Three candidates vie for vacated board seat

Teresa Murillo, middle, is sworn in with fellow Morgan Hill Unified School District Trustees Tom Arnett, left, and Mary Patterson, right, in Dec. 2016. Murillo resigned last month with two years left on her four-year term.

Three candidates have emerged for the vacant Trustee Area 7 seat on the Morgan Hill Unified School District’s Board of Education, according to district staff.

Adam Escoto, Jennifer Klamm and Lawrence Fleisher were verified applicants who met all of the criteria, including living within the TA7 boundaries.

The board will finalize the candidate selection process in a special meeting today at 5pm and then conduct interviews of the three candidates at a Jan. 23 special meeting. Both sessions will be held at the Concord Circle district headquarters.

The trio are vying for the TA7 seat that was vacated by trustee Teresa Murillo with two years remaining on her term.

The new trustee selected by the board will be sworn in Feb. 5.

Escoto, a retired educator and community volunteer who has lived in Morgan Hill for 33 years, was a finalist in a previous appointment process for an at-large seat on the MHUSD board that ended in a stalemate. Escoto has been a MHUSD Personnel Commissioner for eight years, including five as the chair.

“Schools play a critical role in providing young people with the tools and experiences they need to create and strengthen their own foundation for success so they can become productive and contributory community members,” wrote Escoto in answering the question, ‘What do you see as the basic purpose of the public schools?’ on his application.

Klamm, who has lived in Morgan Hill for six years, is a registered nurse and Department Manager of Maternal Child Health with Kaiser Permanente, according to her application. A graduate of the Morgan Hill Police Citizens Academy, she previously volunteered at PA Walsh Elementary and Live Oak High School.

“The relationship between board members and the administration should be a strong, collaborative relationship, keeping the benefit of children in our community always as the main focus,” Klamm answered to a question on her application.

Fleisher, who is also retired and has lived in Morgan Hill for more than a year, chaired several committees, including the Gunderson High School PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) and Santa Clara County ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).

“I am the son of a public school janitor, all of my children attended public schools, my wife was a public school teacher, and I supported my children and wife during their time in public schools,” Fleisher wrote in describing his commitment to public education.

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