Yingchao Zhang

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Yingchao Zhang
Yingchao Zhang.jpg
West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education, West Windsor
Former candidate
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Science and Technology of China
Ph.D.Columbia University
ProfessionSales engineering director
Yingchao Zhang was a candidate for one of two West Windsor seats on the West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education in New Jersey. He lost his election bid on November 5, 2013 against incumbent Louisa Ho and challengers Rakesh Kak and Scott Powell. Zhang applied for the vacancy left by Robert Johnson in May 2013 that was filled by Ho.[1]


Zhang earned a B.S. from the University of Science and Technology of China. He later earned a Ph.D. in High Energy Nuclear Physics from SUNY Stony Brook in 1995. Zhang has served as Director of Sales Engineering at NetScout Systems since 2008. He and his wife, Fong Shu, have three children currently attending district schools. Zhang previously served as a board member of the West Windsor Arts Council.[2][3]



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 Louisa Ho and challengers Zhang, Rakesh Kak and Scott Powell. Powell and Ho won those seats. Incumbent Hemant Marathe ran for Mayor of West Windsor after serving for nine years on the board.[4]


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


Zhang reported no contributions or expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.[5]

Campaign themes


In an interview with the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area, Zhang explained his views on major issues facing the district:[6]

District growth

"As a former scientist, and currently a technologist in sales, I would recommend a more systemic and quantified approach. We should work closely with the townships and make comprehensive analysis of the historical census records to make an accurate projection of the student enrollment growth several years down the road. With that data, we can then project classroom sizes for the different grades and facility utilization. Whenever possible, we should try to optimize the classroom and facility usage, so that the additional students can be absorbed to the school district without having to increase the number of classrooms and the size of other facilities. At the same time, we should look into the possibility of incremental increase of classrooms in school to prepare for the situation where the growth projection is on the verge of exceeding maximal number of students per classroom."

Financial challenges

"I believe the district’s finances are well-managed presently, but incremental improvement is always possible. Cutting the budget is never a simple task. A well-rounded education is an important goal, and it is difficult to weigh one subject or activity against another. It is my belief that budget-cutting recommendations should be made by those who are closest to the action — the campus-level leaders together with the senior administrators at the school district. The board has the final say as the representatives of the public. Any increases in funding should be targeted to better serve our mission. That could be in technology, career and technical courses, or anything else that will inspire life-long learning. Public input is a valuable part of any budget change. Committees of the public should be formed whenever necessary to give advice on meaningful budget changes."

School safety

"The safety and security of our students and staff are a top priority. While no plan is bullet-proof, and no amount of spending will guarantee a bad person with ill intent will not find a way to circumvent our procedures, we should continue to work with the professional law enforcement agencies to fine-tune our safety measures. In a broader sense, we should continue the efforts to protect our students and staff from all forms of hazards, such as fires, severe weather conditions, and natural disasters."

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.[7]


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%).[7]

Racial Demographics, 2010[7]
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[8]
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.[9]

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