Jacquie Tanner is vying for one of three seats that are up for a vote on the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District's board this November, hoping to put her background in business to work aiding the high school district.
Tanner has a daughter in her freshman year at Los Altos High School, and is herself a Mountain View native who said she has now lived in the area for half a century.
After retiring from Tesla in June following nearly a decade working at the company, Tanner said she wants to put her newfound time and energy toward serving on the school board.
"I can bring in the fresh, independent mindset," Tanner said. "I'm not already influenced by a lot of the political stuff that goes down in both school districts."
Three out of five seats on the high school district's board are coming before voters this fall. Only one incumbent, Catherine Vonnegut, is seeking another term. Thida Cornes, Esmeralda Ortiz, Carrol Ann Titus-Zambre and Eric Mark are also running.
While at Tesla, Tanner said she was working 10 to 14 hour days and didn't have time to be as involved with her daughter's schooling as she wanted. Although she volunteered when she could, Tanner said she was jealous of the amount her husband could participate.
"I wanted to do it. If I could, I tried to pull it off," Tanner said. "But just working those huge hours – I had to sleep at some point."
Since retiring, Tanner said she has joined the League of Women Voters and PTA. She has also been researching the school district and watching past board meetings.
From what she's seen, Tanner said she feels the board is doing a good job, but she believes that her data analytics, critical thinking and other business skills could "help elevate them to the next level."
Tanner wants to use her data background to help oversee spending and ensure the district is being fiscally responsible. She also believes the board could do better at communicating its successes and failures to the community.
One particular area of focus for Tanner is helping the district prepare for the influx of students that it predicts will come as more housing is built in Mountain View.
"I don't see us moving fast enough to secure the land or the infrastructure that we need to do that," Tanner said. "I want to help in that area."
To be successful, Tanner said the district needs to properly communicate with its feeder districts: the Mountain View Whisman and Los Altos school districts. Tanner said she doesn't yet know the specifics of how the district should acquire the needed land, but that she would work with current board members to make progress.
Tanner is also interested in ensuring that eighth graders have a smooth transition into high school. Her daughter participated in a summer program before entering Los Altos High that Tanner said helped her to feel more comfortable on campus. She wants to make sure these types of programs serve a larger and diverse group of students.
To learn more about each of the candidates running for the high school district's board, visit mv-voice.com in the coming days.