Special-Needs Advocate & Education Champion
Thirty-one years ago, my daughter entered kindergarten and required special-education resources to remain inclusive and mainstreamed in the Pleasanton School District. Approximately 6,000 children (1980 census) lived in Pleasanton. In 1975 Congress passed the first special education law to provide children with special needs the same opportunities as other chidlren. At the time, I did not understand special education and the Individualized Education Program process.
Steve Maher encouraged me to learn the IEP process and education laws. During my daughter’s elementary school years, Maher taught me how to be an effective IEP team member, advocate for my daughter, and to establish SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time-bound) goals.
Steve was present during many of the IEPs, encouraging me to find solutions and overcome challenges. He participated in many complex middle school IEPs. Steve was present at her transition to high school and throughout several high school IEPs.
When she graduated from high school, Steve participated in the transition IEP from high school to college. She graduated with an AA degree in early childhood education, obtained a California teacher permit, and has been a Behavior Analyst Certification Board-registered behavior technician for two years, working with special-needs children since 2003.
Steve’s commitment to education in Pleasanton spans 40 years. The 2019–2020 school year provided services for 15,000 students. Pleasanton is facing significant California and Alameda County budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership will require both intelligent ways to generate new revenue while reducing waste and non-value-added activities.
Steve has the knowledge and insight to open our schools safely. He also understands the tremendous impact COVID-19 is having on our special-needs children and teachers. Each special-needs student learns differently and will need creative solutions to provide the resources to continue learning.
Steve is a hands-on steward of our children and a champion of education solutions for today’s complex problems. Please join me in re-electing Steve Maher to the Pleasanton school board.
The Independent, 9/17/20; Pleasanton Weekly, 9/18/20