BELMONT — Naomi Nishimoto is seeking a four-year term as a Belmont-Redwood Shores School District board member in the Nov. 5 election.

Naomi Nishimoto
Naomi Nishimoto

She is one of seven candidates running for three seats on the board. Also on the ballot are mother/attorney Suvarna Bhopale, parent/businessman Rakesh N. Hegde, supply chain manager Amy K. Koo, physician/executive/entrepreneur Herbert R. Neuman, educator Kelly L. Redmon, and high school teacher Charles Velschow.

Nishimoto is a licensed landscape architect and associate at DES Architects+Engineers in Redwood City. She manages and oversees the landscape architecture department staff and projects. Her project experience is varied, including corporate, public, education, and retail.

Notable projects: Magic Mountain Playground, Coyote Point Recreation Area, San Mateo; Woodside High School Track and Field, Redwood City; Sequoia Union High School District Office, Redwood City; Moffett Towers, Sunnyvale.

Nishimoto has lived in Belmont for six years with her very supportive husband and two school-aged children. She was raised in Berkeley by a single parent and attended the local public schools. She also holds a fifth-degree black belt in kendo and was the women’s coach for the national team in 2006.

She graduated from the Redwood City/Menlo Park/Belmont/San Carlos Leadership Program in 2012. Participants learn how they can effectively shape the future of their community through discussions with community leaders and experts in the given area.

Nishimoto spends many hours volunteering in her children’s school, assisting in classroom projects and speaking with students, staff and parents to learn and help address their needs and concerns. Having attended every school board meeting for the past two years, she says that she has the knowledge and understanding of the district’s current issues, and that her background and expertise will bring a diverse perspective to the current board.

Her top priorities if elected are to build a stronger community with better communication; provide quality professional development training for educators and staff; and thoughtfully develop a plan and vision for the future.

During a candidate forum held Oct. 3 at the Belmont Library, Nishimoto said in her closing statement: “From what I observed over the past 2½ years, being a board member is no easy task. I made this decision because I am not afraid of a challenge. I am not afraid of being scrutinized. I am not afraid of being criticized. More importantly, I believe in community service.

“As a school board member, my initial goal will be to start a dialogue with the community at large, and making sure everyone’s voice is heard and considered, not just those with children in the district.

“I hope tonight has given you a little insight into my character and I hope to continue the conversation we have started. Regardless of the November election’s outcome, I will continue to attend every school board meeting and support this district in the best way I can.

“Thank you for your time and the opportunity to represent you and your voice on the board. It will take both communities to continue to successfully educate our children.”

Endorsers include:

Carol Groom, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

John Violet, Belmont city treasurer and former BRSSD board member

David Kakishiba, Oakland Unified School District board president

Margaret Abe-Koga, Mountain View City Council

George Metropulos, former Belmont mayor and Central Elementary School teacher

Cori McKenzie, former principal, Central Elementary School

Belmont-Redwood Shores Faculty Association

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