Chris Norwood served in the Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) Board of Education for eight years.
And meanwhile he put in the work.
“The time it takes to learn and understand the different facets of public education is immense,” Norwood said in an interview with The Beat. “And the rewards of that understanding can change the life trajectory of a generation, nurture the development of incredible human beings, and in some cases – as we have with COVID-19 – feed families and save lives. .”
At one point a few years ago, Norwood thought he would finish his current four-year term on the board and move on to other pursuits. His son graduated from Milpitas High School (MHS) last June, and Norwood had planned to follow a parallel path, having his own “degree.”
But after COVID hit, Norwood realized he couldn’t walk away.
“I knew I had to do another term,” Nowrood said. “The work is not done.”
That’s why Norwood is running for re-election to the MUSD Board of Education in November.
He spoke to The Beat about his excitement to race again. He also talked about how far MUSD has come and how much has been achieved…
Over the past few months, MUSD has completed many projects: the modernization of Randall Elementary being transformed into a World Language School, the completed construction of Mabel Mattos Elementary and new college tracks, to name a few. .
The inauguration of the new MUSD Innovation Campus took place last month. And a new performing arts theater will soon be built at MHS.
“While COVID was happening, we were always pushing the district forward,” Norwood said. “We haven’t stagnated.”
Norwood’s roots run deep when it comes to MUSD. He attended Joseph Weller Elementary School from third grade. After that, he went to Thomas Russell Middle School, followed by MHS. He graduated in 1983. He has lived in Milpitas for 49 years.
For the past four decades, Norwood has volunteered (as a student and adult) in elementary, middle, and high schools in Milpitas. He has also been an athletic trainer for Milpitas Parks and Rec, MHS and Cal Hills.
Norwood is currently Vice Chairman of the Board of Education at MUSD. Having served 2 years as president, and a total of almost 6 years as vice president, he feels he brings the experience the district needs to keep moving in the right direction.
“I have more energy than ever to help finish some of the work we’ve started and to help us solve some of the issues for the future,” Norwood said.
Norwood thanks his mentors – former school board members like Marsha Grilli, Gwan Alisantosa, Bob Nuñez, Daniel Bobay, Mike Mendizabal and the late Danny Lau – for all the guidance and support they gave him over the years.
His top priorities right now are keeping the school campus safe, addressing the MUSD staff shortage, and providing mental/social emotional health support to district leaders, the staff, students and families. He is also passionate about inclusivity and finding ways to continue to achieve positive academic results throughout the district.
On behalf of MUSD, he is also a founding member of the Santa Clara County School Board Association Legislative Action Committee, Vocational technical training in Silicon Valley Governing Board Clerk and Chair of the SCCSBA Special Education Sub-Committee.
In addition to his duties on the Board of Directors, Norwood is also Chief Strategy Officer for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, which aims to create the best outcomes for children, with a focus on STEM and computing. He is also the Founder of the Bay Area Tutoring Association.
On the ballot, there will be four other names along with Norwood’s: Kelly Yip Chuan, Anu Nakka, Rob Jungand Suraj Viswanathan are also candidates for one of the three school board seats.
“I am honored to do this work. My commitment to the best possible future for the children of Milpitas is lifelong and will continue for the rest of my life,” Norwood said. “That’s why I want to be re-elected. My work is not finished.