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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

Franklin-McKinley School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Maimona Afzal Berta

Maimona Afzal Berta

Appointed Governing Board Member, Franklin-McKinley School District
10,689 votes (66.91%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Achievement Gap-Addressing systemic inequities that exist for students with disabilities, students of color, and underserved families.
  • Community Supports- Utilizing and expanding opportunities to support families and the community with social-emotional/ mental health access and workshops through outreach.
  • Safe Environments- Providing safe and welcoming learning environments by addressing bullying, implementing inclusive curriculum, and training educators to create safer schools.



San Jose City College, San Jose State University, and LMU Master's Degree, Bachelor's Degree and California Teaching Credential, Special Education (current)


Maimona Afzal Berta is a special education teacher serving in her sixth year at a public middle school a few blocks from her childhood home in East San Jose. Witnessing her students deal with inequity on a daily basis in her own classroom, prompted her to become a school board member. As a current trustee on the Franklin-McKinley School District she has worked closely with students, parents, educators, and administration to re-evaluate district priorities including the special education program and technology integration where significant inequities still exist.


Maimona’s passion for civic engagement and volunteerism blossomed during her time as a student at San Jose City College and San Jose State University. Maimona holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in teaching and a master’s degree in Special Education. She became a teacher to directly support the next generation of youth in becoming strong, courageous leaders who will are driven to give back to their communities. As a case manager and community advocate, Maimona actively supports students in developing self-determination skills, so they are empowered to dismantle cycles of inequity and injustice. She believes in strong collaboration between stakeholders to meet the unique needs of every student.


A proud daughter of immigrants and a speaker of several languages, Maimona values the diverse perspectives, experiences, and assets that students and families bring to the Franklin-McKinley School District community. Our district deserves an experienced teacher who deeply understands student, family, and community needs. Maimona is that advocate and leader.


Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am the granddaughter of a refugee and orphan who fulfilled his dreams in this country through an educational opportunity. Education drastically changed the trajectory of my life and the lives of my entire family. Every single day I fight to make this a reality in my classroom and for all students in the Franklin-McKinley School District. I’m running as a currently appointed school board member to continue being an advocate for FMSD families and our community. My experiences, expertise, and perspective as a public school special education teacher matter when it comes to standing up for all our students.


As a current board member, I have worked closely with students, parents, educators, and administration to re-evaluate priorities including the special educationprogram and technology integration where significant inequities exist. I grew up in the diverse community of East San Jose, and decided to become a teacher after volunteering to manage early childhood enrichment activities through San Jose Public Library. There, I witnessed students fall through the cracks because they lacked resources and safe learning environments that met their needs. I knew then that I had to play an active role in dismantling the systems of oppression that are holding children back. My intrinsic desire to serve is rooted in ensuring every child has access to their dreams and lifelong learning.


As an educator, closing the achievement gap is always at the top of my mind. I am one of few who can say I have actually successfully helped close the achievement gap for students with disabilities. My students have outperformed their general education peers in growth by making more than 2 years of academic growth in a single school year.  I understand what it takes to provide students with adaptive, differentiated instruction that fosters self-advocacy so that our students are active leaders of their own learning.


My identity and personal lived experiences give me unique perspective on the challenges that many students in our community face. I will fight utilize my experience launching anti-bullying policies, implementing inclusive curriculum, and training educators to create safer schools. Like more than 90% of our students who identify as students of color, I am an Asian American woman of color and as a visible minority. We need our students to feel safe and empowered to be their authentic self because through diverse perspectives our community is a better place.

Together, let’s continue organizing our collective power and strategizing on changes that are necessary for our children’s future. I hope to earn your vote this November. There is too much at stake for our children and the community and I need your support to make this continued positive change a reality in our Franklin- McKinley School District community.


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