Elections 2012: Bekki Van Voorhis-Gilbert, Candidate for OUSD Board of Trustees

Orindan Bekki Van Voorhis-Gilbert is running for one of two available seats on the Orinda Union School District Board

General Information

Name : Bekki Van Voorhis-Gilbert
Age : 46

Place of residence : Orinda, Ca since 2002



Attended college : Yes
College :
University of San Francisco, BA Psychology, Graduate with Honors
Degree :
Year of graduation :

Grad school

University : University of San Francisco
Degree :
Juris Doctor, admitted to California State Bar, Dec. 1990
Year of graduation :

University : UC Berkeley

Degree : Ph.d
Area of research : Social Welfare, Advanced to Candidacy with Honors
Year of graduation :

Employment Information

Job titles held : NA
Employers :
Gordon & Rees, LLP Attorneys at Law, San Francisco, CA, 1988-1991; CSU Hayward, Department of Sociology and Social Services 1996-2004

Political Information

Party affiliation : DTS
Running for a:
Local office
Running for position:
Orinda Union Board of Trustees



Other facts

As a mother of two children in the Orinda Schools, I am running for the OUSD Board of Trustees. I believe that my experience as an educator and leadership in a wide range of voluntary activities along with my professional training in law, social welfare policy and child development make me well-qualified to serve our community in these difficult times. I have attended many OUSD School Board Meetings. I have visited all 5 OUSD school sites – talking with parents, teachers and staff to learn about what they see as currently working well in the OUSD and their hopes for the future. What I have learned has helped shape my platform. Advancement of 21st Century Student Skill: OUSD students have consistently achieved an outstanding record on the conventional measures of academic performance. However, the academic requirements of the 21st century are changing. New skills are in demand based on, for example, advanced information technology, critical thinking and project-based learning. The OUSD has tremendous potential to provide intellectual leadership in reshaping the standard educational model to meet this challenge. Fiscal Responsibility and Academic Excellence during Difficult Economic Times: State Budget Projections for the next five years are bleak. The District needs to formulate a thoughtful Strategic Plan that generates greater efficiencies, explores cross/intradistrict collaboration and advances creative revenue generating ideas. Responsiveness to Community, Parent and Teacher Opinion: Parents, teachers and community members should be treated as partners in the educational enterprise; District Surveys of parents and teachers should be initiated and used to help inform decision making. If elected I will do everything in my power to make informed and responsible decisions that will benefit the entire OUSD Community.

