Board of Trustees
From Left to right: Ron Oates, Deborah Brannam, Maureen “Mo” Ward, Robert Hitchcock, David Underwood and Dr. George Sziraki.
ROLE OF THE BOARD
As the official governing body of the District, the Board:
Is a trustee for students
Hears the views of the public
Sets District policies and goals
Decides how to prioritize and spend District funds
Maintains relationships with other school boards and related organizations
Oversees employee relations and approves contracts
Establishes curriculum and standards
The Superintendent of the District serves as the chief executive officer, manages district staff, and ensures that Board policies are carried out.
Trustee Brannam was appointed to the Board in April 2019. Debbie has served the district for nearly three decades in various capacities. She served as the administrative assistant to the Del Oro High School principal throughout most of her tenure prior to her retirement in June 2017. Debbie has served on many committees – both at Del Oro and in the Loomis and Penryn communities. Debbie’s interest in serving on the PUHSD Board of Trustees stems from her passion for serving her community and the students, families, teachers and staff in the district. She believes the purpose of a School Board is to support and represent all stakeholders without losing focus on student achievement and equity for all. Debbie and her husband have lived in Penryn for 29 years, where they raised their daughter, who graduated from Del Oro High School. Debbie completed CSBA's Master in Governance Training in November 2020. The program equips local education agencies with the knowledge and skills to build and support an effective governance structure. The courses include: Foundations of Effective Governance, Policy & Judicial Review, School Finance, Human Resources and Community Relations and Advocacy.
Trustee Hitchcock was appointed to the Board in May 2021 and has served the district for almost 30 years. He began his career in our district as a Science instructor in 1991 at Colfax High School. During his tenure with PUHSD, he served as a coach, Athletic Director, Assistant Principal and then transitioned to the District Office as the Coordinator of Educational Services and Director of Child Welfare and Attendance/Alt. Ed Principal before his retirement in 2019. Following retirement, he returned as an online instructor for Placer School for Adults and served as an Interim Assistant Principal at Placer High School to close out the 2020-2021 school year. Rob has three sons who graduated from Colfax High School and his wife Danise Hitchcock has been a part of the PUHSD family since 2003 as a teacher and administrator.
Board Member - Term Expires 2022Trustee Area #4 (Del Oro): email
Trustee Oates is the father of six children- all of whom attended and graduated from Del Oro High School. Ron owns and operates a small business in Loomis and has served on the Board since 1993. His strong business sense is of great value to the Board. In addition to Ron’s service to students throughout the Placer Union High School District Board responsibilities, he is very active in his local church.
Trustee Underwood was elected to the Board in 2014 after dedicating 39 years as a teacher at Placer High School. David believes that education of the whole child is imperative with a strong focus on character education. He remains actively involved in the community and regularly travels abroad to visit different cultures.
Board President 2021Trustee Area #2 (Placer): email
Trustee Ward has been a member of the Board since 1998. She is a small business owner, graduate of Del Oro High School and was previously a member of the Ackerman (Bowman) Elementary School District Board of Trustees (a foundation district) prior to being elected to the PUHSD Board. She is also a member of the Placer County School Boards Association where she has served multiple terms. Mo’s husband and both daughters are graduates of Placer High School. Mo is well known throughout community as a strong supporter and volunteer of the arts and of equal academic and athletic opportunities for males and females.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BOARD
As the policy making body for the Placer Union High School District, the Board of Trustees is charged with providing a quality public education program for the residents of the Placer Union High School District in accordance with the California Constitution, State Education Code, other state and federal laws, adopted Board policies, and hears the desires expressed by the community. As elected officials, Board members are state officers responsible for the governance of the school district, which is considered a subdivision of the state. Beyond the establishment of school district policies, the Board is responsible for adoption of the annual budget and approval of all expenditures; employment of personnel; approval of curriculum, textbooks and courses of study; and decision-making relative to the purchase, planning and construction of all school district property. Board members have no power to act individually in the name of the entire Board. Action can only be taken when a majority of the Board is in formal session.
ADDRESSING THE BOARD
The PUHSD Board of Trustees encourages your attendance at its Board meetings and has established a process for you to express your views to the Board. If you wish to address the Board on an agenda item, please complete a blue speaker card and give it to the Executive Assistant as soon as possible and prior to the item being called. Any additional materials (e.g. copies of your remarks, charts or graphs, copies of articles or reports) you present will be copied and presented to all Board members after the meeting. The Board President will randomly call on persons submitting cards.
If you wish to address the Board on an item that is not on the Agenda, you may speak during the Public Comment scheduled at the beginning of each meeting. Board members are legally prohibited from discussing non-agenda items (according to the Brown Act) and, therefore, cannot respond to items presented in this venue. Members of the public are provided three (3) minutes to speak during Public Comment. To view upcoming meeting schedule, meeting agendas and minutes go to agenda page .