The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Santa Clara Education Desk

Santa Clara Education Desk

SCUSD: Out With the Old, In With the New

Following what was likely the most contentious school board election in recent memory, the outgoing Santa Clara Unified board held its last meeting on Nov. 8. The new board convenes on Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the district office board room, 1889 Lawrence Road in Santa Clara.

Board meetings are open to the public and attending them is the best way to find out what’s going on in the district – they’re not broadcast or streamed online. Agendas are available three days before meetings at


Don Bordenave Honored for Nearly Six Decades of SCUSD Service

The principal business of the Nov. 8 meeting was honoring outgoing SCUSD board member Don Bordenave for his more than 50 years of service to the district.

Bordenave’s service to SCUSD began long before he was first elected to the board in 1992.He started as a teacher at Santa Clara High School in 1956, and was subsequently appointed to vice principal, assistant principal and finally the school’s principal. He retired from that position in 1991, and ran for his first school board term the following year. Bordenave is also a former SCU Bronco coach.

“Many people relied on Don’s leadership, mentorship and friendship during his time with the district,” said SCUSD Trustee Andrew Ratermann, who served alongside of Bordenave for many years.

“He was so valuable because he had 56 years with our school district. We used to joke that he was like that E.F. Hutton commercial: When he spoke – and he didn’t speak often – people listened. He had the best insight and he was straightforward and candid. He will be much missed.”

It wasn’t just Bordenave’s educational experience that earned him such high regard. It was also his many kindnesses to the people he worked and served with. For example, when Trustee Gloria Moss became wheelchair-bound as a result of Parkinson’s disease, Bordenave went out of his way to bring her to and from meetings.

“Sometimes he could seem gruff, but he’s always there when people need him,” says district administrative assistant Cathy VanPernis. “He really cares about people. He did things behind the scenes to help people out, but they never would know about it. He doesn’t like to take credit.”

Farewell for Elise DeYoung

The Nov. 8 meeting also was the farewell meeting for Board President Elise DeYoung, who joined the board in 2008 when she was appointed to replace Trustee Gloria Moss, after Moss’ death.

An active volunteer and PTA member at several district schools, DeYoung received the Santa Clara City Council’s Continuing Honorary Service Award in 2008. In her day job, DeYoung is National Operations Director for the non-profit Girls for a Change.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Launches Fundraising Drive

We like to talk about lifelong learning, but it’s another thing to make it your mission. But that’s just what Santa Clara University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) does: offer classes not for degrees or careers, but simply for the love of learning.

For example, this year’s curriculum offered a two-session course “Bones, Bones, Bones: What Secrets Do They Hold?” taught by Santa Clara resident and forensic scientist Lorna Pierce. Offerings range from the trendy “2012 Apocalypse and Maya Calendar” – to current events – “Presidential Politics & the 2012 Elections” – to the conventionally scholarly – “French History from the 1789 Revolution to the Present.”

Fees are easy on the wallet – often under $50 per class plus a $15 Institute membership fee.

The best part, however, is that there are no tests or grades, and taking notes is optional.

As the program enters its ninth year, its board of directors aims to put its finances – it isn’t funded by SCU – on a solid footing for the long-term. To this end, it’s asking for donations to increase its endowment fund, create an emergency operating reserve, and ensure that the program remains both self-sufficient and low-cost for participants. Even a $25 contribution can help advance this goal, says program Director Robert Senkewicz.

The first Osher Lifelong Learning program was born at the University of Southern Maine in 2000, which already had an innovative “Senior College” program.

To find out more visit, email, or call 408-554-2382.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


You may like