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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
ElectionsInterview with MUSD School Board Member Candidate: Vance Vuong

Interview with MUSD School Board Member Candidate: Vance Vuong

Why are you running for School Board? 

The calling of public service. I care deeply about education. The solid educational empowerment of children from K – 12 would certainly help to improve their chances of success later in either vocational schools or colleges which would improve their employability and productivity in their professional lives; this means less poverty, which makes for a better community.


Do you have children? What are their ages? Are they in the district? If so, what schools? 

I have three children. They all have graduated from MHS and university.


What qualifies you to be a board member? Are you currently involved with the schools/district? 

The office of the ROV states that any resident of Milpitas who is a registered voter can run for MUSD Trustee.


What are some things you see happening at our schools right now that inspire you? 

The adoption of common standards for what students should learn at every grade level. The use of technology in classrooms to assist teachers toward students’ individual learning process. The new elementary school. The renovation of all campuses. The SJECCD Milpitas Extension. The continual efforts of great teachers.


What needs to be improved in our district, and how exactly would you improve it? 

MUSD needs good teachers who would set a higher standard and expectation for students.

What matters more than anything is the well-trained and inspiring teachers. There should be a holistic evaluation process of teachers’ performances and meaningful trainings to support effective teachers. MUSD needs to recruit good teachers – a tougher evaluation process for potential hires who can command a mixture of patience and authority in classrooms. 


In the state of California, what’s the biggest challenge in public education? 

A lack of funds. And a lack of new ideas or an unwillingness to try new ideas to efficiently maximize the resources when it becomes available. 


What are your thoughts on the district’s plans for a second high school campus? 

Building a comprehensive high school campus is a very costly proposition. If the district can’t find other inexpensive alternatives, then let the voters decide whether they would approve another school bond. 


The blackface incident over Halloween became national news, as you know. What are some ideas you have for promoting more inclusion and appreciation for diversity across our schools? 

Unfortunately, MUSD just can’t prevent any teacher from behaving unwisely. This teacher should no longer be employed by MUSD. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Milpitas is a very diverse city. We, as a community, can’t let this teacher’s offending act negatively affect us. 


What are your thoughts or ideas with supporting the mental health of our students? 

MUSD teachers and counselors are not trained to be psychoanalysts or therapists. Parents are responsible for their children’s physical and mental well-being.   


Any ideas on how to ensure that innovation is a key feature of our students’ learning here in Milpitas? 

In addition to information, scientific innovation requires experiments. More time in laboratory is needed. There should be science fairs and competitions. If elected, I would work to form partnerships with local hi-tech companies to support MUSD students.  


Is the district doing everything they can to promote safety across all campuses? If not, what else do you suggest the district do? 

The school district needs to continue to maintain and improve its relations with the City Council in order to promote safety via MPD. 


Do you see the arts as an important part of our children’s educational experience? If so, what ideas do you have to give students more experiences with the arts? 

Yes, I do. There could be more art-related classes – painting, drawing, sculpture … at MHS. And annual or semi-annual competitions inspire and incentivize students. The students can auction their works at school-related fundraising events. Their works could be exhibited in the local library. If elected, I’ll work to form partnerships with local restaurants to have their works displayed. 


What is something unique that you bring to the table?   

My enthusiasm to empower students. My support for great teachers. My desire to engage parents. My willingness to cooperate with other trustees to advance policies that will benefit everyone. 


What is something that not everyone might know about you? 

Because of my integrity and professionalism, I’ve had top-secret security clearance from the U.S. Department of State since 1998. I was posted as diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam for five years to interpret for Ambassadors. I also interpreted for Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama and many Cabinet Secretaries and many Members of U.S. Congress. 


What do you love to do in your spare time? 

Thinking and reading.


Anything else you’d like to share? 

My son is a teacher. My brother is a teacher/administrator. My brother-in-law’s wife is a principal. I’m all in for motivated students and inspiring teachers. My brother is an officer at MPD. I’m all in for the safety of our MUSD students. 


Where can people go to learn more about you? 

Just google me.


And finally, what is your vision for the school district in the future?

An integral environment to prepare students for professional challenges. The policy of the school board, the opinions of parents, city councilmembers, teachers and administrators, and the rest of the public matter immensely. There should be a partnership between us, Milpitans.




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