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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

Albany Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Kim Trutane

Kim Trutane

Homemaker/School Volunteer
3,681 votes (28.22%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Continued Albany School Excellence. Our teachers, administration, students, school board, and involved parents have made Albany schools truly excellent. I will continue that forward trajectory by working responsibly, intelligently, and cooperatively
  • Improve communication between the Board and the Albany community. We need new channels of communication to reach busy parents and members of our community that don't have students in the schools.
  • Responsible oversight of school construction projects. We need to move forward on the AMS Annex because of the extreme crowding. However, we need to build smart, with input from all stakeholders, local experts, and teachers.



University of Colorado, Boulder, CO Ph.D. , Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (1992)

Community Activities

President, Co-President, and Financial Secretary, Marin Elementary School PTA (2011–current)
Co-chair, Yes on Measures B & E (2016–current)
Representative, Community Advisory Council (2014–2015)
President and member, Marin Elementary School Site Council (2011–2014)
Representative, Facilities Master Planning Configuration Committee (2013–2013)


I'm an Albany parent of a 6th and 10th grader and a dedicated school volunteer. Although I have a doctorate in molecular biology, I left the biotech world when my children came along. I've lived in Albany for 18 years, and for more than a decade, I have been deeply involved in the Albany schools.


My extensive volunteerism and commitment to Albany schools has earned the endorsement of every current school board member, as well as the Albany teacher's association executive board, Evolve California, a Prop 13 reform group, current and past mayors, and the Democratic Party.


My public service began at Albany Preschool, and includes several years of being PTA President at Marin, Marin Site Council President, AMS Writer Coach, community-wide committees such as the Community Advisory Council, Fundraising Advisory Committee and Facilities Master Planning Configuration Committee.


Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Democratic Party of Alameda County
  • Evolve California, Prop 13 Reform Organization
  • Albany Teacher's Association Executive Board

Individuals (83)

  • Holly Taines White
  • Gary and Helene Class
  • Rebecca Long and Josh Phillips
  • Yael Bloom
  • Theresa Bittner
  • June McDaniels
  • Jessica Cross
  • Jeanne and Stefan Cajina
  • Ebba de la Rosa and Francis Chapman
  • Abby and Sean Wentworth
  • Jon Pendleton and Michelle Gomez
  • Anna Collins
  • Jeannie Paulovich
  • Jenny Blattner
  • Joy Knott
  • Lisa Sully and Claudine McLaughlin
  • Janet Yokayama and Devin Fernandez
  • Sabrina Zirkel and Chris Simon
  • Edwin Park
  • Joanne Miller
  • Marcy Newman-Lauer
  • Tamara Keller
  • Elaine Holliman
  • Jonathan Knight and Marcia Belvin
  • Candace and Eric Renger
  • Laura and Jason Turbow
  • Rebecca Ahlfeldt
  • Joanie Rothstein
  • Kelley Callahan
  • Andrea Balazs
  • Erin Albert
  • Tsering Wangmo Bhutia
  • Aaron Leventhal
  • Stefanie Baldwin
  • Jan Eisland
  • Dave Miller
  • Shannon Huffaker
  • Stephanie Joffe
  • Susan Ferdun
  • Erin Shah
  • Emma Rosen and Val Menotti
  • Kat and Dave Bliss
  • Julie Patrusky
  • Constance Geisler
  • Juanita Rynerson
  • Seth Bain and Stephanie Marquet
  • Corrie and Dave Winnacker
  • Alison Seevak
  • Leslie Gray
  • Jen Mitchell and Adrian Randal
  • Rachel and Ginny Fontenot
  • Brigid Kennedy
  • Michela Azzariti and Claudio Privitera
  • Dorothe Piluso
  • Kris Matsuyama
  • Manisha Hariani
  • Anjali Aggarwal
  • Kirsten Piroth
  • Merry Selk
  • Adrienne Olmstead
  • Elisabeth Lamoreaux
  • Art Simon
  • Kavita Trivedi
  • Ewa Maris
  • Laura Lee and Bryon Barrett
  • Ozlem Ayduk and Rudy Mendoza-Denton
  • Jen Daly
  • Amy Paulsen
  • Joan Williams
  • Sarah Schoeder
  • Yvette Leung
  • Lynda Hornada
  • Elizabeth Branoff
  • Sara Marcellino
  • Kym Sterner
  • Mike and Monica Norton
  • Pete Maass, Marge Atkinson & Allan Maris, current and past Albany Mayors
  • Ross Stapleton-Gray, School Board Member
  • Pat Low, School Board Member, past BOE President
  • Charles Blanchard, School Board Member, past BOE President
  • Paul Black, School Board Vice President, past BOE President
  • Nick Pilch, City Council Member
  • Miriam Walden, past school board member and BOE President

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (1)

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?
Answer from Kim Trutane:

Albany Unified has reached out to many stakeholder groups with presentations on student achievement and asked for their input on programs. Our LCAP process is being used as a model in Alameda County. Even so, I would like to see engagement expand throughout the school year, beyond a presentation in the spring. Authentic interchange throughout the year must be the gold standard for true community engagement. 

