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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

New Haven Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Linda Canlas

Linda Canlas

New Haven Unified School District Governing Board Member
12,152 votes (38.01%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT remains my top priority. College preparation, STEM and career & technical education, and increased graduation rates are "musts" to prepare our students to compete in a technologically-dominated global economy.
  • SAFE SCHOOLS, providing a safe and nurturing learning environment to enable student achievement. We need to improve student access to mental health services.
  • FISCAL DISCIPLINE & ACCOUNTABILITY to deal proactively with continued District budget challenges, including strategic planning, reevaluation of priorities, and fiscal discipline to maintain quality programs and services.



Profession:Retired Principal / NHUSD Board Trustee
Board Trustee, New Haven Unified School District (NHUSD) — Elected position (2014–current)
Retired Principal, Newark Unified School District (NUSD) and Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) (1981–2016)
Board Trustee, New Haven Unified School District (NHUSD) — Elected position (2010–2014)


California Schools Board Association Master's in Governance (Certificate) (2012)
California State University-East Bay Master's, Educational Leadership (1996)
California State University-East Bay California Administrative Credential (Certificate) -- current (1996)
California State University, East Bay BA, LIberal Studies, with concentration in History and Anthropology (1979)
California State University-East Bay California State K-12 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (Certificate) -- current (1979)

Community Activities

Board Member, New Haven Schools Foundation (2013–current)
Member, Filipina Women's Network (2014–current)
Chair, Pastoral Council, St. Anne Catholic Church, Union City (2010–current)
Member, Filipino-American National Historical Society (2012–current)


* New Haven Unified School District (NHUSD) Board Trustee -- Elected in 2010, re-elected in 2014.  Past Board President and Clerk.  Master's in Governance, California School Boards Association.

* President, Alameda County School Boards Association (2016-present).

* Educator / Education Leader in California Public Schools for over 35 years.  Principal, Assistant Principal, Classroom Teacher, Newark USD and Hayward USD.   Master's Degree in Educational Leadership.  California Administrative Credential.  California Multiple-Subject K-12 Teaching Credential.  District-level assignments in Student Support Services and Performing Arts Program.

* Community Volunteer.  Board Member, New Haven Schools Foundation.  Chair, St. Anne Catholic Church (Union City) Pastoral Council.  Filipino-American National Historical Society.  Miltiary/Veterans Support Group Volunteer.  Filipina Womens' Network.  Former NHUSD Strategic Planning Team Member.  Former Chair/Co-Chair of NHUSD School Site Councils.  Former James Logan HS Marching Band & Color Guard Booster and Lead Chaperone.

* Union City Resident and Homeowner since 1983.  Daughters Jaqueline (Attorney) and Camille (Teacher) attended New Haven schools from K-12, both graduates of James Logan HS and University of California universities (UCLA, US Santa Barbara, UC Hastings College of Law)

* Celebrated 40th Wedding Anniversary in July 2018.  Married at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fremont.

* Immigrated to United States at age 12, as English Language Learner and from economically disadvantaged family.  Naturalized U.S. Citizen at age 18.


* Major Endorsements:   Congressman ERIC SWALWELL; California State Superintendent of Public Instruction TOM TORAKSON; Former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction DELAINE EASTIN; State Assemblymembers BILL QUIRK & ROB BONTA; Alameda County Supervisor RICHARD VALLE; Union City Mayor CAROL DUTRA-VERNACI; Union City Councilmembers PAT GACOSCOS & GARY SINGH; Alameda County School Board Members EILEEN McDONALD & AISHA KNOWLES; Ohlone College Trustees VIVIEN LARSEN & TERESA COX; New Haven USD Board Trustees JEFF WANG & SHARAN KAUR; Alameda County Water District Director JIM GUNTHER; Alameda County Commissioners ARNOLD PEDRIGAL, SMILE DHIR, & HARRIS MOJADEDI; Union City Commissioners LEE GUIO, HARPAL SINGH MANN, SHAMSA RAFAY MASOOD, & ART CIPRIANO; Fremont Commissioners PADDY IYER & TJ DHANI; Former Union City Mayor MARK GREEN; Former Union City Councilmember JIM NAVARRO; Former New Haven USD Board Trustees GERTRUDE GREGORIO & MICHAEL RITCHIE; Former James Logan HS Forensics Program Director TOMMIE LINDSEY; Businessman/Community Leader JASWINDER SINGH JANDI; Attorney/Businessman PHONG LA; High School Principal FRANCIS ROJAS; and many others.



Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Congressman ERIC SWALWELL
  • California State Superintendent of Public Instruction TOM TORLAKSON
  • Former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction DELAINE EASTIN

Organizations (3)

  • Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County

Elected Officials (14)

  • State Assemblymember BILL QUIRK
  • New Haven USD Board Trustee SHARAN KAUR
  • Alameda County School Board Member AISHA KNOWLES
  • Union City Councilmember PAT GACOSCOS
  • Union City Councilmember GARY SINGH
  • State Assemblymember ROB BONTA
  • Alameda County Supervisor RICHARD VALLE
  • Union City Mayor CAROL DUTRA-VERNACI
  • Alameda Country School Board Member EILEEN McDONALD
  • Ohlone College Trustee VIVIEN LARSEN
  • Ohlone College Trustee TERESA COX
  • Alameda County Water District Director JIM GUNTHER
  • Berryessa Union USD Board Trustee THELMA BOAC
  • New Haven USD Board Trustee JEFF WANG

Individuals (15)

  • Former New Haven USD Trustee MICHAEL RITCHIE
  • Former Union City Mayor MARK GREEN
  • Former Union City Councilmember JIM NAVARRO
  • Former James Logan HS Forensics Program Director TOMMIE LINDSEY
  • High School Principal FRANCIS ROJAS
  • Attorney/Businessman PHONG LA
  • Union City Commissioner SHAMSA RAFY MASOOD
  • Union City Commissioner HARPAL SINGH MANN
  • Union City Commissioner LEE GUIO
  • Businessman/Community Leader JASWINDER SINGH JANDI
  • Alameda County Commissioner HARRIS MOJADEDI
  • Alameda County Commissioner TJ DHAMI
  • Alameda County Commissioner SMILE DHIR
  • Alameda County Commissioner ARNOLD PEDRIGAL
  • Former New Haven USD Board Trustee GERTRUDE GREGORIO

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Educator.  Community volunteer.  Public servant.  Parent.   

I have had a wonderful and rewarding career as an Educator, served my communithy in many capacities as a volunteer, served two consecutive 4-year terms and New Haven USD Board Trustee, and raised a wonderful family with my husband of 40 years.

As an Educator (Principal, Assistant Principal, and Classroom Teacher) in California public schools for over 35 years, delivery of quality education has always been my vocation and passion, and gives me a unique perspective as Board Trustee.  

I know first-hand the effects of Board and District policies and decisions at district, school site, and classroom levels, and on our students.  As a parent, I always consider the impact of our decisions on the well-being of our children.  As Board Trustee, my governing principle is “If it’s not good enough for my own children, then it’s not good enough for our New Haven students.”

As President of the Alameda County School Boards Association, I have brought State elected officials to meet with local school board members and district superintendents to address and advocate for State funding and priorities for public education.  While California has the fifth largest economy in the world (first largest in the United States), we are ranked at #41 in per pupil spending.  This is unacceptable, and I am currently working as a member of the California School Boards Association to advocate for full and fair funding for public education, focused on engaging the new incoming California State Governor and his Administration.

My priorities as Board Trustee continue to be student achievement, including STEM/STEAM and career and technical (CT&E) education to prepare our students to compete in a technologically-dominated global economy; safe schools, including increased cultural awareness and understanding and improved student access to mental health services to avoid the incidence of school violence that has plagued our Country; and fiscal discipline and accountability, dealing rationally and proactively with ongoing budget challenges; and community partnerships, to provide additional resources, service and opportunities for our students.

