Rookies may dominate school board in new term

San Francisco’s school board will soon be dominated by new blood, as two experienced trustees set their sights on the Board of Supervisors this November.

Of the seven-member San Francisco Board of Education, three trustees — Jane Kim, Hydra Mendoza and Kim-Shree Maufas, who each won election to the board in 2006 — have two years of experience. Four others are up for re-election, and both Mark Sanchez and Eric Mar are aiming for supervisors’ seats this fall after two four-year terms each on the school board.

That leaves one veteran left in incumbent Norman Yee, who told The Examiner he’ll run again this fall. Trustee Jill Wynns, elected in 1992, is still weighing whether to seek her fifth term.

With new San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia, who took over for interim superintendent Gwen Chan in July 2007, the new trustees will face a number of crucial issues if elected, from long-term budgeting and teacher retention to making sure low-performing students succeed.

“I think new blood is great, but school-board service is very complex. There’s a lot to know,” said Wynns, who added that she’s leaning toward running.

While Wynns emphasized the importance of experienced trustees, others, such as Parents for Public Schools Director Lorraine Woodruff-Long, said that experience doesn’t need to come from multiple terms on the board of education.

“There are parents who have been on school site councils who have been wrestling school-budget issues,” Woodruff-Long said. “It’s less about history and experience, and more about judgment and knowledge.”

Kim, Maufas and Mendoza’s fresh talent has been an asset to the board, Woodruff-Long said.

In addition, the current set of trustees has created a solid partnership with colleagues at City Hall, Mayor Gavin Newsom said.

“We have a great partnership right now, and I admire the board’s willingness to work toward that,” Newsom said.

Although the candidacy filing period doesn’t open until July 15, a number of San Francisco hopefuls have already signed papers saying they plan to raise campaign funds for the November schoolboard race. More candidates may throw their hats in the ring between now and mid-August.

Among the potentials are graduate student Glenn Davis; minister Erris Edgerly; former teacher and community activist Sheryl Evans; parent and editor Rachel Norton; ombudsman Omar Khalif; Peter Lauterborn, education policy coordinator for the San Francisco Youth Commission; and Emily Murase, a parent and the executive director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

Bay Area NewseducationLocal

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