit as Palo Alto is no longer our parent's Palo Alto of a generation ago.

There's a new kid in town

Posted by Greene and Paly Parent
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:37 pm

Greene and Paly Parent is a registered user.

The following opinion piece from The New York Times gets at the heart of the issue of why the anti-academic changes and forceful limits on achievement got placed at PAUSD, and also, why it is so important that the Asian students and families in our district finally get a voice.

Web Link

A "voice" is someone that speaks to the value and priorities of Asian (and other immigrant) families. Not necessarily someone that looks like them and was handpicked and heavily endorsed (got stamped as "conforming" to the status quo) by the current board members.

I would be interested to hear Nicole Chiu-Wang address these issues. One concern is that she seems a bit disconnected from what is actually happening at the schools, so drank the "cool aid" with no actual experience.

Posted by Chilliams
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 1, 2022 at 7:52 pm

Chilliams is a registered user.

I am not sure who I am voting for yet. But, I am trying to figure out if I am assessing this correctly: the article states Ms. Chiu-Wang's oldest is entering into TK in PA. Does that mean she doesn't have any children who have gone through any part of any school system yet? Is it important to have people on the board who have kids who are going through/have gone through the PA school system, or frankly any school system? Does it seem like it's better to have people who are going to have a say in the process to actually have some experience in what they will be making decisions about?

In truth, the things that I thought were important for school when my child was 5 are very different from what I think now that my child is 15. 10 years experience in having my child in school have changed me. It may not make a difference, but I am wondering if it would help for a school board member to have experience in having kids who have gone through some schooling. I am not sure if I am comfortable having someone make decisions to represent my interests/my children's interests in regards to school decisions if they have never had kids who have gone to school in Palo Alto or honestly, any school beyond preschool.

She seems very accomplished and successful, from this article, which is awesome. And I would love to have more Asian representation in city council. But what makes her a good candidate for making decisions on my child's learning if she has not had a kid in school yet?

Posted by Palo Alto Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 1, 2022 at 9:03 pm

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I am voting for Shana Segal in part because she has a lot of experience with PAUSD schools. She attended Ohlone, JLS, and Gunn herself, and this will be her 4th year as a Palo Verde parent. She was also a high school English teacher for ten years, and she has Masters degrees in education and in educational leadership.

Posted by Community Member
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2022 at 5:57 pm

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I am excited to see both Nicole and Shana running. There are two open spots- lets not pit the women against each other. This should be between status quo vs. new perspectives. I was pleased to hear Nicole is focusing on early childhood education and hope she is aware that our district leadership has been publicly promoting and funneling ELOP grant money from the state to a for-profit, national child care chain that operates under a heritage permit over collaborating with local non-profit licensed high quality child care and education providers. With the P-3 initiative, it is essential that our leaders understand requirements for high quality care, recognize what developmentally appropriate curriculum looks like, and understands that Palo Alto values community connection and accountability that local non-profits provide.

Posted by Anony Mouse
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Aug 28, 2022 at 8:12 pm

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@community member and @palo alto resident - I agree with both of you. We've got two strong candidates running. We need a bit of new energy in the Board. They both are intelligent, sophisticated candidates who are ready to do the job. I've met both of them and I was impressed. They have some opinions and ideas, but they both know that there is a lot to learn. They both have the modesty to know there are things they don't know. Most of all, they're ready to listen. Furthermore, they see that there's a narrative created by 25 Churchill, and they both have signaled that they want to pierce through that narrative and tackle the big problems that are obscured by the 25 Churchill PR machine.

Posted by Just Another Parent
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 12, 2022 at 12:40 pm

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I don't understand why our current BOE is backing this candidate, is it because she is groom-able? another lawyer to the mix? aligns well with the Super? is aligned with the BOE lack of ethics?- can a current board member please speak up and justify the backing? From here it is another sign of BOE weakness.

Posted by jamiebarnett
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 14, 2022 at 9:34 am

jamiebarnett is a registered user.

I'm enthusiastic about Nicole's candidacy. Her values, career trajectory, and educational background make her uniquely qualified to be an excellent school board trustee. She is both an attorney and an entrepreneur, experienced in managing budgets and strategic planning, and currently uses her expertise and success to mentor and uplift others, especially women and BIPOC. Her background in gender and ethnic studies and lifelong commitment to education make her particularly well suited to address the specific issues we face.

Posted by Anony Mouse
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 14, 2022 at 9:51 pm

Anony Mouse is a registered user.

@just another parent: I just wanted to chime in and say that there's no dark conspiracy here. Nicole is very accessible and I think if you went to her campaign events and met her and heard her speak, you'd see that she is plainspoken and transparent. She listens and has some humility about what she needs to learn to be effective. She's exactly the type of person we need right now to guide this institution. Young, energetic, intelligent and thoughtful. I'm planning on voting for her.

Posted by Greene Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2022 at 8:42 pm

Greene Parent is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

When she was asked about the high school stress etc her response was 'these are conversations that we need to have at the university level'!!!! NO, you are running at a school board level to help fix it here. Additionally she has no [idea] of how hard it is for kids who do after school sports/extra curricular and jobs about how much more challenging it is even getting out 20 mins later.

If she gets elected we will have more color on the board with no diversity in thought and total lack of experience on the board

Posted by Concerned Neightbor
a resident of Triple El
on Sep 19, 2022 at 9:46 pm

Concerned Neightbor is a registered user.

The current PAUSD policy on math education is holding potentially good students back and will eventually result in them not being competitive not only in tech, but in other professions where logic is paramount, such as law and medicine. Shana Segal is the better candidate, due to her experience and her position on improving, not degrading, the math education.

Posted by jamiebarnett
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 20, 2022 at 8:00 am

jamiebarnett is a registered user.

A public school district has a legal obligation to educate all of their students, and raise them them to a certain standard. We aren’t doing that currently, and have a long history of not doing that. We’re finally making changes to serve all students. Fascinating perspective that that somehow damages the kids who are years ahead.

On a separate but related note, I'm disappointed that so many people won't use their real names, especially those who are trying to tear down the candidate.

Posted by Anony Mouse
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 20, 2022 at 5:21 pm

Anony Mouse is a registered user.

@concerned neighbor. Better yet vote for BOTH Shana and Nicole. There's 2 open seats.

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