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MILPITAS - Board President Dan Bobay recalls his longstanding history with the Board of Education fondly. Sworn in as a trustee in 2008, “I was lucky to be able to get involved and I remember my first school board meeting as a fog. It hits you only after you have been elected that you are no longer part of the solution, you are part of the problem; whatever the problem is to solve, it’s in your lap.”
Dan was sworn in for a third term in December 2016. He says while much has changed since starting, the drive remains the same.
“Most of us get it pretty early on that we are here for the teachers, the students, the janitor, the people who work in the district, and the community,” Dan said. “We don't want to let any of them down and we do want them all to be proud of what we are. It's a heavy responsibility which requires thoughtful consideration and long range-vision to do well. Being on the inside is vastly different than my perspective before I became a Trustee.”
Dan reflects on that “time before” and his decision to run for school board nine years ago, a series of stepping stones he admits goes back to the Cold War. During that time, he worked for a military contractor in Sunnyvale in the Signal Intelligence/early warning industry.
“I was a normal person in many ways and our kids were in daycare most of the time,” he said. “When the Berlin Wall came down and worldwide peace was declared, I was thrown out of work.”
Having four children with his wife Janice, they decided that instead of paying for people to raise their children he should become a stay-at-home dad. Before long, Dan was rising through the ranks of Spangler Elementary’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and joined the California Sixth District PTA. At that time, Berryessa Union School District was part of the PTA Council Unit. This led Dan to become involved in Milpitas and Berryessa schools for two years, before Milpitas split off to form the Milpitas Council of PTAs, for which he was the founding president.
“My thinking at the time was that I was either going to be involved or I would home-school my kids,” Dan said. “I am glad I got involved in the public schools.”
Admittedly, Dan said the skillset required through the years comes naturally to him.
“Leading people in helping them solve problems and making decisions is what I have always done best,” he said. “I want to succeed and in order to do that everyone around me needs to succeed too.”
In terms of what has sustained him through the years, Dan says without a doubt “the relationships I have made and the connections to the community have been right up there on the greatest satisfaction scale.”
“We are proud to serve our community and we want to do that with the people that live here,” Dan concluded. “We want to talk to you in the store, on the street, at meetings; wherever you see us, we want to get to know the people we serve.”
Editor’s Note: This is the first article in an ongoing series about our dynamic and diverse Board of Education. The five people currently serving on the Milpitas Unified School District Board of Education typically meet twice a month to carry out the MUSD Vision: “We prepare students to go out into the world to make a difference as responsible citizens who are passionate about life and learning.” The school board serves a population of approximately 69,000 residents that covers nearly 13 square miles and more than 10,000 students.