Several local leaders attended the Dec. 15 Sunnyvale School Board meeting to honor longstanding board member Jeff Arnett for his 19 years of service. It was Arnett’s final meeting on the board.
The Santa Clara County School Boards Association awarded Arnett with a certificate of appreciation, the Sunnyvale School District awarded him with a special plaque and the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) passed a resolution in his honor. FUSHD board member Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto praised him for his service.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Otto Lee said Arnett’s contributions in other school districts and the county office of education as an educator and administrator have built a strong legacy toward the improvement of quality education for students in Sunnyvale and beyond.
“Here in Santa Clara County it’s a tradition of recognizing those individuals who make a significant difference in the community and you definitely fit the bill Jeff, congratulations,” Lee said.
Lee presented Arnett with an official commendation. Alex Kobayashi, an aide of Senator Josh Becker’s Offices presented a joint resolution with Assemblymember Marc Berman.
Yvonne Inciarte, an aide of Congressman Ro Khanna’s Office, presented Arnett with a certificate of special congressional recognition at his second to last board meeting on Nov. 17.
“When I came on the board I had some ideas of the change I wanted and what I’ve respected and liked about the board is it’s changed me, it improved me.” Arnett said during the meeting. “The people I’ve worked with, board members and staff, have modeled so much of my own ambition after what I see every day from teachers to the cabinet. I love the conversations I’ve had with board members, even the disagreements. I just really enjoy the fact that we can disagree and still work with each other; you don’t find that every day. I think we’re really lucky to have it on this board.”
Arnett added he has learned so much about himself during his time on the Sunnyvale School Board.
“What the board has really taught me was to always focus every decision you make around the students. We’ve said before they’re the constituency that doesn’t get to vote for us.”
Arnett has been a dedicated and compassionate board member since 2003. During his service, he attended approximately 456 board meetings, helped oversee three bond measures, and supported renovations, modernizations, and improvements at all 10 schools. He is a proud alumnus of the Sunnyvale School District.
He is currently the principal of Silicon Valley Career Technical Education. He was previously the assistant principal with Campbell Union High School District before accepting a position as Assistant Principal with the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Prior to that, he was a social studies teacher for Tracy Unified School District. He served on the City of Sunnyvale’s Parks and Recreation Commission from January 2001 to January 2005.