Coffman was unable to attend the first few meetings of his term due to a work scheduling conflict that took him out of the state for more than two months. After missing the first three meetings of his term, Coffman resigned from his position so that a replacement member could be found in time for the board’s annual budget discussions.
Although he understood the need for his resignation, Coffman, a local construction inspector, still yearns to be a board member and help shape educational programs and procedures for Oakley’s children. “I’m running for the same reasons I ran last time – to be a representative for working parents like myself,” Coffman wrote in an e-mail.
The father of an autistic child, Coffman said one of his goals, if elected, is to help advance special-education programs in the district.
Bergenholtz, who has served three terms on the board, has been active in Oakley schools for many years – both her children were students in the district. “I’m running again because I care about the students and their success,” Bergenholtz said. “As a member of the board, I’m proud of the contribution I’ve made over the years and would like to continue to support the students, staff and the many great programs we have here in Oakley. Remaining financially solvent during this tough economic time is a challenge, and historically the board has guided the staff responsibly and the plan is to stay the course.”
A commercial account manager for an insurance agency in Pleasant Hill, Bergenholtz said her primary long-term goal, if elected, would be to reduce class sizes.
Polk, who has served on the board for five years, has lived in Oakley for 22 years. The retired Oakley school district accountant has put three children through the district and now works at Travis Air Force Base repairing jets.
Polk hopes to keep things running smoothly at the Oakley district, which recently saw a 22-point increase in its Academic Performance Index (API) scores.
“With all of the budget cuts at the state level, it’s been tough to watch what it’s doing to the state of education in California, but for our district, it’s important to continue our efforts to offer our students the best education we can give them,” Polk said. “Every student deserves a highly-enriched education, and we’re continuing to make progress toward that, as evidenced in our API scores. The improvement in scores is a big accomplishment.”
Arthur Fernandez, who replaced Coffman on the board last year, filed to finish out the two remaining years of the term, as is customary when a legislative body appoints a replacement member. No one else filed for the half term, so Fernandez won by default.
Fernandez has been instrumental in the district’s Read to Grow Program, which encourages the promotion of literacy at home.