The first thing to know about a local school board is that The Board supervises only ONE employee: the Superintendent, who has the daunting responsibility of managing all administrative staff at both the District and site level.  The board performs an annual evaluation of the superintendent, just as the superintendent evaluates cabinet level staff and oversees the evaluation of others.  In a high-functioning district, there will be times when a board will “lean heavily” on a superintendent for something, and the superintendent will also be forthright with the board when expectations are inappropriate or unrealistic.  It is a balance of give-and-take.  Because the superintendent is the District CEO, the primary responsibility of any board is to choose a superintendent with great care, which I feel we have done in the selection of Dr. Bravo.

Board members also meet with constituents during community and site meetings, and have many informal conversations in the course of attending school ballgames, plays, concerts, exhibits, awards ceremonies and graduations.  Members also hear the concerns of constituents and relay them to the parties best positioned to address the issue.  We don’t take it upon ourselves to individually “fix” anything—the role of the Board is in setting direction and policy.

There may be times when a board member will meet independently with a member of the superintendent’s team/cabinet, but usually with the knowledge and approval of the superintendent as it is important that Board members not become confused about their roles or “micro-manage” staff.  In order to be respectful of staff time, if the board as a whole has an interest or concern in a particular area, a request may be made of the appropriate team member for a public report to the board which is placed on the agenda at a mutually agreed-upon time.     

It is critical to understand that an individual board member, apart from the others, has absolutely no power or standing to act on anything.  A vote uniting at least three board members around an issue must publicly occur in order for the board to give direction to the superintendent.  District initiatives that have resulted in progress have been implemented in one of two ways:   1)  The board became united around a cause, sought the necessary data to conduct an informed discussion including an analysis of cost, and then gave direction to “make it so,” –or-- 2) The superintendent and his or her team saw a need, put together a proposal and received board approval.  Where the individual strengths of board members can be brought to bear on policy-making is evident during these public discussions and the public decision-making process. 

So, yes, there are days that I'd like to be Queen or Fairy Godmother, but we are a team, and that is a very good thing.

I’ve been discussing boards in general, but-- who are we as your particular CUHSD Board?  Here we are listed by longevity on the Board and key strengths/experiences that relate to our duties:

So, in summary, we have a very exciting board with a unique combination of talents !

Each  year, individual CUHSD Board Members rotate to a different school as a "Board Buddy."   But, regardless of the new voting districts,  we consider ourselves representatives and servants of all of our school populations district-wide.

Linda Goytia elected in 2012.   Key Strengths: degrees in biology and English, four decades of teaching experience at all levels (including adult education), UCLA online training in differentiated instruction, CA League of High Schools presenter, Mentor Teacher (8 years,) SJSU new intern coach (5 years,) District Teacher of the Year and the CA League of High Schools Region V Educator of the Year for 2001, recipient of five Dorothy Wright Awards for Excellence in Education from SJSU and recipient of a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship in 2004 to study Japanese schools. She chaired the District’s Domestic Violence Curriculum Project which won the 2009 SCCSBA Hoffman Award and served as a performing arts volunteer post retirement.  Her two sons graduated from our District.  She advocates for expanded career pathways and funding for career technical education by lobbying elected state officials and the Department of Finance.  She is passionate about reading intervention and academic and social-emotional supports for students. Linda is Kansas born and bred but has resided in the District for the past 50 years.  She was re-elected in 2020 in the newly created Trustee Area 4.  Term expires in 2024.

James Kim, Board Clerk, was elected in Trustee Area 1 in 2022.  Key strengths:  James is a parent of a current CUHSD student and a recent CUHSD graduate. He is deeply invested in making sure that our schools are welcoming, enriching, equitable places for students to learn, and exceptional places for our teachers to work.  He receive the Del Mar High School 2021-22 Volunteer of the Year award. James also serves on the board of the CUHSD Education Foundation. High quality education is a passion of James as he comes from a family of educators and he co-founded and runs a non-profit foundation that gives college scholarships to graduates of his East Bay public high school. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and works as a computer architect.a. Term expires in 2026.

Elisabeth Halliday was elected to Trustee Area 2 in 2022.  Key strengths:  Elisabeth is a parent of twins who attend Westmont High School. She has earned Associate’s degrees in Technical Writing and Liberal Arts (English) and works as a freelance writer, editor, and formatter. She cares deeply about our schools and students and is a strong advocate for students who have IEPs, 504 plans, and other students who need extra support. As her children attended preschool through 8th grade, she worked and volunteered as a Noon Duty Supervisor, which included lunch and recess coverage, bus duty, occasional classroom coverage and filling in where needed. As a volunteer, she served as classroom coordinator, gardening and knitting teacher, assisted in math and language classes, led book clubs and Project Cornerstone lessons, and assisted with the MEF Pumpkin Patch and other fundraising events. She believes that every student deserves the best educational opportunities in a safe, nurturing, and welcoming environment and sees serving on the CUHSD Board as a great honor.  Term expires in 2026


Jason Baker was elected to Trustee Area 3 in 2022.  Key strengths:   Jason served as Mayor of Campbell twice and on served its City Council for eight years. As an elected official with a regional focus, Jason served on a dozen regional boards and commissions, including as President of the Cities Association of Santa Clara County, Chair of the Santa Clara County Library District Board, and on boards of the Valley Transportation Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Santa Clara County Housing Task Force, the Santa Clara County Emergency Council, the Santa Clara County Operational Area Council, the Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Authority. Jason also served as a co-chair of the Committee to Save and Expand Caltrain (Yes on RR), a successful ballot measure that is expected to raise over $3 Billion for Caltrain over 30 years. After leaving elected office, Jason served as District Director for State Assemblymember Hon. Evan Low. Jason earned a BA in Political Science from UC Davis, a J.D. Cum Laude from Santa Clara University School of Law and completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  He currently works as the Senior Vice President for Infrastructure and regional Partnerships for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Jason and his wife have two children, both of whom attend public school in Campbell.  Term expires in 2026.

Aine O'Donovan, Board President, was appointed in November of 2022 for Trustee Area 5  Key Strengths:  PhD in Microelectronics with experience working in research and development and program management.  She has worked as an independent consultant in community engagement, communications, program development and process improvement. This included a project with CUHSD where she focused on district and school website redesign. Aine has been involved in our local public schools as a parent volunteer for the past 17 years where her roles have included Class Coordinator, 5K Run/Walk Co-Chair and PTSA/HSC Positive School Climate Chair, Vice-President, and President. Aine is currently Past-President and Communications Chair at Leigh Home & School Club. She earned District and Leigh Volunteer of the Year along with being Volunteer of the Year at her son’s elementary school. Aine’s older son graduated from Leigh High School in 2019. Her younger son is currently a Junior at Leigh High School. Aine cares deeply about our students and our education system and feels very grateful for the opportunity to be more involved in the discussions and decisions that drive the direction of our District.  Aine was raised in Ireland but has resided here for 20 years.  Term expires in 2024.