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Board Member Profiles

JENNIFER WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT

Jennifer Williams head shot

Jennifer Kaye Williams  received her BA in 1990 in political science from the University of California, Riverside, and her juris doctorate in 1993 from McGeorge School of Law.  She currently serves as an administrative law judge for the San Francisco Human Services Agency.

From 1999 to 2012, she was a Deputy City Attorney for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. She initially served as trial counsel for the San Francisco Human Services Agency, and then became General Counsel to the Agency and served in that capacity for more than 10 years. She also handled all appeals and writs generated from the City Attorney’s juvenile dependency unit. As General Counsel Ms. Williams provided legal advice regarding the administration of the dependency division, all public assistance programs, including General Assistance, CalWORKS, and Food Stamps, and the San Francisco Adult Protective Services division. She also worked with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on legislation impacting the populations served under these programs.

Ms. Williams began her career in 1994 when she started handling dependency cases in the Riverside County Counsel’s office at both the trial and appellate levels. She then worked for the Administrative Office of the Courts under a federal grant to improve statewide compliance with Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. There, she spent time in multiple California counties, working with social services agencies, probation departments, and juvenile courts, improving compliance with federal requirements in juvenile matters.

Ms. Williams has argued before the California Supreme Court and on numerous occasions before California Courts of Appeal, and has provided training statewide for agency attorneys and staff handling juvenile dependency matters and public assistance programs. She continues to consult on dependency writs and appeals.

For over a decade, she has been a contributing author to Seiser and Kumli on California Juvenile Courts, Practice and Procedure.  In 2016, she was elected to a four-year term serving as a Trustee on the Alameda Unified School District Board of Education, and in 2020, she was re-elected to another four-year term.  

HEATHER LITTLE, VICE PRESIDENT

Board Member Little received a BA in Psychology/Communications from Miami University, Oxford and a MEd in Special Education from California State University Sacramento. In her master’s work, she focused on students with moderate to severe disabilities. 

Ms. Little currently works for Penumbra, a medical device company with facilities across the Bay Area and Sacramento regions. She is the company’s Senior Quality Training Specials and is responsible for curriculum development and delivery to ensure the organization’s workforce is successful in their jobs.

Previously, Ms. Little was the Systems Director for First 5 Association, a nonprofit membership organization that focuses on building early childhood systems and supports to ensure that California’s young children are safe, healthy, and ready to succeed in school and life. She also worked for 16 years with the Seneca Family of Agencies, a non-profit that provides vulnerable students with a continuum of community and school-based services, including mental health, education, permanency, and juvenile justice programs. As a teacher, principal/assistant and quality assurance assistant director at Seneca, Board Member Little says, “I gained a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of children's social-emotional development and well-being, and students' education experiences.”

Ms.Little joined the Board of Education because “I am passionate about education and I am committed to making Alameda schools a place where ALL students learn and thrive, and where teachers and staff are fulfilled and supported,” she says. “I am deeply committed to my community and to engaging with stakeholders in a way that will allow us both to realize the opportunities born out of this struggle with COVID-19 and use the lessons learned to improve education in Alameda.”

MEGAN SWEET, EDD, CLERK

Dr. Sweet earned her BA in History from UC Davis, her MEd from Stanford University, and her EdD from Mills College. Her doctoral degree is in educational leadership, with a focus on education finance and managing change in educational settings. 

Dr. Sweet is currently the Senior Director of Program and Impact at Mindful Schools, a non-profit organization with a mission to “empower educators to spark change from the inside out by cultivating awareness, resilience, and compassionate action.” She has worked as a teacher, school and district administrator, and consultant at the district, county, and state level. 

She is also the founder of Your3Eyes, a consultancy focused on personal and systemic change in education, the co-host of “The Awakening Educator” podcast, and the author of “An Educator’s Guide for Using Your 3 Eyes.”

Dr. Sweet is passionate about transforming our education system into one that is inclusive, equitable, and supportive to all--students, families, and educators alike. She says she chose to serve on the AUSD school board “because this is a crucial moment in Alameda and the United States. As we work to address two pandemics - COVID-19 and the impact of structural racism - I felt like my educational experience and focus on equity would allow me to make a meaningful contribution to my local community.”

Gary Lym, Trustee

A native Alamedan, Gary Lym attended Otis Elementary, Lincoln Middle, Alameda and Encinal High Schools and attributes his

Gary Lym

commitment to public education to his experience in AUSD schools.

He first began attending Board of Education meetings as Lincoln Middle School student as a result of a civic assignment for social studies. “My attendance at these meetings allowed me to understand the important role the school board played in shaping policy for the district,” he says, and also the importance of public service.

Mr. Lym received his undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley and his MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.  He has worked as an accountant, a professor of accounting, a Director of Finance, and a Controller for several companies.    

As a parent, Mr. Lym has served as a room parent, math tutor, lunch supervisor, PTA board member, and member of School Site Council, Principal Selection, and English Language Advisory Committees. He also co-founded a local basketball and volleyball club that provides year round sports opportunities for more than 300 Bay Area youths and has served as a Board Member and President of his local homeowners’ associations.

Ardella Dailey, Trustee

Ardella Dailey headshot

Ardella Dailey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership (DEL) in the College of Educations and Allied Studies (CEAS). She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in 2011 from the Joint Doctoral Program at University of California Berkeley, California State University East Bay, California State University San Francisco and California State University San Jose.

Dr. Dailey has served as an education leader for  more than 25 years in K-12 public school districts. She began her tenure in Alameda as director of the Woodstock Child Development Center and went on to become the principal of George P. Miller Elementary School and eventually the superintendent, after serving as an  interim superintendent under both Dennis Chaconas and Alan Nishino.

She retired as Superintendent of Alameda Unified School District in 2009.  In November 2016 she was elected to serve a four-year term as member of the Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District; in 2021 she returned to the Board to fill the spot left vacant when Mia Bonta left to become an assembly representative.