About Heidi

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Born and raised in California, I am a product of California’s public schools from kindergarten through graduate school.  I am also a proud parent of two children in PAUSD schools and I work as a teacher and parent educator at Parents Place (a parent resource center) supporting both families and teachers with the most current child development research and best practices in the early learning community. 

     Like many families, we moved to Palo Alto because of the excellent reputation of its schools.  I decided to volunteer in the community, first as PTA President and Chair of the School Site Council at Juana Briones Elementary School, then as a Board Member for Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE).  I also broadened my perspective by joining citywide committees such as the Palo Alto Advisory Committee on Early Care and Education, and the Project Safety Net Collaborative. 

     As I serve this community in a variety of ways, I am impressed with the number of engaged, motivated students, remarkable teachers, and dedicated parents and community members I’ve met.  Palo Alto truly values education, as evidenced by the widespread support for our bond measures, construction bonds, and local parcel taxes.  We must ensure that our students are benefitting from the high standards we’ve set.  With my unique skills and experience, I am prepared and energized to serve on the Palo Alto School Board; ready to collaborate as we build a strong educational foundation for every student in our district.

Involvement in Palo Alto Unified School District:

Palo Alto is passionate about education.  Just come to any School Board meeting and you’ll find committed parents, teachers, and community members discussing hot-button issues from student achievement and student stress, to rapid enrollment growth and new curriculum.

H_KidsGrass4x3.jpgI share that passion and have dedicated the last ten years to working in the field of education while raising my two children. Like many families, I moved to Palo Alto because of the excellent reputation of Palo Alto’s schools.  As a teacher, parent, and educational advocate, I’ve been deeply involved in our schools both at the local and district-wide level, serving as PTA Co-President and Chair of the School Site Council, as well as a Board Member of Partners in Education (PiE), and a Member of the Palo Alto Advisory Committee on Early Care and Education. 

Through my involvement, I’ve learned that Palo Alto needs School Board members who understand trends in education reform, complexities of educational funding, and how to tackle difficult issues such as enrollment growth, college and career preparation, and the ongoing challenge of integrating high academic achievement with social, intellectual, and ethical learning.

I invite you to join me in creating a vision for Palo Alto as a model school district in California: one that values inclusivity and diversity, collaboration and individual achievement.  Together, we can nurture the next generation of great thinkers, innovators, and leaders.     

With your help, I will continue to work hard on behalf of families, teachers, and, most importantly, the remarkable students in our community. 

Related Experience:

Parenting Educator/Child Development Specialist, Parents Place
Teacher-Trainer and workshop leader in more than 50 early learning centers in the Bay Area
Palo Alto Advisory Committee on Early Care and Education (PAACECE)

PTA President, Juana Briones Elementary School
Chair, School Site Council, Juana Briones Elementary School
Board Member, Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE)

Project Safety Net Collaborative
Education Committee, Congregation Etz Chayim
Graduate, Palo Alto Ambassador Program

Volunteer Coordinator, Palo Alto Black & White Ball
Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo
Advisory Board Member, Camp Galileo (Developed Teacher-Trainer Program for Counselors)
Chair, Community Advisory Committee, First 5 San Mateo County

Producer, Writer, Editor (Emmy-nominated) for 12 years (www.newday.com)
House Manager, Huckleberry House (the nation’s premier runaway shelter for teens), Youth Advocates
Suicide Prevention Hotline Volunteer
Project Read Tutor


Master's Degree in Education, San Francisco State University
Master's Degree in Journalism, University of California, Berkeley
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Language Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

Heidi Emberling, Trustee, Palo Alto Unified School District, 650.308.4702, hemberling(at)pausd.org


Heidi on Twitter