Fred Smith October 02, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Do you have a specific example of Bekki being mean and a bully? Or are you a hater that hides behind a false name and posts flames against someone that is trying to help make our schools better. You sound like the bully to me!
Fred Smith October 02, 2012 at 02:38 AM
If you are going to flame someone that his running for school board to improve things at least shouldn't you provide some specifics or examples to back up your charges. At least post under your real name! Otherwise, you come off as a shill for the current administration.
Fred Smith October 02, 2012 at 02:40 AM
We need two or more Bekki Gilberts on the OUSD so we can have a school board that listens to and responds to parent and voter concerns!
Fred Smith October 02, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Yes, the haters really come out when someone dares to tell the truth about what's going on...
We want More October 02, 2012 at 05:22 AM
this is pretty revealing http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21661700/orinda-union-school-district-election-roundtable-2012?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com
bekki gilbert October 02, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Testing to see if this posts.
Andrew October 02, 2012 at 05:38 PM
One thing that really disturbs me is the lack of negative or positive comments from current Wagner Ranch parents. Most of the Pro-Bekki people don't have Wagner students anymore, which means there are hundreds ( I'm guessing ) of current Wagner Ranch parents who either a) agree with the Bekki camp that there are problems with the Principal, bullying, etc and are too lazy or apathetic or intimidated to say anything. OR b) people who think Bekki is a negative force at WR and think the Principal is doing a good job, but are too lazy apathetic or intimidated to speak out. I reached out to three WR moms last weekend who are in camp "B" and said " there's no way I'm sticking my neck out" or words to that effect. The shape of the new School Board is CRITICAL to YOUR CHILDREN and I think it behooves you to speak out. So if you're reading this, put down your soy latte and SAY SOMETHING - Andrew Moran
Fred Smith October 04, 2012 at 02:07 AM
We need Bekki Van Voorhis-Gilbert on the OUSD so we can have a board that listens to and represents the concerns of parents rather than only the interests of the district administration.
We want More October 04, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Andrew - As the brother of someone running against Dr Gilbert, I find it curious you are bringing up irrelevant, old news that does not have much to do with her considerable record as a hands-on community volunteer, with significant real-time experience with children. http://www.orindaassociation.org/onlineedition.htm Instead, I'd like to focus on the current record, for example the CCT Roundtable. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21661700/orinda-union-school-district-election-roundtable-2012?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Your brother's solution to improving schools is to "target under performing students" and his frightening position on abuse was that "this could never happen in Orinda" is even more disturbing. He is completely out of touch. His definition of himself as 'approachable' is a LOL joke! Your brother's responses to the Orinda News questions were ridiculous. All of the other candidates clearly spent at least 5 minutes responding to the Orinda News questions. Does he not understand what is going on or was simply too self-important to respond? Dr Gilbert is willing to ask questions & is not a willing party to the 'group think' that has invaded our community. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. I'll vote for newbee resident Lurie, Ms Butler and Dr Gilbert long before I support your bro Matt Moran and his simplistic understanding of education.
Chris F. October 04, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Andrew, nYou just don't get it do you? Your brother matt Turned his back on over 30 families and denied/Dismiss all these families. He was also on the board when measure B was passed, He was an oversight of where the Measure B money was to go and how it was to be managed Both were failures and kept from the public.. If this had been done by a candidate that your brother was against you would be outraged at that candidate, Would you not? What has happened while your brother has been on the board was illegal and amounts to small town corruption! And you want him to keep that position on the board? Hmmm, Is there something we don't know about?
Chris F. October 04, 2012 at 07:48 AM
Andrew, Part 1 I really am confused by your posts. While your Brother Matt was elected to the Board Measure B passed, As a board member he was to oversee where the measures funds were allocated, The Oversight Committee/Board of community citizens. the Separate bank accounts. Your Brother had full knowledge of the illegal wrongdoing of the measure and supported the Superintendent when he decided to deceive the citizens of Orinda that voted to pass the Measure, We will never know where the funds were allocated but we do know that the community oversight committee was made up of handpicked vendors and teachers that did not live in Orinda, We Know that the funds were put into a general fund, We do not know who received the funds, This amounts to Corruption! And you think that it is OK to promote such? If this had been done by an opponent of your brother you would crucify that opponent for the illegal wrong doings! As For Wagner, Matt Moran turned his back on 30+ families that became so frustrated that the board lead by Matt Moran refused to do anything to help them. Refused! matt Moran put a Black Eye on Orinda and you support him to stay on the Board.. There must be something we do not know, Corruption starts at local levels and continues upward. By supporting Matt and the Superintendent we are saying that it is OK to Lie, Cheat and Steal to our children!
Chris F. October 04, 2012 at 07:53 AM
Andrew, Part 2 Oh I am sure you will say they didn’t lie cheat or steal but facts are facts and when Matt gave the Superintendent a raise and a contract extension amidst a scandal it became apparent that something’s going on around here. And Yes, if not for Wagner Parents standing up and fighting for their children I am sure that the immoral/illegal truths about Measure B would still be going on.. And one more for Wagner, How come so many good teachers have left Wagner Ranch? Are the numbers of teachers that have left Wagner ranch consistent with other school teacher departure averages?
Chris F. October 04, 2012 at 07:58 AM
Pending for 24 hours. very weird.
Chris F. October 04, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I would think that all the Orindian’s we be Livid at the illegal activity of Measure B and they would back their community parents when issues arrive not vilify them.. I suggest the Livid family contact Bekki and ask their name be withdrawn. Even if your neighbor has a Butler sign they still can vote for two candidates as their are two seats available. I only hope that those voters and all you soccer moms seriously contemplate who your going to vote for and with good conscience and please remember that while on the Board Matt Moran was the oversight of Measure B and backed the corruption behind it by extending the Superintendents contract and giving him a raise, The Measure B scandal would still be continuing if not for brave Orindian’s researching and speaking aloud, For that they have been vilified. Matt also turned his back on 30+ Wagner families that were having serious problems at the school, They reached out to the Supervisor and the President of the School Board and the problems that fell on Matts deaf ears and gave a black Eye to the city of Orinda. You should watch the Round Table discussion. he clearly is blind to the fact that any issues could happen and if they did the admin would be there (We saw firsthand of Matts lack of help).
