Categorized | Education, Politics, Videos

VIDEO PROFILES: Meet Your School Board Candidates


In this year’s local elections, four candidates will be running to fill two empty seats on the West Contra Costa School Board. They include Karen Pfeifer, Antonio Medrano, Robert Studdiford and Tony Thurmond. Three of the four candidates offer their comments and outlook on the future of the district.

The West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) serves the communities of Richmond, Hercules, Pinole, El Cerrito, and San Pablo and the unincorporated areas of East Richmond Heights, El Sobrante, Kensington, Bay View-Montalvin Manor, North Richmond and Tara Hills. It covers a 65-mile area and serves over 31,000 students from kindergarten to the 12th grade. There are over 25 different ethnicities within the families of the WCCUSD and over 80 languages are spoken.

Karen Pfeifer is the current WCCUSD School Board President and has served for four years. She is full-time mother to three children and full-time nurse at Alta Bates Medical Center. As president of the school board, Pfeifer has facilitated the start of career technical programs, a Safety Resource Officer (SRO) Program and an academic council among many other things. She has been a resident of El Cerrito for 20 years and has been active in PTA and site council.

Antonio Medrano is a retired school teacher who spent 40 years in the public education system and has been living in the city of San Pablo for the past 30 years. Medrano has spent years working with civil rights and activist organizations such as Amnesty International, Ed Fund and Concilo Latino. He has also worked on several committees under the WCCUSD and was the past chair of the Civilian Bond Oversight Committee.

Robert Studdiford has been a resident of El Cerrito for 25 years and is the father of three children. Studdiford has been actively involved in his children’s PTA for the past eight years and has also sat on the Citizens Bond Oversight and Citizen Budget Advisory committees for several years. In addition, he has run his own company, Twofish Unlimited, for the past 15 years –  a company that manufactures bicycle and wheelchair accessories.

Tony Thurmond is a long-time resident of Richmond and currently serves as executive director of Beyond Emancipation, an Alameda County based non-profit for youths. Thurmond was elected to the Richmond City Council in 2005 and was re-elected for a two-year term in 2006. He served as council liaison to Richmond’s Youth Commission and Workforce Investment Board and is the council liaison to the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Thurmond was unavailable for a video interview.

Tony Thurmond

Tony Thurmond

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