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Chon Announces School Board Candidacy

Jane Chon

Saying that the recent facilities bond campaign and school closures due to concerns about the coronavirus have made her “more committed to our schools than ever,” Jane Chon has announced her candidacy for a San Marino Unified School District Board of Education seat in the Nov. 3 election.
The mother of four children, all of whom attend San Marino schools, Chon was a candidate in the November 2018 election, finishing fifth among seven candidates who were vying for three spots. The seats of Chris Norgaard and Lisa Link will be contested in the upcoming election and Link has already stated that she will not seek a third term.
“As a parent of twin graduating senior sons, a 7th-grade daughter and a kindergarten daughter, I have seen all the perspectives of our schools on the ground level,” Chon said. “This perspective in all the stages has made me want to do the work that needs to be done to ensure all the students in our schools are achieving success.”
Chon graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology. She later earned a master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in policy analysis and evaluation.
“Education has changed significantly over the past 10 years,” Chon said. “Technology and social priorities have transformed the ways students are expected to learn. Technology has increased opportunities and access and students are expected to become contributing members of a global society. That means schools need to keep these modern goals in mind.”
Chon is currently the creative chair of San Marino High School’s Grad Night and the recording secretary for the PTA Council. Next year, she is slated to be the executive vice president of the Carver Elementary School PTA.
“I look forward to hearing what success looks like for everyone’s children,” Chon added. “There has been so much going on over the past week, and it has been a difficult and emotional time for everyone during these days of uncertainty. Between COVID-19, instructional practices, our current financial situation, teachers and staff, and the bond election, there are multiple issues and opinions that need to be addressed over the next eight months.”
Chon and her husband, John, are parents of Jillian, a kindergartner; Jodie, a 7th-grader; and twins Jacob and John, seniors at SMHS.
Chon addressed the district’s financial crisis, which has grown to its current $2.8 million deficit.
“We currently have a funding system that is making it increasingly difficult to deliver the high quality of instruction that our community expects,” Chon said. “This week, we have seen unprecedented challenges to our world. The situation evolves rapidly, hourly even. As soon as a decision can be made, the directives from the government change and the decision is completely unraveled. I am very grateful for the massive amount of work being done by our current district and school site teachers and staff, and the direction from the current board. At the end of all this, there will be extensive analysis of the events that took place. Everyone acted in what they believe to have been the best interests of all the students of SMUSD with the information they were given.”
Chon has also received the PTA Founder’s Day and Golden Nugget awards from Carver, where she has helped plan the popular Carnival Carver.
“Ultimately, I am grateful to the community of San Marino for looking out for each other,” Chon said. “Whether it is dealing with the current COVID-19 crisis or addressing the financial issues in our schools, I trust the people of San Marino will continue to support and care for each other. For now, I will focus on my family during these strange days, as well as continuing to responsibly prepare for Grad Night, which I am hopeful we will still be able to have.”
Norgaard has not yet stated whether he will defend his seat in the November election.

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