The Sunnyvale School District currently has three Board of Education positions open for the November 8, 2022 General Election. The term for board positions is four years (2022-2026).
The following candidates will be running uncontested for these seats:
- Eileen Le (Trustee Area 5, Challenger)
- Michelle Maginot (Trustee Area 3, Incumbent)
- Bridget Watson (Trustee Area 1, Incumbent)
Board Member Jeff Arnett will not be running for re-election.
Board Member Jeff Arnett is stepping down after 19 years of service. He has been a dedicated and compassionate board member since 2003. During his service, he attended approximately 456 board meetings, helped oversee three bond measures, and supported renovations, modernizations, and improvements at all 10 schools. He is a proud alumnus of the Sunnyvale School District.
He is currently the principal of Silicon Valley Career Technical Education. He was previously the assistant principal with Campbell Union High School District before accepting a position as Assistant Principal with the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Prior to that, he was a social studies teacher for Tracy Unified School District. He served on the City of Sunnyvale’s Parks and Recreation Commission from January 2001 to January 2005.
He earned an administrative credential from the University of San Francisco and a Master’s in Education from the University of Phoenix. Mr. Arnett also holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Affairs from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Eileen is a Bay Area native and a Lakewood parent. She is currently the Vice President of the Sunnyvale Education Foundation, having previously served as an at-large representative and as a member of the communications and fundraising committees. She graduated from UC Irvine with degrees in Biological Sciences and Chemistry and upon graduation moved back to the Bay Area to begin her career in biotechnology. She speaks French and Vietnamese. Her child has been with the Sunnyvale School District since preschool, and she’s excited to contribute her experience and knowledge to the community.
Michelle Maginot has been a Sunnyvale resident for more than 30 years. She attended Cumberland Elementary School, Sunnyvale Middle School, and Fremont High School. She is the proud mother of 3 children. Two of them are still in the district and her oldest is a graduate of SSD. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University. While in college, she interned with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs.
She is a community gatherer and started and led a free music class for toddlers and parents for over 7 years. She started an annual welcome back picnic at Ellis. Michelle also organized and leads a monthly mothers group that has been going on for over 10 years.
She has been active in her children’s sports leagues and is an active member of her church community.
She has volunteered in many classrooms, been active in the PTO & PTA, co-led the superintendent search in 2020, and co-chaired the 2018 Measure GG bond campaign. She has been a lead and volunteer with Project Cornerstone for many years.
She was Board President in 2020 and 2021 and has completed the California School Board Association’s (CSBA) Masters of Governance Program.
Michelle is an alum of Leadership Sunnyvale (2017-2018).
She hopes to continue the good work of the district, engaging all of the community and removing any barriers to learning so all of our students receive the high-quality education our schools provide.
When asked about what serving alongside Board member Jeff Arnett has meant to her, Maginot said:
“Jeff was a great mentor to me during my first couple of years on the board. He encouraged me to build my capacity as a board member through education and leadership opportunities. I appreciate the wisdom he brought to the school board as an educator by profession, and also as an experienced board member.”
Bridget Watson is a dedicated community volunteer and teacher who has served thousands of hours in Sunnyvale School District, beginning as a parent volunteer in 2005. From 2012-2016 she taught second and third grade at Fairwood Explorer school, SSD’s Program of Choice that focuses on project-based learning and family participation.
She was elected to the Sunnyvale School District Board of Education in 2018. She is the 2022-23 President of the Santa Clara County School Boards Association (SCCSBA), which offers board development services, communication, advocacy, and other activities for all of the County’s 31 elementary, high school, and unified school district boards, Metro Ed, and the County Board of Education. She serves Ex-Officio (previously serving as Vice-Chair (20-21) and Chair (21-22)) on SCCSBA’s Legislative Action Committee, advocating for our students’ unique needs with legislators at the local, county, state, and federal levels. She is a reader for the Hoffmann Awards, SCCSBA’s team that reviews and acknowledges innovative, impactful, and inspiring school programs throughout Santa Clara County.
She currently serves on Delegate Assembly, California School Boards Association’s (CSBA) policy and advocacy arm, for Region 20. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Sunnyvale Education Foundation, a nonprofit that facilitates community support in collaboration with SSD for an enriched, high-quality education at all schools in the District. She visits every school in SSD throughout the year and volunteers in classrooms and at school sites for hundreds of hours each year.
Bridget completed the CSBA’s Masters in Governance Program and served in CSBA’s Equity Network, learning ways to create and apply systems change towards equity district and state-wide. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English from San Francisco State University and later obtained her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from National University. She also holds a Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL)/ Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) certificate to work with students learning English as an additional language from Notre Dame de Namur. She is the mother of two sons, both of whom attended Sunnyvale School District kindergarten through eighth grade.
When asked about what serving alongside Board member Jeff Arnett has meant to her, Watson said:
“Jeff’s service inspires me as a board member and as a person. With tons of grit and without fanfare, he has consistently dedicated his time to improving outcomes for our students and our community – year after year. As an experienced and caring teacher, administrator, trustee, and parent, he has a depth and breadth of knowledge and empathy that has helped shape the positive culture of our governance team and SSD. I feel fortunate to have learned from him as a new board member. I appreciate his patience and commitment, and I’ll miss working with him and his insights, humor, and candor. I wish Jeff all the best.”
This Board Election will be the first since Sunnyvale School District transitioned from at-large elections to by-Trustee Area, which required the District to create five geographic trustee areas within the District, each assigned to one seat on the Board. Voters within each trustee area will vote only for candidates for the seat on the Board assigned to their trustee area. To see a map of the trustee areas go to https://www.sesd.org/Page/5556.
For information on how to register to vote for the November 8, 2022 election please go to https://vote.gov/register/ca/. To learn more about the Board of Education visit https://www.sesd.org/domain/33.