Mike Berg, the former superintendent of Central Unified School District, is seeking a seat on the Fresno Unified board of trustees.
“I believe I can be helpful in making students and their families the focus of the district,” Berg said. “And I want to contribute to the success of Fresno Unified and the greater community.
“I graduated from Roosevelt High School and Fresno State and spent my career in education in Fresno and Fresno County. I am proud of our community.”
Berg most recently served as interim superintendent of the troubled Parlier Unified School District, where he was charged with restoring the system’s integrity and regaining the community’s trust. He recently ended that assignment with the district’s hiring of Jaime Robles as superintendent.
Berg is running for the Bullard High School area seat held by Brooke Ashjian. The Fresno businessman, who was elected in 2014, led successful efforts to unseat longtime superintendent Michael Hanson and to change the way the district awarded school construction contracts.
But Ashjian also has received withering criticism from some community members for his controversial comments about the LGBT community. He also is the subject of a state Fair Political Practices Commission investigation. To be determined is whether Ashjian fully disclosed his economic interests when he was elected.
Ashjian Undecided About 2018 Run
Ashjian said that he hasn’t decided whether he will run for a second term.
“But if I don’t run,” Ashjian added, “Mike Berg would be an incredible candidate.”
Berg stressed his deep roots in the Bullard community in a GV Wire interview. He noted that even when he was Central Unified superintendent his family remained in their Bullard area home.
Asked about the role he envisioned fulfilling should he win the election, Berg said that his all-around understanding of public education would strengthen the board and the district.
“I still have a lot to give,” he said. “I am not doing this for any other reason than to help our community prosper.”
The James Irvine Foundation said of Berg’s five-year tenure as Central Unified superintendent:
“His collaborative style, decisive nature, and open door commitment to the Fresno County and city community he has called home since birth is key to the (district’s) positive academic and cultural shifts … .”
Berg, 55, served as Fresno Unified’s facilities administrator for 21 years. Before becoming Central Unified superintendent, he was the district’s transportation manager, chief operations officer and chief business officer.