Chris Norwood has served on Milpitas Unified School District’s (MUSD) Board of Education for the past eight years.
And in that time, he has put in the work.
“The time required to learn and understand the different facets of public education is immense,” shared Norwood in an interview with The Beat. “And the rewards of that understanding can change the life trajectory of a generation, nurture the development of amazing human beings and in some cases – as we did with COVID-19 – feed families and save lives.”
At one point, a few years back, Norwood thought that he would finish up his current four-year term on the Board and move on to other pursuits. His son graduated from Milpitas High School (MHS) this past June, and Norwood had planned to run a parallel trajectory, having a “graduation” of his own.
But after COVID hit, Norwood realized he couldn’t walk away.
“I knew I had to go another term,” said Norwood. “The work’s not done.”
This is why Norwood is running for re-election to MUSD’s Board of Education this November.
In recent months, MUSD has completed many projects: Randall Elementary being modernized and transformed into a World Language School, the completed building of Mabel Mattos Elementary, and the new tracks at the middle schools, to name a few.
The groundbreaking for MUSD’s new Innovation Campus took place last month. And a new performing arts theater will soon be built at MHS.
“While COVID was happening, we were still moving the district forward,” said Norwood. “We were not stagnant.”
Norwood’s roots run deep when it comes to MUSD. He attended Joseph Weller Elementary from third grade on. After that, he went to Thomas Russell Middle School, followed by MHS. He graduated in 1983. He’s been a resident of Milpitas for 49 years.
In the past four decades, Norwood has volunteered (as both a student and an adult) across Milpitas elementary, middle, and high schools. He has also coached sports for Milpitas Parks and Rec, MHS, and Cal Hills.
Norwood is currently serving as Vice President of MUSD’s Board of Education. Having served 2 years as President, and a total of almost 6 years as VP, he feels he brings the experience that the district needs to continue moving in the right direction.
“I have more energy than ever to help navigate finishing some of the work that we started, and to help us work out some of the problems of the future,” stated Norwood.
Norwood credits his mentors – former school board members like Marsha Grilli, Gwan Alisantosa, Bob Nuñez, Daniel Bobay, Mike Mendizabal, and the late Danny Lau – for all of the advice and support they’ve given him over the years.
His top priorities right now are school campus safety, addressing the MUSD employee shortage, and providing support with mental/social emotional health for district leaders, staff, students, and families. He’s also passionate about inclusiveness and finding ways to continue achieving positive academic results across the district.
On behalf of MUSD, he also serves as a founding member of the Santa Clara County School Board Association Legislative Action Committee, Silicon Valley Career Technical Education Governing Board Clerk, and Chair of SCCSBA Special Education subcommittee.
Along with his Board service, Norwood is also Chief Strategy Officer for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, which works to create the best outcomes for kids, with an emphasis on STEM and computer science. He is also the Founder of the Bay Area Tutoring Association.
“I am honored to do this work. My commitment to the best possible futures for Milpitas children has been lifelong and will continue for the rest of my life,” shared Norwood. “That’s why I want to be re-elected. My work isn’t done.”