Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone appoints trustee to represent Newark

By Matthew Artz, Oakland Tribune.

Friday, May 13, 2011—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.

Fremont—Ohlone College trustees opted for experience and a familiar face, selecting Vivien Larsen to fill Newark's vacant board seat through the 2012 election.

Larsen, who sits on the Ohlone Foundation board and had worked with the community college district while vice principal at Newark Middle School, garnered far more support than two other candidates vying Wednesday to replace Bill McMillin, a longtime trustee who died of cancer earlier this year.

"I feel honored and very proud to represent the community and to be able to serve this board," Larsen said moments after being appointed. "I would like us to all work together for Ohlone and the students so that we provide the best education possible."

Larsen also said she plans to seek election to the seat in 2012, when voters will decide who will serve out the remaining two years of McMillin's term.

Larsen got the appointment over Newark school board member Janice Schaefer and Ohlone student Aref Aziz.

Four of Ohlone's six trustees ranked Larsen as their top choice. Greg Bonaccorsi preferred Schaefer, and Jan Giovannini-Hill gave her top ranking to Aziz, a 19-year-old who had volunteered last year on her campaign.

Larsen, a native of Chile, has lived for more than three decades in Newark, where she worked as a school counselor and vice principal. She serves on several local nonprofit boards and leads Avanzando-Newark, a nonprofit that promotes the advancement of Latino students.

Ohlone Trustee Teresa Cox touted Larsen's background in education and her familiarity with Ohlone. "She has a lot to offer for our community in terms of her experiences, and she'll be a tremendous asset," Cox said.

Aziz said he got to know Larsen when he was a student at Newark Middle School and Larsen was still vice principal. "I'm really happy she got the spot," he said. "I think she's going to do a great job."

All three candidates were asked several questions regarding their view of the trustee's job and their knowledge of the district, which serves Fremont, Newark and part of Union City.

Larson reiterated her hope that the college will partner with Newark schools to reduce the need for Ohlone to offer remedial classes.

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