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School Board Appoints Philip Hu to Fill Vacant Seat

Philip Hu speaks at a February 3rd candidate public meeting. (Alameda Unified School District)

Philip Hu speaks at a February 3rd candidate public meeting. (Alameda Unified School District)

Last week, the sitting four members of the Board of Trustees for the Alameda Unified School District appointed Philip Hu to the seat left vacant by Trish Spencer.

Spencer vacated the seat after having been elected Mayor of Alameda in November of last year.

Hu was one of 23 applicants which was whittled down to ten, and then to three finalists – Jane Grimaldi, Philip Hu and Sherice Youngblood – at Tuesday’s meeting.

A point of contention arose when Board President Barbara Kahn, a Caucasian woman in her eighties, complained that the expansion of charter schools were causing problems for the school district and stated that Sherice Youngblood, the only African-American candidate for the empty seat, had not disclosed that she sits on the governing board of the Academy of Alameda, a local charter school.

Youngblood responded that she had made the disclosure in her application, and intended to resign from the charter school board if appointed to the school district board.

Through a prolonged discussion and series of votes, the candidates were narrowed to two, Hu and Grimaldi; Grimaldi ultimately withdrew.

Hu was appointed to serve for the remaining two years of Spencer’s term, and is expected to do so unless a petition is filed with Alameda County calling for a special election.

According to a media release from the school district, Hu has worked as an instructor and professor in the California State University and community college systems for 19 years and is currently the assistant general manager for Public Employees Union Local 1.

He is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday at the regular Board of Trustees meeting.

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