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November 7, 2017 — Local Elections

San Mateo-Foster City School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Shara Watkins

Shara Watkins

Education Consultant
10,036 votes (25.7%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Teacher support: As a former educator, I know that teaching is hard work. I am committed to investing in teachers in our district and to approaching budgetary decisions with teachers as a top priority.
  • Equity: San Mateo-Foster City has excellent schools. We must leverage the resources we have to ensure that all students are well supported. I commit to approaching decisions with all students at the center.
  • Open dialogue: I commit to increasing open dialogue and transparency with students, families, teachers, and the community at large about school board decisions and budgetary needs.



Profession:Partnership Success Manager
Partnership Success Manager, Goalbook (2015–current)
President, Brightside Homeowners Association Board — Elected position (2013–current)
President, Wellesley Alumnae Club of Silicon Valley — Appointed position (2015–current)
School Innovation Partner, Partners in School Innovation (2014–2015)
Middle School English Language Arts Teacher, Harlem Village Academies (2010–2013)
First Grade Teacher, Achievement First (2006–2010)


Bank Street College of Education Masters of Science, Childhood General and Special Education (2009)
Wellesley College Bachelor of Arts, Psychology (2006)

Community Activities

President, Brightside Homeowners Association (2013–current)
President, Wellesley Alumnae Club of Silicon Valley (2015–current)


Shara has dedicated her life to education and to the students in her local communities. After graduating from Wellesley College, she participated in the Teach for America program in New York City. During this time, she earned her Master’s degree in Childhood General and Special Education. Over the past ten years, she has been a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and curriculum designer. Shara has lead extensive teacher training on a variety of topics, from equity in education to using technology as a tool to improve student learning. Four years ago, Shara and her husband moved to San Mateo and have finally found their home. Since moving to Bay Meadows, she has been actively involved in serving and supporting her community. As a San Mateo resident, she looks forward to continuing to give back to the students, families, teachers, and San Mateo-Foster community in a way that leverages her expertise and continues the trajectory of excellent schools for all kids.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • San Mateo County Democrats
  • Jean Holbrook, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools (Retired)
  • Kevin Mullin, California State Assemblymember, District 22

Organizations (6)

  • San Mateo Elementary Teachers' Assocation
  • San Mateo County Democrats
  • San Mateo Labor Council
  • Peninsula Young Democrats
  • Women Under Forty Political Action Committee
  • Evolve

Elected Officials (18)

  • Jerry Hill, State Senator (District 13)
  • Dave Pine, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (District 1)
  • Carole Groom, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors (District 2)
  • Catherine Mahanpour, Foster City Council Member
  • Gary Pollard, Foster City Council Member
  • Sam Hindi, Foster City Vice Mayor
  • Maureen Freschet, San Mateo City Council Member
  • Diane Papan, San Mateo City Council Member
  • Rick Bonilla, San Mateo Deputy Mayor
  • David Lim, San Mateo Mayor
  • Ann Schneider, Millbrae City Council Member
  • Charles Stone, Mayor of Belmont
  • Audrey Ng, SMFC Board Trustee
  • Nancy Kohn Hsieh, SMFC Board Trustee
  • Ed Coady, SMFC Board Trustee
  • Chelsea Bonini, President SMFCSD School Board
  • Clayton Koo, Jefferson Elementary School District Board Trustee
  • Shelly Masur, Redwood City Council Member

Individuals (17)

  • Kelly Moran, President of Bay Meadows Neighborhood Alliance
  • Gary Waddell, San Mateo County Deputy Superintendent
  • Steve Okamoto, Former Foster City Council Member
  • Pam Frisella, Former Mayor of Foster City
  • Cyndy Simms, San Mateo-Foster City Superintendent (Retired)
  • Claire Mack, Former San Mateo Mayor
  • Phyllis Moore, Former SMFC Board Trustee
  • Lory Lorimer Lawson, Former SMFC Board Trustee
  • Rick Wykoff, Foster City Planning Commission
  • Eric Rodriguez, San Mateo Planning Commission Vice Chair
  • Ellen Ulrich, Former SMFC Board Trustee
  • Michael Duncheon
  • Joan Cassman
  • Jen Park-Way, College Park Parent & PTA Member
  • Lori Fredericksen, Bowditch Middle School Parent
  • Rachel Jordan & Joshua Karsh, Highlands Elementary School Parents
  • Shannon & Sean Guthrie, Parkside Elementary Parents

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