Board Members



CLERK (Provisional Appointment until 2020)



I am thrilled and honored to serve on the Emery Unified School Board. I’ve spent most of my professional life in education both as an educator and for nonprofits working towards more accessible and equitable education. I believe education is a critical component in young people’s development, and will work to ensure that EUSD is accessible and valuable to all students irrespective of where they come from or what they look like. I am honored to serve the city I have called home for the past 5 years and contribute in a meaningful way to the lives of young people in Emeryville.


Brynnda Collins_pic

BRYNNDA COLLINS (Term 2018-2022)


I established residency in Emeryville over 13 years ago. During this time, I worked for our school district and our city. I am the proud parent of 24 year old and past School Board Trustee Brittany Collins-Rogers who was educated through the EUSD system. While raising my daughter as a single parent, I completed course work with Harvard University receiving a certificate of completion in “Teaching for Understanding”. My character and leadership – both, courageous and strong, ensure that I will positively impact the students, staff and families of EUSD.
I am passionate about serving our children and building the capacity of others to create positive change. Using a proven track record for building networks and effective relationships, I am poised to facilitate courageous conversations and take action addressing issues.such as student achievement, and civic engagement. Bridging the gap between city, schools and community across divides like class, generation and race, Iam focused on moving our district forward in a progressive manner.

SUSAN DONALDSON (Term 2018-2022)



Thank you for trusting me with this important responsibility.  As a parent of a child that has spent their entire elementary school years in the district, I think I have a unique perspective that will make my service invaluable.  I have an intimate knowledge of the school from my years as a PTO officer and volunteer.  My Masters degree in Sustainable Business helps me to understand our schools from a systems mindset, as interconnected with our local and global community – particularly in that our campus is the Emeryville Center for Community Life.  My restorative justice and non-profit training as a board member with the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp has also prepared me to work with diverse students and stakeholders.  I am excited to take my dedication to children and public schooling to the next level.
John Van Geffen

JOHN VAN GEFFEN (Provisional Appointment until 2020)



An Emeryville resident since 2014, John T. Van Geffen is an Aviation Attorney with specialization in litigation, business transactions and regulatory compliance. As the father of an Emeryville kindergartner, John takes great pride in accepting the awesome responsibility of providing leadership and citizen oversight of the Emery Unified School District’s schools and looks forward to working with the Superintendent, staff and public to set a direction for the District establish policies, ensure accountability and provide community leadership on behalf of the District and public education. 
Cruz Vargas

Cruz Vargas

(Term 2016-2020)



I ran for the School Board because I strongly believe that Emeryville deserves schools with test scores that match our beautiful new facilities.  I’ve seen the potential of Emeryville children while volunteering at school and while coaching our micro soccer league. Our kids are happy, thirsty for knowledge and simply deserve more. I also love Emeryville! On weekends, you’ll see me biking around town with my 10 year old daughter, catching Pokemons in our great parks, or eating at local favorites Hot Italian, Best Coast Burritos or Gratto Burger. Most importantly, I believe my marketing skills complement the current school board. With my experience in managing multi-million dollar budgets, I will help ensure that every dollar invested provides a return in our children’s futures.