Stacey Ashlund: The Most Qualified Candidate

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Stacey Ashlund is the only PAUSD board candidate who has served Palo Alto students and families  at the school, district, city, and multi-county levels for more than 19 years. She is an experienced leader in education and school funding, mentor, and computer science researcher.

PROVEN EDUCATION LEADER

Palo Alto Council of PTAs, VP of Education and Special Education Executive Board: Stacey initiated and built the infrastructure that connected the PTAs at each school with parents seeking inclusion for their children. A decade later, this successful PTA partnership with teachers and parents of all students, regardless of factors such as ability, race, gender, achievement gap, or historical under-representation, still persists and thrives. Stacey also organized extensive district-wide parent-education events. She educated parents about their legal rights and advocacy, as well as working with staff to implement emerging and evidence-based inclusion best practices.

SELPA1CAC Co-Chair: The PAUSD Board of Education appointed Stacey to be its liaison to the state-mandated Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA1). In this role, she sets up parent communication channels across four contiguous districts, organizes parent-education events, and serves in an advisory role to district administration regarding the needs of students with special needs.

City of Palo Alto Parks and Recreation Commissioner: Appointed by the City Council, Stacey led community and city-school initiatives, including community gardens in South Palo Alto, advocated for safe pedestrian access to schools and inclusive camps and after-school activities. She participated in setting the design, goals, and budget scope for the first Magical Bridge inclusive playground.

EXPERIENCED IN SCHOOL FUNDING

Juana Briones Elementary Site Council: Stacey was elected to Site Council, the governing body for each school mandated by the California Department of Education.  In this role she served alongside the principal, teachers, and other parents in allocating funding according to school-specific goals. Stacey assessed progress on these goals in regard to district objectives: to provide excellent education and support for academic and social-emotional learning.

Gunn High School Site Council: As an elected member of Gunn’s Site Council, Stacey advocated for and implemented inclusive after-school programs to address the community-connectedness needs as outlined in the Developmental Assets in collaboration with Project SafetyNet, Palo Alto’s collaborative network devoted to fostering youth well-being.

Partners in Education (PiE Advisory Board:) As an appointed member of PiE’s Advisory Council for the past eight years, Stacey has consistently advocated for equity and inclusion to ensure they are reflected in PiE funding priorities as part of meeting essential district goals.

LONG-TIME MENTOR and EDUCATOR

Girl Scouts: As a leader, I’ve organized events to encourage girls to explore roles in areas where women are historically under-represented. For example, a day in City Hall with Mayor Liz Kniss revealed the inner workings of government. An all-day workshop at NASA Ames highlighted opportunities in fields such as environmental science, engineering, aviation, and robotics.

Political Institute for Women: As the instructor of Camp Congress, Stacey led 40 girls between the ages of 8 and 16 in an interactive, hands-on workshop covering how government affects their lives and what they can do now to develop their leadership skills to more actively participate in the democratic process. Stacey also taught Camp for mothers and daughters.

Peninsula College Fund: For six years, Stacey has selected first-generation scholarship recipients. Stacey also mentors a first-generation engineering student at the University of California.

CAREER IN COMPUTER SCIENCE RESEARCH

Stacey specializes in user experience research and design, which involves assessing the needs of various stakeholders using qualitative and quantitative data-driven methodologies to develop effective solutions. As a researcher, she is responsible for effective communication across roles and organizations.

Stacey has worked as a usability engineer for Disney and a principal software engineer for IBM. She currently is an independent user experience consultant.

Stacey holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, and a B.S. in Math and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Hear Stacey address key educational issues, including weighted GPAs, laning, sex education, Title IX, and more.