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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

San Jose Unified School DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area 2

Photo of Jose Magana

Jose Magana

7,314 votes (42.93%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • College Readiness and Beyond
  • School and Campus Safety
  • Teacher, Staff, and Family Housing



Commissioner, Library and Early Education Commission, City of San Jose — Appointed position (2017–current)
Assembly District 27 Delegate, California Democratic Party — Elected position (2016–current)
Committee Member, Early Education Quality Standards Advisory Committee — Appointed position (2018–current)
Director of School Supports, Learning Ovations Inc (2017–2018)
Director of Teacher Happiness, Sokikom (2015–2017)
Kindergarten and 1st Grade Teacher, KIPP LA Schools (2013–2015)
Kindergarten Teacher, Cornerstone Academy Preparatory School (2011–2013)


University of California - Santa Barbara B.A., Political Science (2011)

Community Activities

Public Policy Committee Member, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley (2016–current)
Founding Member, Movimiento Democratic Coalition (2018–current)
Founding Member, Luna Park Neighborhood Association (2016–current)
Team Lead, YWCA Walk A Mile In Her Shoes (2017–current)


José Magaña is an educator and proud candidate for the San José Unified School District, Trustee Area 2. Raised by a teenage mother and an incarcerated father, José found solace in school and extracurricular activities. Early on, he experienced the power of caring educators and opportunities that come from strong schooling, which led him to attend the University of California system. After being the first in his family to graduate from college, José moved to San José, and then Los Angeles, to teach Kindergarten and 1st grade in underserved communities.  He had the privilege of serving students who were significantly impacted by the opportunity and achievement gap, only to end the year above grade level. He is a true believer that when given the right resources, every community and student can be successful.

After spending four years in the classroom, José made the decision to work in education technology. He has coached and worked alongside over 500 teachers, leaders, and school districts across the country to better incorporate technology into their math instruction, and implement a highly effective early literacy program that supports the individualized needs of every student. Currently, he serves as a commissioner on the Library and Early Education Commission for the City of San José, where he has championed the removal of late fees for children at all city libraries, knowing that if students have just one more obstacle removed from their path to success, they will be more likely to reach their potential.

After meeting as classroom teachers, he and his wife settled in Luna Park Neighborhood near downtown San José. They have continued to prioritize serving their community through education. Ellyn serves students and teachers as the Director of Student Supports for local schools. As a trustee, José will use his experiences to advocate for all students and families by increasing public/private partnerships to protect the arts, provide more opportunities to English language learners, and to push to provide housing for the teachers and staff of the district. He hopes that with your help, he can make those things a reality.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (7)

  • San Jose Mercury News
  • Santa Clara County Democratic Party
  • Silicon Valley Young Democrats
  • La Raza Roundtable
  • California Emerge
  • Run for Something
  • Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club

Elected Officials (1)

  • San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo

Individuals (1)

  • Former San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Growing up as the son of an incarcerated father and in a Spanish speaking family, my family instilled in me the importance of getting an education, but it wasn’t always easy. Luckily, I had amazing teachers who cared for, challenged, and helped me grow to become a hard-working person of integrity, dedicated to serving those around me. Through them I learned what it meant to be confident, advocate for myself and others, and the transformational power a community has to come together to support a child. This is why I am proud to be a candidate for Area 2 Trustee of the San José School Board.


My life experience and work as an educator has prepared me to be able to bring people together to provide our children with the education that will prepare them for their futures. I want every child, regardless of their race, income-level, or gender, to be prepared for college if they choose that career pathway. I am a candidate because I want to advocate for all children and use my life experience and work as an educator to help our district move forward during challenging times.


Because of the great support I received from my teachers, I decided to work towards creating a more equitable education system for our students. At 21, I began my career as a kindergarten teacher in San José and saw the opportunity and achievement gaps my students faced within and outside my classroom. Working towards equity took me from my own classroom to hundreds of classrooms across the country when I worked as a national coach for mathematics and literacy. Today, I serve on the Library and Early Education Commission for the City of San José. And as a SJUSD Trustee, I will not only bring my experience as a teacher, but my passion and track record of working towards creating a more equitable education system for our students, families and teachers.


Unfortunately, those equitable opportunities are not always the reality for our students, or our teachers. Our students who are learning English need more support to access grade-level content and yet we are lacking the resources to train our teachers to serve them. Extra-curricular programs are threatened as costs for education increase, while our student population is decreasing. Teachers are dealing with higher costs of living, while still paying out of pocket for classroom costs. We must and will do better for those who need it most and will make the biggest difference for our students.   


But, this work requires the support of the community. It is up to us to ensure that we can serve all students in San José Unified School District. Thank you so much and I humbly ask for your support in November to ensure that all children of SJUSD have the best educational opportunities!

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