Charles Abney, Pleasanton
Thirty-one years ago, when my daughter entered kindergarten, she required special-education resources to remain inclusive and mainstream in the Pleasanton Unified School District. At the time, I did not understand special education and the Individualized Education Program process. It was Steve Maher who encouraged me to learn the IEP process and education laws.
During my daughter’s elementary school years, Maher taught me how to be an effective IEP team member, advocate for my daughter, and to establish SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented and time-bound) goals. He was present during many IEP planning sessions, encouraging me to find solutions and overcome challenges. He participated in many complex middle school IEP sessions. Steve was present for my daughter’s transition to high school and throughout several high school IEPs.
When my daughter graduated from high school, Steve participated in the transition IEP from high school to college. My daughter graduated with an associate degree in Early Childhood Education, obtained a California teacher permit, and has been working with special-needs children since 2003.
Steve’s commitment to education in Pleasanton spans 40 years. The 2019-2020 school year provided services for 15,000 students. Pleasanton is facing significant California and Alameda County budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership will require both intelligent ways to generate new revenue while reducing waste and non-value-added activities.
Steve has the knowledge and insight to open our schools safely. He also understands the tremendous impact COVID-19 is having on our special-need’s children and teachers. Each special-needs student learns differently and will need creative solutions to provide the resources to continue learning.
Steve is a hands-on steward of our children and a champion of education solutions for today’s complex problems. Please join me in re-electing Steve Maher to the Pleasanton schools Board of Trustees.