Sep 26 2013

OPINION: Amal Smith Announces Candidacy for School Board

 – Long time school volunteer seeks School Board seat in February.  –

Amal Smith is running for PUSD's Board of Education.

Amal Smith’s press release:

Amal Smith announced her candidacy for a seat on the Board of Education in the February 2014 election. Amal has been an active volunteer in the school community for over thirteen years, ranging from classroom volunteer to leadership roles on parent club boards and the Piedmont Educational Foundation.

Amal and her husband, Rick, moved their family to Piedmont in 1998. They have two sons: Connor, a sophomore at Vanderbilt, and Luke, a junior at Piedmont High School. “So many people move to Piedmont for the schools and the community that is formed around these schools. Teachers, staff, myriad volunteers and, yes, school board members have worked collectively to create the educational experience we wanted for our sons. I’m running for School Board because I want to give back to a community that has given my family and me so much, and because I believe I have relevant skills to contribute to the governance of our school district,” she explained.

Amal has extensive volunteer experience in support of Piedmont schools. She was active in the Beach Elementary School community, serving as president, vice president, and treasurer for the Beach Parents’ Organization, as well as a volunteer for the Parent Educator and Meet the Masters programs. She served for six years on the Piedmont Educational Foundation board, serving on the grants committee, as treasurer for three years, and president for two years. She has been a member of the District’s Budget Advisory Committee since 2004. She was a volunteer on the recent school parcel tax campaigns, as well as on the seismic safety bond measure campaign. She just completed three years of service on the PHS Boosters board, and is currently the treasurer for the PHS Parents Club, a member of the PHS Wellness Center Advisory Board, and a facilitator for the Piedmont Parent Network.

“I know how things work in our district—who the participants are, how the funding works, and how the support organizations and volunteers work cooperatively with the schools to maintain our academic excellence,” she said. “My primary priorities are ensuring strong fiscal oversight and the prudent allocation of District resources that continue the practice of providing the most robust program possible; holding a strategic, long-term perspective that keeps in mind the entire K-12 program; and continuing the commitment to the on-going collaborative teacher evaluation process, emphasizing teacher development and including creative classroom strategies and technological innovations,” she added.

Amal grew up in Bahrain and Los Angeles; her mother was from the American South and her father was born, raised and still lives in Bahrain. She did her undergraduate studies at UCLA, majoring in Psychology, and received her MBA from USC. She has over 23 years of experience in higher education: the last 13 years at the University of California, Office of the President, first in financial management and reporting and, most recently, managing a shared services center for financial operations support; and, before that, 10 years at KPMG providing consulting services to non-profit organizations, primarily top-tier research universities.

Grier Graff, Valerie Matzger, and Ann Trutner are the honorary co-chairs of Amal’s campaign committee. Her campaign steering committee includes Conna McCarthy, Anne-Marie Lamarche, and June Monach. Also on her campaign committee are Cathie Geddeis, Jim Baack, Sharon Hom, Debbie Lee, Jen Wilson, and Rick Smith.

Editors’ Note:  The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.  Although PCA does not support or oppose candidates for public office, information about candidates and their campaigns is welcomed.

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