Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election
Invest in unbiased information

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.


San Mateo Union High School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Neal Kaufman

Neal Kaufman

Finance Executive
39,834 votes (25.94%)
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Provide guidance, support and oversight for the $1 billion that SMUHSD will spend, invest and allocate over the next four years
  • Emphasize differentiated, equitable and excellent education for all students
  • Emphasize transparency and communication of Board objectives, processes, decisions and results,



Harvard Business School MBA, Business (1996)
Stanford University MA, Latin American Studies (1994)
Harvard College AB, magna cum laude, Economics (1990)
White Plains High School, White Plains, NY High School Diploma (1986)

Community Activities

Varsity Lacrosse Coach, Burlingame High School (2018–current)


I am a proud parent of a past, current and future student at the San Mateo Union High School District, and have been the Varsity lacrosse coach at Burlingame high school.  I see the District through the lens of a community member, a parent, and staff.  The role of the Board of Trustees is to reach out and get inputs from all of the constituents of the community – students, teachers, parents and staff – and to provide guidance, support and oversight for the District administration.

This effort is very personal to me.  I benefitted from attending a wonderful and diverse public high school – the same one that my parents and my siblings attended - and I can remember the teachers who had such a great impact on me.  This experience provided the foundation that enabled me to thrive at Harvard and Stanford, and led me to a successful business career building and investing in companies. 

I look forward to bringing together all of these experiences as a member of the San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees. 




Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Marc Friedman, President, San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees
  • San Mateo County Central Labor Council
  • Linda Lees Dwyer, Board Member, San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees

Elected Officials (14)

  • Ted Lempert, Vice President, San Mateo County Board of Education; Former California State Assemblymember
  • Peter Hanley, Board Member, San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees
  • Rod Hsiao, Trustee, San Mateo County Board of Education
  • Gina Papan, Councilmember, City of Millbrae
  • Catherine Mahanpour, Mayor, City of Foster City
  • Donna Colson, Councilmember, City of Burlingame
  • Carlos Bolanos, Sheriff, San Mateo County
  • Ann O’Brien Keighran, Vice Mayor, City of Burlingame
  • Don Geddis, President, Hillsborough City School District
  • Ann Oliva, Councilmember, City of Millbrae
  • Michael Brownrigg, Councilmember, City of Burlingame
  • Jim Ruane, former Mayor, City of San Bruno
  • Margi Power, Trustee, Hillsborough City School District
  • Dennis Zell, Peninsula Health Care District, Board Director

Individuals (5)

  • Rodney Prezeau, San Mateo High School PTO, 3rd Vice President – Foundation
  • Cassandra Robinson, Hillsdale High School, Parent Teacher Student Organization, Past President
  • Cindy Montgomery, SMUHSD Citizens’ Oversight Committee Chair. President, Burlingame Library Board Foundation
  • Jonathan Madison, Co-Founder, Be the Solution; Columnist, San Mateo Daily Journal
  • Emily Matthews, Burlingame Rotary, President

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am very Passionate about a strong system of public education, anchored by excellent high schools.  I see public education as the best way to bring equitable solutions to the many challenges we face today as a community and a society at large.   

I am a parent of past, present, and future students at San Mateo Unified High School District, and am a public high school graduate. My position as the Varsity Boys Lacrosse Coach at Burlingame High School give me a lens into the challenges and issues facing our students today, as well as a better understanding of future needs.

Recently, I served as the Chair of the Citizen’s Action Committee that led the successful effort to raise $385 million to invest in our school district. During this process, I met with local educators, parent groups, and associated constituents throughout the county, bringing together the coalition of support that was necessary for the passage of this measure. I have also served on multiple Citizen’s Oversight Committees, ensuring that money raised from the constituents was efficiently spent.  

These investments are necessary, but are not sufficient to provide the great education that our students deserve and our community needs.  We need to attract and retain the best teachers and staff, or the rest of the efforts will have been for naught.  With the sale of the Crestmore facility, there will be significant capital available to invest in solutions for the high cost of living for our teachers.  These funds need to be put to work as effectively as possible to maximize the benefit for our teachers, students and community.  

The District will be spending, investing, and allocating over $1 Billion in the next four years. As an experienced financial and business executive, I bring the crucial skills needed to provide support, guidance and oversight to the SMUHSD budgeting and expenditure processes, ensuring that these programs are effectively implemented and administered, with significant public transparency.

I would work to ensure that the District offers a free and appropriate public school education, where every student can have the opportuity to excel and achieve their personal goals.  The district has the resources and talent to provide differentiated, equitable and excellent education for all students.

Our current experience highlights the importance of transparency and communication to engage and fully integrate all of knowledge and experience of the members of our educational community.  We need to ensure that the community understands the objectives and decisions of the Board of Trustees, and track measurable results versus planned milestones.

Videos (2)

Here are my thoughts on the current state of our public high schools that I discussed during my interview with the CA Teachers Union.

Here are my thoughts on the current state of our public high schools during my interview with the CA Teachers Union.

Learn more at

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.