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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

Mount Diablo Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Cherise Marie Khaund

Cherise Marie Khaund

Education Community Organizer
33,660 votes (25.08%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Engage communities—including teachers, staff, parents, and voters.
  • Make spending clear and understandable—explaining how our budget leads to success for our students.
  • Champion new strategies—providing resources and support to our educators, administrators, and staff.



Profession:Education Community Organizer
Associate Executive Director, League of Education Voters (2001–2006)
Resident Services Manager, Rural California Housing Corporation (1997–2001)
Community Organizer, AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) (1996–1996)
Engineer, Stanford Research Institute (1995–1995)


University of Washington, The Evans School MPA - Masters of Public Affairs, Nonprofit Management and Education Policy (2004)
Stanford University Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (1995)

Community Activities

President, Walnut Acres Parent Faculty Club (2015–current)
Girl Scout Leader, Girl Scouts (2014–current)
Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator, Walnut Acres Parent Faculty Club / City of Walnut Creek (2015–current)
Chair, Program Chair, School Site Chair, Buena Vista Auxiliary of Assistance League of Diablo Valley (2008–2015)
Director of Education Services, Irynsoft (2011–2013)


My husband and I are parents of 3rd and 6th grade students at Mt. Diablo schools, and for the past 8 years I’ve helped lead a reading program in 10 schools in Concord through Bay Point, helping struggling students learn to read. So, I’ve spent hundreds of hours in classrooms throughout the district, witnessing firsthand the powerful impact of education on our young students' minds. 


For twenty years I’ve worked to advance educational opportunities for all students. After earning my Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, I joined AmeriCorps*VISTA as a community organizer, launching tutoring programs and connecting parents who didn't speak English with their children’s schools. I earned a Masters Degree in Education Policy and Nonprofit Management at the University of Washington in Seattle. And working for the League of Education Voters, I organized parents across the state to improve statewide funding for public schools, and I designed a formula of how dollars would be distributed to K-12 school districts.  I’m currently Walnut Acres Parent Faculty Club President, where I’ve partnered with the city and neighborhood to create safe routes for kids to walk and bike to school. 

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Schools
  • Assemblymember Susan Bonilla
  • Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Organizations (9)

  • Diablo Valley Democratic Club
  • Contra Costa Young Democrats
  • United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County
  • Teamsters Local 856
  • Contra Costa AFL-CIO Labor Council
  • CSEA Mt Diablo Chapter 43
  • California Democratic Party
  • MDEA - Mt Diablo Education Association (teachers union)
  • Evolve

Elected Officials (11)

  • Linda Mayo, MDUSD Governing Board member
  • Sue Noack, Mayor of Pleasant Hill
  • Edi Birsan, Concord City Council
  • Ron Leone, Vice Mayor of Concord
  • Dr. Michael Harris, Vice Mayor of Pleasant Hill
  • Bob Simmons, Walnut Creek City Council
  • Cindy Silva, Walnut Creek City Council
  • Karen Mitchoff, Contra Costa County Supervisor
  • Bobbi Horack, Martinez Unified School District Trustee
  • Craig Cheslog, Acalanes School District Trustee
  • Dana Dean, President Solano County Board of Education

Individuals (27)

  • Andrea Torrey Bishop, The Torrey Team
  • Angie Traxinger, Village Associates Real Estate
  • Carol Weed, MD
  • Renee Zeimer, Contra Costa Economic Opportunity Council
  • Ajit Kaushal, Economic Opportunity Council of Contra Costa County
  • Tony Kallingal, Scott Valley Bank
  • Elsa Bautista, CSEA member, Concord
  • Cheryl Evans, CSEA member Pittsburg
  • Mike Langley, retired educator
  • Rose Lock, former Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education, MDUSD
  • Megan Zeitler, Reading Specialist
  • Jeanne Walker, retired MDUSD teacher
  • Joan Pierce, MDUSD Board Member emeritus
  • Joyce Densmore Thomas, teacher Sun Terrace, former Vice Principal Cambridge Elementary
  • Dr. Jackie Lamb, former Assistant Superintendent of California Department of Education
  • Delaine Eastin, former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Joan Buchanan, former Assemblymember
  • Maggi Kurimai, former teacher, Wren Ave Elementary
  • Betty Vigil, CSEA member, Concord
  • Linda Rivera, CSEA member, Concord
  • Bianca Vasvani, Concord businesswoman & literacy volunteer
  • Terry Patrick, Program Chair, Buena Vista Auxiliary of Assistance League of Diablo Valley
  • Elizabeth Ramos, Contra Costa Young Democrats
  • Linda Vanderjagt, Michigan Association of School Administrators & Walnut Creek Civic Arts Education Foundation Board
  • Melba Elguezabal, CSEA member, Walnut Creek
  • Kathy Hicks, Former Walnut Creek Mayor

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 Cherise Marie Khaund:

The LCFF- Local Control Funding Formula is an opportunity for districts to direct additional funding to particular groups of students who face extra challenges to succeed in school, including poverty, english as a second language, and foster youth.  State law says that districts must not only show how they are spending the supplemental dollars towards these students, but also must show how effective it is in results for those students.

Our district has undergone an extensive community effort to create the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) but is still determining some of the measurements to be used in examining outcomes.  

I will work with the board and superintendent to explore models from other districts, gather resources from nonprofit organizations, and communicate as clearly and effectively as we can how we are investing these dollars to get results and close the achievement gap for those students.

Videos (2)

Cherise Khaund's closing remarks at League of Women Voters' televised 2016 candidate forum

Cherise Khaund's introduction at Pleasant Hill Education Commission Candidate Forum 2016, sharing her education, experience, and priorities for MDUSD School Board.

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