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San Mateo County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Jo-Ann "Sockolov" Byrne

Candidate for
County Board of Education; County of San Mateo; Trustee Area 7

This information is provided by the candidate

About Jo-Ann

Solid Local Roots

Jo-Ann Sockolov comes from a family with a multi-generational history of civil service in town council, public transportation, public safety, and the military. She is first-generation and first of four children whose parents immigrated to the U.S. for the same core reason legions of people willingly assume the challenges and hardships of coming to this country -- to work hard to seek the opportunities, unparalleled anywhere else in this world, to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Jo-Ann has been a San Mateo County resident for nearly 40 years. She grew up in Pacifica and attended school in the Pacifica and Jefferson Unified School Districts. Growing up with the daily lessons her parents instilled about the value of hard work and determination and that becoming a well-educated person is a driving factor in achieving job success and quality of life, Jo-Ann and her siblings were inspired and determined to achieve their educational goals despite their parents' extremely limited financial resources to support those goals.

Educational Background

Jo-Ann received numerous academic and merit scholarships, as well as worked in part-time jobs, sometimes two or three at a time, in order to fund her studies at San Francisco State University, where, in five years, she earned a B.S. in Business and B.A. in Speech Communication Studies, then went on to earn a Master's degree in Speech Communication Studies, also at San Francisco State University. During her post-graduate studies, she received a full scholarship from the Rotary Foundation to attend the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where she studied cultural anthropology, linguistics, and modern literature. During that time she also served as a Goodwill Ambassador and spoke to numerous service groups throughout New Zealand, as well as locally upon her return, with the mission to foster cross-cultural exchange and understanding.

Jo-Ann considers herself a lifelong learner and has taken various business, creative arts, and language arts courses at Skyline and Canada Colleges and the College of San Mateo.

Commitment to Children, Youth, and Community

For over 10 years, Jo-Ann has been passionately engaged in efforts and programs that support educational enrichment opportunities for local public school students and has worked as a classroom volunteer, substitute teacher, parent-teacher organization president, Site Council member, public education funding reform advocate, and fundraiser. She is currently the Executive Director of the Redwood City Education Foundation, which raises private funds to support music, science, technology, math, and wellness programs for over 9,200 K-8 students in the Redwood City School District. Jo-Ann has been an active member of the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee for a number of years, as well as the Inter Service Club Coordinating Council, a consortium of local charitable service organizations that support Veterans, children, and youth in our community.

Her work in support of students and schools includes leading a grass-roots letter writing campaign in which thousands of letters were written by students, teachers, parents, and community members to protest state cuts to public education. She worked with California State Senator Joe Simitian to deliver the letters to legislative representatives in Sacramento. As the president of her children's school parent-teacher organization, she worked with the school community to raise the funds necessary to retain science and PE, both of which were slated for elimination because of severe budget cuts. In her work with the Redwood City Education Foundation she has worked with her team members and the local healthcare district to bring innovative health and wellness programs and services to the students of the Redwood City School District. Similarly, she has worked with team members and corporate and charitable foundations to provide technology resources to local classrooms. Jo-Ann has also been a volunteer with various community-based organizations such as Project Read and Jr. Achievement and was a Girl Scout leader for six years. She is an active member of the Peninsula Sunrise Rotary club.

Professional Career

Jo-Ann has 20 years' experience in organization development and human resources generalist, management, consulting, and executive positions in the financial services, non-profit, and medical device industries. Her organizational development experience includes team building, cross-functional team training, and management and executive coaching. Her human resources expertise encompasses recruitment, performance management, training, employee relations, compensation, benefits, and information systems. She was a key member of executive teams in start up, IPO, post-IPO, and global expansion environments. She received a lifetime designation as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute and earned a Certificate in Human Resources Management through the U.C. Berkeley Extension Program. She is also a graduate of the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce Leadership program.

Family Life

Jo-Ann and her husband, Rod Sockolov, are raising two amazing daughters, who both attended school in the Redwood City School District and now attend school in the Menlo Park City Elementary and Sequoia Union High School Districts. Jo-Ann and Rod are deeply invested in their local community and feel it is an honor and privilege to be able to serve their community.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 30, 2012 17:09
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