Former Pleasanton councilwoman Cook-Kallio wins Alameda County Board of Education seat | News

Despite some ballots still needing to be counted in this year’s primary election, there were already clear winners on Election Night for several local races such as the Tri-Valley’s Alameda County Board of Education for Trustee Area 7 position.

Former Pleasanton City Council member and retired teacher Cheryl Cook-Kallio stood with a large lead last Tuesday night, a margin that has grown slightly to 53.90% as updated results have been announced during the ensuing days.

Cook-Kallio was among three candidates seeking to replace longtime incumbent Yvonne Cerrato who did not run for re-election this year.

Diemha “Kate” Dao, a Pleasanton resident and founder of Acton Academy East Bay, sits in second place with 25.18% and Eric Dillie, former principal of the now-defunct Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory school, is at 20.92%.

“It’s very satisfying to see those numbers and realize that my good name, my reputation and the people that were out there on my behalf, speaking for me, helped me get to those numbers,” Cook-Kallio told the Weekly.

A retired public school teacher at Fremont Unified for 40 years, she said that Alameda County is her home turf and because of her strong roots here, combined with her education background, she is in a position to be effective in doing the job from day one.

She added that she has done a lot of work with education legislation on a federal and state level, specifically in civic education, so when she saw the Trustee Area 7 position, she saw an empty seat with plenty of opportunities.

“I think the county board member for this district has an opportunity to really speak on behalf of not only District 7, but also Alameda County,” Cook-Kallio said. “And I think that’s very important to understand how you advocate for good education policy.”

Cook-Kallio served on the Pleasanton City Council from 2006 to 2014 before reaching the city’s temporary term limit. She later ran for State Assembly as a Democratic challenger but lost to Republican incumbent Catharine Baker in 2016.

Runner-up Dao did not respond to a request for comment and has not posted any statements regarding the results. Dillie, who finished third, did take to Twitter to share his feelings on the results.

“Thank you to everyone who supported me, it was an amazing experience to run,” Dillie tweeted on Wednesday. “We didn’t win this race, but I learned a lot through the process and I’m grateful for the experience.”

Cook-Kallio said she plans to focus on education funding along with working with county and state legislators to maintain good education policy.

“I have a connection with legislators, both federal and state,” she said. “I understand education policy, I understand the government, I understand budgets and I understand oversight. I think I can make a difference with my education background, and, you know, the stuff that I’ve done nationally in terms of education for legislation on both the federal and the state level. “

Unlike countywide elections, which can advance to a runoff if no candidate receives over 50%, the Trustee Area 7 seat was to be determined based on whoever earns the highest percentage of votes cast – although Cook-Kallio seems positioned to earn more than 50 % in the end.

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