Rod Sinks appointed as new FUHSD Trustee

Former Mayor Rod Sinks will fill the current Board vacancy

Rod Sinks will be sworn in on Tuesday, May 16, and will serve until November 2024.

City of Cupertino

Rod Sinks will be sworn in on Tuesday, May 16, and will serve until November 2024.

Sarah Liu and Aashi Venkat

FUHSD welcomed its new Board trustee Rod Sinks on Monday, May 8 following the passing of trustee Roy Rocklin. As detailed in an email sent out by the district, Sinks is a former mayor of Cupertino, having served on the Cupertino City Council from 2011 to 2020. His other qualifications include serving as a founder and former Chair of Silicon Valley Clean Energy, former president of the Cupertino Rotary Club and former Chair of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

According to Sinks, the biggest priority in his new position is facing and dismantling the challenges posed by AI in order to “best prepare students given our ongoing evolution.”

“Two weeks ago, I witnessed a student speech contest,” Sinks said. “One of the participants gave a thought-provoking speech, saying that in a world with generative AI such as ChatGPT, developing our students’ creativity and empathy and ability to discern truth needed more attention.”

Facing equity disparities in the school district is another priority Sinks has — he explained how mitigating the effects of declining enrollment can play a role in retaining current staff and hence helping the district. Additionally, Sinks says that addressing the costs of living in Cupertino is important, particularly to ensure the district remains equitable for teachers as well.

“Managing declining enrollment by offering a comprehensive curriculum while attracting and retaining great teachers [and] staff will remain critical to the district’s success,” Sinks said. “We want to have room to attract new teachers who will bring their fresh perspectives and inspire our students. A key challenge for our teachers and staff is the high cost of living here, and I’m interested in potential housing and transportation solutions on which we could partner with [the] local and state government.”

Sinks views the primary role of trustees in the community as policymakers who “represent the community and ensure that voices are heard.” To fulfill this role, he says he will engage with current trustees and students in order to develop a comprehensive view of the district’s top priorities.

“Our schools will continue to evolve to prepare our students to meet tomorrow’s challenges,” Sinks said. “Listening to our students and considering their needs first is critical.”