Jesse vanZee, a Danville father of five and president of the Montair Dad's Club, has launched a campaign for the school board seat to be vacated by Board President Ken Mintz, who has opted not to seek re-election this November.
First-time candidate vanZee said that he and his wife "knew we had found something special" upon enrolling their oldest child in the school, and that they "quickly fell in love with the teachers, staff and parent community."
"I love our schools and our community and want to serve on the Board of Education to protect what we have and grow into a bright future," vanZee said on his campaign page. "However, the future greatness of our schools is not a guarantee. We need leadership on the Board of Education. Leadership who will focus on the fundamentals that produce academic excellence in a safe and secure environment for kids to flourish as critical thinkers."
Financial stability and safe schools are listed as vanZee's priorities if elected, as well as parental involvement, noting that "parents are the primary stakeholder in their child’s education," and academic excellence.
"We must get our district back to the fundamentals of excelling in math, science, English and civics," vanZee said on his campaign page.
As a father of young children, vanZee noted that he will be a parent in the district until 2037.
In addition to volunteer and nonprofit work with the Montair Dad's Club, vanZee works as vice president at U.S. Cancer Management Corp., which develops and manages cancer treatment centers.
The Area 1 trustee seat that vanZee is seeking is the only one in this year's election without a sitting board member running. Mintz, who has been on the board for approximately 18 of the past 30 years, announced his decision not to run for re-election last month.
The only other candidate to file candidacy paperwork for the Area 1 seat as of last Friday was Michelle Sinnott Petersen.
With the San Ramon Valley Unified School District's shift to district-based elections in 2019, vanZee or Petersen – or another contender who comes forward ahead of the Aug. 12 deadline to file for candidacy – would be the first to be elected to Area 1. The area consists of Alamo and Blackhawk, as well as a portion of Danville, and the small portion of Walnut Creek within the district.
"The Board of Education needs principled leadership, and I am committed to being that leader if elected in November," vanZee said.
More information on vanZee's campaign is available vanzeeforschoolboard.com.