Fred Smith October 04, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Do you have a specific example of which staff Bekki attacked and which parents Bekki allegedly bullied? Or are you a hater that hides behind a false name and posts flames against someone that is trying to help make our schools better. With your vicious attacks, you sound like the bully to me!
Gods Plan October 05, 2012 at 01:24 AM
God's plan for America does not include becky van voorhis-gilbert being elected to OUSD. Read about it at http://www.cbn.com/
Jim Collins October 05, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Andrew, You come off being so angry and condescending to the entire Wagner community and appear to be trying to divide Orinda into Camp A (those who believe Wagner had and continues to have areas they can improve on) and Camp B (the district is perfect and there is nothing we can improve). We don't need this! This is one community and I would hope all the candiates and board, including your brother Matt, want what is best for the children. Why are you trying to create a toxic enviroment? That being said you keep saying Bekki Gilbert is bad for the district and a bully but thus far there have been a number of attacks on her, including your own, while she seems to be sticking to issues to improve our district/community. When reading her posts and listening to her comments at the roundtable, she seems to believe she can help improve our already good schools by practicing inclusion of the community as a whole in decision making, offering 21st Century learning solutions and listening to the public. Maybe she can be the bridge to bring the community together and we can finally put the Wagner issue to rest. Would it be so bad to all work together or do you think the best thing for the community is your appraoch of dividing the community?
Andrew October 05, 2012 at 09:47 PM
If you check into both Neal and Bekki Gilbert's, don't be surprised. Do your research and find out for yourself. Ask Bekki how involved she was in J D O'Connor's termination from the Patch. Isthis what you want for the Orinda School District.
We want More October 06, 2012 at 03:05 AM
So this is a rather weird post. Which God's plan are you channeling? Didn't know any god was tracking the OUSD so closely!
Chris F. October 06, 2012 at 04:59 PM
You should seek help!
Valerie Sloven October 06, 2012 at 09:39 PM
@Andrew, I did what you suggested and contacted Bekki Gilbert, who in turn contacted J D and it turns out she had absolutely nothing to do with J D getting fired. I suggest you contact J D yourself and get it straight from the horse's mouth. Where are you getting your information from?
Chris F. October 08, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Andrew, I think you should be concerned with the corruption that has pleagued our school board and district Superintendent since Measure B was Passed and the failure of the boards former president to work with the public rather than ignor the isues and sweep them under the rug . Its time for new people to get on the Board in order to restore public approval, New board members that are willing to work with the community to make our schools a better place to learn, a safer environment for our children. I think that the two ladies running for the board positions are a suitable choice.
Jim Collins October 09, 2012 at 05:42 PM
@Andrew, I did exactly as you said and found there to be no connection between JD's firing and Bekki G. Also found nothing negitive about Bekki or Neil G. On a few ocassions they made public comments at Orinda school board meetings, but isn't that why we have a public comment period so the public who fund the schools in many ways can voice their opinion. In Orinda your brother may call public comment when the speaker doesn't agree with him, something to be ashamed of yourself for, but in the United States most citizens call this living in a democracy. As a voter your brother needs to explain why at the CC times roundtable he stated he supports Proposition 30 but for months has been running around town telling folks he doesn't support Prop 30 or the Governor and at the end of lhe last school year on the 4LAKIDS web site your brother made the following comment: "An addtion 17 billion in Prop 98 guarantees"? What a joke. Mr. Cohn kept a strraight face when he made this comment? This is a representative of a Governor who says he is "fully funding" public education right now. This is a bald faced lie at worst and a disingenuous statement at best. Through deferrals and negative COLA'S, school funding in the state is a joke right now. I encourge ALL Californians to vote NO on the Governor's tax proposal in November as his cabal takes us all for fools. (Continued on next post)
Jim Collins October 09, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Continued Page 2 Pass pension reform and fully fund schools with deferrals and negative COLA'S and I will consider supporting his tax initiative, otherwise this is no way it will pass". You can read this post at http:/4lakidsnews.blogspot.com/2012//analysis-browns-school-finance-reforms.html It is baffling how Mr. Moran's extremely harsh position on Prop 30 just a few months ago changed when he decided it would probably be in his best interest during an election if he supports Prop 30. Makes you wonder what else Mr. Moran is being disingenuous about? At this point Mr. Moran are you still" Encouraging ALL Californians to vote NO on the Governor's tax proposal" as you requested a few months ago?
Jim Collins October 10, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Continued Page 3 J Collins Sorry I miss typed the Web site of 4lakids here it is: http://4lakidsnews.blogspot.com/2012/05/analysis-browns-school-finance-reforms.html
Jenny Barnes October 16, 2012 at 08:15 PM
If Matt Moran is such a horrible School Board member, why is he endorsed by EVERY member of the Orinda City Council, and all but one ( Bekki shill Tyson Krumholtz ) current School Board member ? So the ENTIRE City Council is wrong about this guy ? I seriously doubt it.
Chris F. October 16, 2012 at 09:45 PM
So Jeny, What your saying is that all the others are lying, That Matt never turnded his back on the families at Wagner that went to the school board and begged for help? That he wasn't involved with the failure of the implimentation of Measure B for over two years?
CJ October 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM
After looking at all the candidates and their positions and the messy info on these blogs. My early absentee ballot was sent in and for Moran.
Danny Del Rey October 17, 2012 at 05:43 PM
It's pretty funny that in a comments section for Bekki Gilbert, there's 8000 mentions of Matt Moran. Nothing like free advertising.
bekki gilbert October 24, 2012 at 06:41 PM
@ CJ - after reviewing your comments all over The Patch, I'm relieved not to have garnered your vote.


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