Name: Robert Jung
Running for: Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) Governing School Board Member
Why are you running?
As an advocate for a strong community, I want to do my part to strengthen it. Because I have experienced that education is such an equalizer, I want to continue to volunteer and support the Milpitas Unified School District so that it becomes the best that it can be. What better way is there to accomplish that than by bringing my strengths and experiences to the table and sharing them with my community?
What’s the biggest problem facing MUSD schools right now? And how would you intend to solve it?
The teacher/staff shortage. Some of the approaches should include:
- Inspiring high school students to take a look at this field through our Middle College Pathways
- Partnership with financial institutions specifically to help teachers obtain special rate loans for mortgages, smart efficient investment vehicles to help save for down payment, and specialty items such as security deposit loans
- Community network to help MUSD staff with rentals that are capped at 33% of salary
What would your priorities be should you get elected?
Invest in programs to ensure that our kids are starting Kindergarten at par with other students who have preschool experiences, encourage creating pathways for kids who may not be interested in college, and encourage creating new pathways for critical thinking and design-oriented careers – i.e hands-on experiences through our Innovation Campus, Performing Arts Center, and our World Languages School. Also, ensure we have a plan to help kids catch up due to inequalities created by Covid.
What can you bring to the table that you feel no other candidate can bring?
Having been involved in the district for nearly two decades, the combination of engineering, investing, and nonprofit experiences provides me with tremendous insight into where we have been and where we can go. I’m able to balance key elements such as return on investment, compassion, and “out-of-the-box thinking” to problems and solutions that we will look at. Also, my experience with bringing parents to the table will provide the synergy for success.
What makes the MUSD community – leadership, staff, students, families – so exceptional?
We’re a family. We may disagree, even fight, but at the end of the day, we come together and do what’s best for our kids. There is a shared commitment to offering kids opportunities for success while valuing our diversity. While not perfect, our community comes together to celebrate and help each other when needed (e.g. Lunar New Year, Christmas, Diwali, Black History Month) as well as support things like the Jack Emery Drive.
Where do you see MUSD schools 10 years from now?
I want to see our graduating students sharing their passions and how they intend to impact the future as they walk across the stage. This will be the hallmark of MUSD through its pursuit of helping students find and create pathways for success whether that includes college or not. MUSD would be recognized for ensuring that no students are left behind and that every graduate is well-prepared, resilient, and ready to contribute to the world.
What do you think is the most exciting thing happening at MUSD right now?
It’s the potential to become a leading school district in our county. With the new Innovation Campus and the Performing Arts Center, MUSD is well positioned to offer brand new pathways for our students. And with the development of the Randall World Languages School, our district can provide world-class experiences as well. It is these pathways and experiences, along with our teachers’ guidance, that shapes our student’s passions, which is the foundation for their personal successes.
Who is your inspiration, and why?
Michelle Obama, because of her strong character, compassion, perseverance, honesty, and being able to be graceful under pressure. Her other traits: self-confidence, being a powerful speaker, being an inspiration, and being relatable to others are ones I aspire to gain one day.
Can you tell us one interesting thing about yourself that others don’t know about?
I prefer to be an introvert. Just give me a quiet beach on a late spring day, some smooth jazz with a citrus rum cooler or a blue Hawaiian, and my true love, and I’m there, over any social event. Coming in second would be a nice steak and lobster dinner with a few friends over a warm fireplace during the winter holidays with some excellent background instrumentals, especially, when it first snows.
What’s your favorite spot in Milpitas?
There are so many to choose from (watching the sunrise or sunset from these places: horse trail near Chaparral Ranch, Hidden Lake Park, Coyote Creek Trail, etc. But, at the end of the day, it is where you have your close friends and family with you. Doesn’t hurt to have some “happy music” to lighten the mood, awesome sunshine to brighten the way, and appropriate drinks and great food to keep you going.
What do you love most about Milpitas?
Its diversity. The stories and experiences of people from all over are melded into our community. We listen, appreciate, and learn how to respect so many differences, but share so many common threads. We are not perfect. But because, in general, we strive to do better each day, I am hopeful and inspired. I hope that this someday can be a model to others and maybe even across our country.