Louisa Ho

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Louisa Ho
Louisa Ho.JPG
West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education, West Windsor
Term ends
November 2016
Years in position 2
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
AppointedMay 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Master'sMassachusetts Institute of Technology
ProfessionStay-at-home mom
Office website
Louisa Ho currently represents West Windsor on the West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education in New Jersey. She was first appointed to the board in May 2013 to replace Robert Johnson.[1] Ho won election on November 5, 2013 against challengers Rakesh Kak, Scott Powell and Yingchao Zhang.


Ho earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She worked for 15 years with New Jersey Transit before she became a stay-at-home mom. Ho and her husband, Carl Van Dyke, have two children currently attending district schools.[2]



See also: West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District elections (2013)


Incumbent Alapakkam Manikandan lost re-election for the Plainsboro seat to challenger Yu Taylor Zhong. The race for two seats from West Windsor included incumbent Ho and challengers Rakesh Kak, Scott Powell and Yingchao Zhang. Powell and Ho won those seats. Incumbent Hemant Marathe ran for Mayor of West Windsor after serving for nine years on the board.[3]


West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School School Board, West Windsor District, 3-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngScott Powell 30.2% 2,977
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLouisa Ho Incumbent 29% 2,866
     Nonpartisan Rakesh Kak 24.8% 2,448
     Nonpartisan Yingchao Zhang 15.8% 1,560
     Nonpartisan Personal choice 0.2% 19
Total Votes 9,870
Source: Mercer County Clerk, "Election Results," November 13, 2013


Ho reported $2,000.00 in contributions and $0.00 in expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, which left her campaign with $2,000.00 on hand.[4]

Campaign themes


In an interview with the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area, Ho explained her views on major issues facing the district:[5]

District growth

"Enrollment has been relatively stable for the last 4 years and is projected to be stable for the next 3 years. With some new developments in the works in West Windsor, continued growth is on the horizon, but not at the dramatic rates experienced earlier. The planned expansion of Village School will provide six additional classrooms, that can be used to absorb some growth. We need to constantly monitor growth and attendance for each school, to address capacity issues at individual schools and insure that class sizes are fair across the district.

I bring to the school board the right skills and experience for addressing this issue. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree from MIT, and managerial and planning experience in the public sector at NJ Transit, where I was responsible for budgets of up to $50 million, and 900 personnel. I also know the school district as a customer and taxpayer. Both of my children have attended WWP schools since kindergarten. For the last 15 years, I’ve dedicated my time to parenting and volunteering, as a Girl Scout troop leader and co-service unit manager for all WWP Girl Scout troops, and, more recently, serving on the School Board, and being co-President of the HSS marching band."

Financial challenges

"Our school district offers an excellent educational program at a competitive cost. Our costs per pupil are well below those of school districts like Princeton and Hopewell. For the 2013-2014 budget year, the school district was able to produce a budget with no increase in the total amount of tax support needed from the two towns, compared to the prior year. Looking forward, we need to continue to seek opportunities for cost containment, such as through out-sourcing, class scheduling efficiencies, and additional grants, while addressing new administrative requirements, and maintaining educational quality."

School safety

"I support changes to improve school safety that are cost-effective, tested, and balanced in their approach. The school district has already implemented changes along these lines, such as 42 additional video cameras and the “eyes on the door” pilot program which is being expanded from 2 to 4 schools this year. We need to always be looking for new approaches for technology security to keep up with ever-evolving technology."

About the district

See also: West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, New Jersey
West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District is located in Mercer County, New Jersey
. The West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District serves students in Plainsboro and West Windsor in Mercer County, New Jersey. The population of Mercer County was 366,513 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[6]


Mercer County outperformed state averages for higher education achievement and median income while lagging behind the state poverty rate in 2010. The county had a poverty rate of 10.7% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 9.4%. The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Mercer County's median income at $73,883 while the state median income was $71,180. The percentage of county residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (38%) is higher than the state average (35%).[6]

Racial Demographics, 2010[6]
Race Mercer County (%) New Jersey (%)
White 66.5 73.8
Black or African American 21 14.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 0.6
Asian 9.7 9
Two or More Races 2 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 53.3 58.2

Presidential Voting Pattern[7]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 67.2 30.5
2008 67.3 31.3
2004 - -
2000 - -

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[8]

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