We are making great strides in NHUSD in providing quality education to our students, including increased attendance (95.5%) and graduation (88%) rates; decreased expulsion and suspension rates; improved student achievement, especially among English language learners; increased implementation of State common core standards; implementation of a Spanish Dual Language immersion program; increased positive parent engagement; a positive working relationship between New Haven USD and the City of Union City; and proactive fiscal/budget planning to address ongoing funding/budget challenges.

While I am proud of our accomplishments, we can do more, and I look forward to working collaboratively and effectively with my fellow Board members to continuously improve the quality of education in New Haven schools.

A Union City resident since 1983, both my daughters (Attorney, Teacher) attended New Haven schools, from K-12, graduating from James Logan HS.   I am proud to serve our community as a volunteer -- as Board Member on the New Haven Schools Foundation, Chair of the St. Anne Catholic Church Pastoral Council, military/veterans support group volunteer, and in other capacities.   

I immigrated to the United States from the Philippines with my family when I was 12 years old, and am very sensitive to the needs of immigrant students and their families.  

My family came here with only the possessions that we could carry in our suitcases, seeking, like most immigrants, political freedom and better living conditions and education and economic opportunities.  My parents worked hard to support us four children, and we struggled financially; every penny needed to count for us to survive.

I was able to overcome these challenges – despite my limited English language skills -- through the values that my parents instilled in me and my siblings:  a passion for learning and self-improvement, personal responsibility and ethical conduct, initiative, commitment, citizenship, and community service – and by never giving up, despite the many challenges and obstacles that we faced as immigrants.

Through the help of dedicated teachers, I overcame my English language difficulties, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen when I turned 18 years old and going on to college (UC Berkeley, CSU-East Bay), eventually earning a Master’s degree.   I in turn sponsored my parents and siblings in attaining their U.S. citizenship.

Today, I am proud to be an American citizen, and am grateful for all the opportunities that I have been afforded in our great Country.  

A recent report – by -- has rated New Haven USD as the most culturally-diverse school district in the San Francisco Bay Area (#1 of 98 school districts), and #6 of all 753 school districts in California.    I am honored to be able to serve our community, serving all members of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds in our diverse community.  

Because of my own experience as an immigrant and English language learner, I am aware of the challenges and struggles of many immigrants in coming to our great Country.  While I am a strong advocate of addressing the learning needs of all students, I am also particularly sensitive to providing equitable support for English language learners in order to help them succeed in school and in their future careers.  I am proud of the programs that we have in place in New Haven USD to address these needs, and am committed to sustaining and expanding these programs where needed.

I am honored, humbled, and grateful to be endorsed by a number of elected officials, organizations, community leaders, and citizens of our New Haven community, who recognize me for my accomplishments over two four-year terms as NHUSD Board Trustee and who have the faith and confidence in me that I will continue to serve our New Haven community with leadership, commitment, integrity, vision, and consensus-building through effective collaboration.

As New Haven USD Board Trustee, I will continue to work colloboratively with my fellow Board Members, District staff, teachers, classified staff, students, parents, and our community partners to continuously improve the quality and accessibility of education in New Haven schools.



Videos (5)

— October 18, 2018 Camille Canlas-LaFlam, Campaign Volunteer

Linda, as Board President, helped to integrate three (3) new Board Members in 2016.  While we don't always agree on everything, we work together professionally and respectfully, always focusing on students.

— October 18, 2018 Camille Canlas-LaFlam, Campaign Volunteer

Linda was recognized as one of most 100 INFLUENTIAL FILIPINA WOMEN IN THE WORLD, 2017, in the “Policymakers and Visionaries” category.   Her peer awardees included the Hon. Cynthia Barker, Town Councilor and Immigration Law Practitioner, United Kingdom; Hon. Junever Mahilhum-West, Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority;  Justice Milagros Syme, Ontario Court of Justice, Canada; and Hon. Petronilla Garcia, Philippine Ambassador to Canada.

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