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Board of Education

You are invited to attend Board of Education meetings and take an active role in the education provided by the school district. We appreciate your interest and participation. Your viewpoint is important in keeping our public schools responsive to the needs of the community. We also encourage you to visit any one of the Newark Unified School District schools.

Board Members



President, Term Ends Dec. 2026

Ms. Thomas was elected to the Board of Education in November 2022, having previously served on the Board from 2002 to 2019. She received her BS degree from San Jose State University and her MS degree from Stanford University, both in Electrical Engineering. She retired from Hewlett Packard after 25 years, half in various engineering  positions and half as the company’s National Contributions Manager. During the latter she helped develop the company’s K-6 Hands on Science Program in which Newark Unified participated. This program was the genesis of the district's continued science focus through its membership in BaySci, a partnership for Bay Area science education focused on district capacity building. During her 17 years on the school Board, Ms. Thomas developed a deep understanding of the issues facing school districts. She was a 10-year member of the California School Board Association (CSBA) Delegate Assembly and served as CSBA’s representative to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Federated Council for five years. She participated in many CSBA professional development courses including their comprehensive Masters in Governance program. She is a past board member of Kidango, RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching), and BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study). Her community involvement includes memberships in the Newark Rotary Club and the Newark Optimist Club. Ms. Thomas has lived in Newark for 50 years. She is a widow with three adult children and five grandchildren. She enjoys cycling, playing bridge, and traveling with her family.

Aidan Hill

Aiden Hill

Vice President, Term Ends Dec. 2024

Mr. Aiden Hill is a California native and a homeowner in Newark since 2001. For the bulk of his career, he has served as a management consultant helping top executives lead mission-critical efforts across a variety of industries. In recent years, Mr. Hill decided he wanted to give back to the next generation of Californians and has transitioned into a new role as a business teacher at Cupertino High School. Mr. Hill earned his undergraduate degree in History from Pomona College, a Master's in Business Administration from Michigan State University, and a Preliminary Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. He is looking forward to working with board members, staff, teachers, and the community at large to make NUSD one of the highest performing districts in the nation.


Phuong Nguyen

Phuong Nguyen

Board Member, Term Ends Dec. 2024

Ms. Phuong Nguyen was appointed to the Board of Education in September 2019 and elected in 2020.  Her family has been residing in Newark for the past 30 years.  Ms. Nguyen, and her siblings, are products of Newark schools and is proud to have her two children enrolled in the district.  Ms. Nguyen strongly believes that public education builds strong, resilient, compassionate, talented professionals, innovators, and the leaders of tomorrow.  Ms. Nguyen understands that it takes team-effort, collaborative work from district staff at all levels, and a strong partnership with parents, students, extended families, and the community at large to help develop and prepare students for their future endeavors in higher education or career trade.  Ms. Nguyen has a degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology from the University of Arizona.  Ms. Nguyen has 22 years of work experience in local government, strategic planning, and IT systems implementation.

new kjones


Board Member, Term Ends Dec. 2026

Ms. Katherine Jones has been involved in education for over 40 years.  She graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a BS in Home Economics focusing on Interior Design and Textiles. From there she went into business for 4 years, before attending Santa Clara University, where she received her teaching credential. She began teaching for NUSD in 1988 and retired in June of 2022. Throughout her career, she worked with four publishers in various capacities including curriculum development, sales, and staff development facilitation. In addition, she was involved with curriculum development and staff development training for the district. Ms. Jones was a key member in the creation of the district’s sophisticated Educator Effectiveness and Evaluation (E3) system, a process which includes both an evaluation process by an administrator and a self-reflection tool ensuring educator growth and improvement. She also completed CSUEB’s Educational Leadership Academy in 2000. As a lifelong educator, she was not ready to leave education and ran for school board. She understands the needs of teachers, classified staff, and students. She has worked with many parents listening to their concerns and promoting open communication with all stakeholders.  Ms. Jones has been a resident of Newark since 2000 where her two children attended NUSD beginning in elementary school. Ms. Jones looks forward to helping the district reach its goal of creating a world-class education for all our students and a respected environment for the staff to work within.


Carina Valencia Plancarte

Board Member, Term Ends Dec. 2024

Ms. Plancarte was born and raised in California, is a first-generation English Learner, and the first in her family to graduate college. She understands firsthand the importance of providing a robust education for all students. “Developing students who are equipped with necessary skills and knowledge to participate, and be successful in society is essential to their individual well-being and our democracy. We must empower and challenge our students, cultivate a culture where everyone belongs and is respected for who they are not who they are not.” She believes student achievement, district-wide safe schools, and equity distribution for every student should be at the forefront of decision making. “We have a great body of diverse students, families, and a supportive community of highly experienced teachers and staff. NUSD has the makings to become distinguished and recognized by our community as a long-term educational hub that puts students and their success first.” Prior to her school board appointment in 2023, Ms. Plancarte spent time as a volunteer in local schools and served as a parent on NUSD committees. Professionally, Ms. Plancarte is a 15+ year accomplished strategic marketer with extensive experience in: communications, branding, project management, administration, and compliance. She has a degree in Health Science Management and a Marketing Minor from CSU East Bay. Ms. Plancarte is a long-term Newark resident and a proud mom of two remarkable NUSD students. She looks forward to working with board members, NUSD staff, and the community to uphold a holistic approach towards student success.