About Cherise

My husband and I live with our 2 kids, 1 dog and 3 chickens here in MDUSD Trustee Area 4 which includes Clayton, the east side of Walnut Creek, and part of Concord. (See blue section of the map below) 

I have a bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters degree in Public Administration / Education Policy from the University of Washington. I came into this role with experience from different levels of responsibility in our schools, including: Kindergarten room parent, science fair coordinator, Parent Faculty Club President, School Site Council member, and District Parent Advisory Council member. I had also led broader collaborative initiatives including Safe Routes to Schools (adding a crosswalk, bike lane, and flashing lights near Foothill and Walnut Acres schools), leading a reading program for struggling students in 10 Concord & Bay Point schools, and co-founding a new districtwide nonprofit education foundation.

When I began my school board term in 2018, our district teacher contracts had already expired, there was declining enrollment and decreased revenue from the state, and our district had been spending down reserves for a number of years already. Little did we know a global pandemic was on the horizon.

Despite those challenges, our school board accomplished quite a bit:

We hired Superintendent Dr. Clark and worked together with him to successfully and safely open schools during a global pandemic, while improving district finances and saving taxpayers millions. We raised salaries for all teachers and staff to stay competitive in attracting the best for our students, and completed contract agreements with all 5 labor groups.  COVID was a very challenging time, but we took the opportunity to upgrade district technology with a Chromebook for every student, and to provide more healthy outdoor spaces for gardens and learning.

I believe in continuous learning, and so during that time I completed the Masters in Governance Course provided by our state school board association, and I stepped up to leadership roles:  President of our School Board in 2021 and President of Contra Costa County School Boards Association for the last 2 years. 

I believe the best decisions are made when a broad range of perspectives are at the table, and so I’ve worked to bring more students, teachers, and community members into policy discussions. We created an official Student Member position on the school board, and improved district communication in all languages. 

And yet there’s still much to do. Together, let’s continue this progress to promote welcoming, inclusive, and safe schools in which every student can thrive.

Trustee Area 4: Clayton, east Walnut Creek, and parts of Concord

East Bay Times Editorial

My campaign received endorsement from the East Bay Times, and I appreciate their reasoning for recommending people to vote for me:
"During trying pandemic times, they have made tough decisions to protect teacher health and district finances".

Read the full editorial article here.

Candidate forum

View the October 4th CAC candidate forum video here: vimeo.com/757027721  Read more about the CAC (Community Advisory Committee) on their website here.

Ballot Statement, November 2022

Cherise Khaund

Board Member, Mt. Diablo Unified School District

Four years ago, I ran to bring my perspective as a parent, community organizer, and founder/president of the Mt. Diablo Education Foundation, to our school district. I understand the value of education. I grew up with excellent schools, ultimately earning my bachelors in electrical engineering from Stanford and masters in education policy from University of Washington. 

I’m dedicated to ensuring every student has access to quality public education, and Mt Diablo Unified is a diverse school district where together we can truly bring that promise to life.

I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish my first term. We hired Superintendent Dr. Clark and worked together to open schools safely during a global pandemic, while improving district finances and refinancing bonds to save taxpayers millions. We upgraded district technology, provided every student a chromebook, adopted Next Generation Science curriculum, secured raises for all teachers and staff to attract and retain the best educators for our students, added a student school board position to increase student voice, ensured students can take sick days for mental health, and improved district communication in all languages.

And yet there’s still much to do. Together let’s continue this progress to provide welcoming, inclusive schools in which every student can thrive. I’m proud to have bipartisan support from Assemblymember Bauer Kahan, Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, local teachers, parents, students, and staff, as well as city leaders of Walnut Creek, Clayton, and Concord.  I ask for your vote.

Experience Prior to My Election to School Board

As a parent & community activist, I experienced firsthand how working together produces REAL results to improve our schools and communities.

  • I led and managed a reading program for struggling students in 10 MDUSD schools that showed significant, measurable results for 300 students per year.
  • Serving as PFC President, I launched innovative technology that streamlined communication and increased parent involvement.  
  • Working with a coalition of students, parents, and employees, we sent drafts and spoke up at two school district board meetings, resulting in the MDUSD School Board passing a Safe Haven Resolution.
  • I initiated Safe Routes to School by writing a change.org petition to gain community awareness and to advocate for pedestrian safety. Construction is now complete on two new flashing pedestrian beacons, 3 new crosswalks, a new bike lane, digital speed signs, and sidewalk bulbouts that show down cars and create safer and shorter crossings for pedestrians.