The seats in Dublin Unified School District Trustee Areas 2, 3 and 5 are up for election this November, with races in Area 3 and 5 contested on the ballot.
Incumbent William Kuo and challenger John Wu are vying for the District 3 short-term seat.
The Area 3 position up for election is a shortened term through 2024, to get Area 3 back on its regular four-year election cycle following the unexpected vacancy created by trustee Catherine Kuo's death in March 2021. Her widower, William Kuo, was appointed by the rest of the board in May of that year to fill that seat.
Kuo has earned the opportunity to complete the remaining two years of his wife's term, which he seeks to "help ensure her legacy" and deliver on Catherine's campaign promises of equitable funding distribution, improved safety procedures and completion of Emerald High School.
Kuo has proven to hold the same values and priorities as his late wife, and has continued to serve with the same passion and dedication to students. The board has benefitted from Kuo's analytical approach to budgeting and his ability to use data to make decisions.
Wu, a current DUSD Budget Committee member, was among the applicants for the Area 3 seat in 2021. With his background in volunteer work in the district and community and experience handling complex financial transactions, Wu would make a good addition to the board. We encourage him to run again in 2024.
For Area 3, we recommend a vote for William Kuo.
In Area 5, incumbent Dan Cherrier is being challenged by Sameer Hakim. a former Dublin school trustee who currently sits as vice chair of the city's Parks and Community Services Commission.
While both candidates have governance experience and knowledge of district issues, we recommend a vote for Hakim, who offers an openness and willingness to engage with the community we have not seen in Cherrier.
In addition to many volunteer positions within the district, Hakim served as a DUSD trustee in an appointed, at-large capacity from 2015 to 2016 and on the District Optimization Committee from 2014 to 2015.
We were impressed with Hakim's performance during our DUSD candidates forum, where he talked about his priorities of building schools to accommodate the district's growing population -- specifically the completion of Emerald High School, student achievement and financial sustainability.
We especially appreciate Hakim's desire to bring accountability and transparency to board decisions and seek input from stakeholders.
Although Cherrier has institutional knowledge, having served on the board since 2016, his tenure has been tumultuous, with superintendent turnover, very public board conflicts and egregious flouting of the Brown Act this summer on his watch as board president.
More telling, and concerning, though, is his lack of willingness to engage -- with the community or us. Cherrier chose not to participate in our candidate forum and refused to be interviewed by our reporter for a candidate profile. These are not the actions of an open and honest school board member.
Vote for Sameer Hakim for Area 5.
Area 2 candidate Kristin Speck, a member of the city's Parks and Community Services Commission and current chair, is poised to be appointed directly to the board after being the only person to file for the ballot in her area.
Speck often speaks at board meetings and has served on several district committees including the 2017 and 2022 district boundary committees. Speck is knowledgeable about district issues and will make an excellent trustee for Area 2.