Nelson is widely blamed for creating a hostile work environment for district staff, leading to the abrupt resignation in 2014 of then-Superintendent Craig Goldman. (Goldman's surprisingly generous $230,000 severance payment included an agreement not to sue the district or the school board.) In 2015, board President Chris Chiang resigned mid-term, saying he was leaving to work on a recall campaign against Nelson.
Incumbents Torok and Walter, on the other hand, have demonstrated effective leadership and, importantly, the professionalism, communication skills and collaborative spirit necessary to be effective public servants. Vonnegut's extensive 40-year background of volunteer service and leadership positions on local PTAs, PTSAs, advisory boards and site councils indicates that she has a strong command of those same crucial skills.
Mountain View-Los Altos has no shortage of challenges ahead, from teacher retention to closing the student achievement gap to preparing for a wave of new students as Mountain View's population climbs. A thoughtful, effective and responsive board of trustees will be crucial to the future success of both the high school district and its students.
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