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Dublin Unified School District Appoints Sameer Hakim to Fill Vacant Trustee Seat

September 23, 2015

DSC_1744DUBLIN, CA — As a follow up to the article that featured interviews with the two remaining candidates for the vacant Dublin Unified School District Trustee seat, an action item – J1 was placed on Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting agenda to secure a provisional appointment. After a rigorous interview process that included nine candidates, the remaining candidates were winnowed down to two finalists – Joseph Giannini and Sameer Hakim.

Each finalist was given the opportunity to present up to a five minute statement that highlighted their qualifications and to articulate why they felt that they would be the best person to fulfill the vacancy created by Trustee Sean Kenney recent resignation.

The individual statements were concise and both included comments about their passion for the success of all students within the District. Subsequent to their presentations, it became clear that the Board of Trustees would have a difficult decision to make as both Mr. Giannini and Mr. Hakim represented the best of what DUSD could hope for in terms of individuals that care deeply about the present and future of the District.

DSC_1746Following the candidates’ opening statements, the Trustees then performed a Q&A session with each finalist given the opportunity to respond to the same questions. The topics raised ranged from the continuing enrollment growth of Dublin, the challenges of acquiring land for new schools, student mental health, the importance of STEM and the emphasis on highlighting technology for our students. Then, public comments were allowed to champion either finalist. They were limited to those that submitted speaker slips and were then limited to a three minute time period. Approximately 15-20 citizens made their case at the podium and their advocacy was nearly split down the middle for each of these gentlemen.

DSC_1737The sitting Trustees then conducted a “straw vote” where each could demonstrate where they were leaning anonymously be simply filling out a piece of paper into a cup. Board President Amy Miller then revealed the results of this vote: 3-1. The Trustees then went into a period of open discussion to rationalize/reveal their leanings. After all four Trustees spoke, they could have moved into a period of “advocacy” where one or all of them could attempt to move the vote in either direction. At this point Trustee Tomlinson suggested that a motion be made to make the appointment. Trustee Cunningham motioned to appoint Mr. Hakim and it was seconded by Trustee Rouse. The vote to appoint was unanimous: 4-0. President Miller then administered the oath of office and he was immediately seated into his Provisional post. Sameer then went on to express his gratitude for both the opportunity and to his supporters. Joe simply expressed to the Board and to the audience “Thank you for the opportunity.”

DSC_1749It was a long night, but one that was crucial for the direction of DUSD in both the short and long term. It is worth noting that there was a fairly high level of participation by many citizens/parents that reached every corner of Dublin. The process was conducted in an efficient, fair and respectful manner. Each and every candidate should be commended for taking the added step to become even more involved in the direction for the District and its schools. Finally, would like to congratulate Trustee Sameer Hakim, his wife Sunita Bhimrao and son, Aaryan. You are a welcome addition to DUSD leadership.

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