Questions from League of Women Voters—Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville (2)

If you are elected, what would you like to achieve during your term in office?
Answer from Kim Trutane:

Albany Unified is an excellent school district and our main challenge is to maintain that excellence. After taking time this fall to look at some of our neighbors, I am so grateful to our teachers, administration, school board, and our very involved parents that have created this excellence.


Albany does have some issues. Our schools are overcrowded, and we can thank our community for passing school construction bonds in the June election to relieve overcrowding and improve seismic safety. Moving forward thoughtfully but promptly on the construction projects is the most efficacious way to address the overcrowding problem, and allows us to take advantage of current low interest rates. Having an adequate number of classrooms for our growing school-aged population is fundamental to keeping class sizes small.


Along with improving our facilities, Albany needs to attract and retain excellent teachers. The teacher shortage is affecting Albany; there is a sixth grade class at AMS that does not yet have a permanent teacher for this year, despite the best efforts. I think we need to look at meaningful ways we can support our teachers while staying fiscally responsible, that would help Albany to be better known as a great place to teach. I am in favor of above average compensation for Albany teachers, using county comparators, although I understand that district staff and the teacher's union works out the specific balance of benefits and pay in the compensation package.


Lastly, I think we can improve communication. I will work toward opening up authentic channels of communication between parents and the district, and the community as a whole and the district.   

What would you do to address challenges such as the following? funding and registration; teacher retention and compensation safety; bullying and sexual harassment college and vocational readiness; creating pathways for those who are not college bound
Answer from Kim Trutane:

I am in favor of above average compensation for Albany teachers, although it is the prerogative of district staff and the teacher's union to work out the specific balance of benefits and pay in the compensation package. One highly prized benefit is putting the children of teachers at the top of our interdistrict transfer list. Teachers become even more a part of our community by having their children educated in Albany schools and are invested long-term in the district. Especially in the Bay Area, where housing costs are extremely high and the quality of schools uneven, this unpaid benefit is valued.


I think our teachers have appreciated the "teacher on special assignment" programs, which have allowed a teacher colleague to devote their professional effort to transitions to new curriculum and teaching methods, and then transfer those skills to peers. We need to look at our policies for reimbursement for professional development programs for younger teachers, and we need to provide quality options for teachers who would like to learn more about inclusion and cultural sensitivity in the classroom. 


Albany Unified provides a quality education for all students. We have both MacGregor High, a smaller alternative high school, as well as Albany High. In addition, at Albany High, there are several small learning community programs. One is the award-winning Venture Program for building business, design, and retail knowledge; another is the Environmental Design, Science, Engineering, and Technology (EDSET) program. EDSET includes an internship program. The Design and Build program is new this year, and combines Computer-Aided Design  (CAD) skills with Physics coursework. Students spend one day a week at Laney College using Laney's Fabrication Lab. AUSD's LCAP Plan states that over 50% of Albany High students take one or more Career Technical Education courses during their tenure. These include culinary skills courses, Broadcast Journalism, technology, and laboratory classes. AUSD received an 880 Career Pathways Trust grant, and staff is working on developing career-focused pathways in the areas of Information Communication Technology/Digital Media, Engineering, and Biomedical. Our school board recently voted to share enrollment data with Peralta Community College district, which will help track co-enrolled students and pave the way for developing more high school to career pathways.


I am in favor of having a parent educational forum on bullying. We've had parent ed programs in the past, but this is such an important topic. I think that the district needs to give parents more of a "road map" of the process that is taken when bullying is brought up. We may also need to do more around internet safety and online bullying at the middle school as a preventative measure. The 9th grade Identity, Health, and Society course at the high school is very effective at creating an nonjudgmental atmosphere there. I wonder if a similar, shorter course might be appropriate at the middle school. 

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

My style of leadership is embodied by a phrase in the Democratic Party platform: "Democrats believe that cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls."


I initiated regular meetings between the elementary PTA Presidents and district staff, and strengthened cooperation between the PTAs through joint efforts. A cooperative fundraising effort between elementary schools was established in the effort to promote equity. I took that to the next level and fostered cooperation with the other PTAs on several fronts. This brought us together, broke down an outmoded idea that we were in competition with each other, and allowed us to support each other's initiatives. I organized the 2014/15 School Board Reporters, district-wide parent volunteers who summarized School Board meetings for busy parents by posting summaries on the etrees. Cooperation, Unity, Empowerment, and, I must add--Participation are my bywords.


My support of safe, appropriately sized schools culminated with co-chairing the Yes On Measures B & E Committee; the role of the school board is to oversee those projects now. I want to make sure that we build the right schools for Albany, for a 21st century education, that fully utilize our teacher's on-the-ground knowledge of what they need to educate students. Getting the greatest possible value from our tax dollars is very important to me, as well as avoiding pitfalls we might have experienced in the past.  


Lastly, communication between the school district and the community needs improvement. Communication is a powerful bridge, and we need those bridges. I will work toward opening up authentic, user-friendly channels of communication and parents, community members, and students.


My experience and leadership is the basis on which I am asking for your vote.




Videos (1)

— October 10, 2016 League of Women Voters

League of Women Voters Panel, Oct. 5, 2016, and Albany City Hall. Candidates for City Council and for School Board presented. 

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