What I believe:
ENSURING SOUND HIRING POLICIES, RETENTION AND MANAGING STAFF TURNOVER
In recent years, the district has faced challenges in hiring, retention, and managing employee turnover. I will address these challenges by recommending that the board establish an employment and hiring practices committee that will make recommendations to the administration about hiring policies and procedures, and I will serve on that committee. The board is directly responsible for hiring only the superintendent. Since the board sets policy, it typically would not comment on a single candidate or review candidates for particular positions other than superintendent. But the board can, and should, set policies and procedures regarding hiring, including qualifications and background checks (subject to employment law requirements), credential and job employment verification, pre-interview screening, qualifying interviewing questions, and professional and personal reference checks. Through well-considered policies and procedures, our district will attract, hire and retain the best candidates.
TRANSPARENCY AND COMMUNICATION
I support transparency and open communication in all district matters. It’s every board member’s job to welcome questions, consider all points of view and help members of the public obtain answers to their questions about the district. Sometimes a voter has questions about a process, like a hiring process, a technology decision, or about a contracting decision, or they want information. Sometimes information has been available about that decision, but not in a way that a voter or parent can get it, and digest it in a reasonable time. So when voters have a question or want information about the district, they deserve the answers and the information they seek with help from board members and everyone else in the district in a prompt and professional manner. And those with differing viewpoints deserve to be heard and to have their views considered. Every parent’s, voter’s, and student’s concerns are important. When I listen to differing viewpoints with an open mind I usually find a truth, a trend or a useful point. I welcome questions and discussion with everyone. I will be transparent, knowledgeable and approachable about our school district’s issues.
EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING
Our schools are exceptional primarily because we have outstanding teachers. Their dedication to academic excellence, artistic expression, athletics and community service is invaluable and I will support them wholeheartedly. I also am dedicated to continuing to develop dynamic teaching strategies.
MAINTAINING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Our district is financially sound and has excellent financial practices. I will ensure that continues.
We are in an important period of transition. Two long-serving school board members are leaving the board—Betsy Jenkins and Theresa O’Hare. They both endorse my candidacy. The district just hired a new elementary school principal, Mike Conlon. And the district is currently looking for Dr. Culverhouse’s replacement as the high school principal. I believe Dr. Culverhouse was one of the best administrators to have ever worked for our district. The school board must carefully manage transitions such as these. I am a parent of kids in our fine schools, I have for many years been a volunteer in and out of the classrooms, I have personally raised a lot of money for our district, and I have owned my own staffing business. These experiences give me the expertise that our district requires to successfully facilitate this transition.
SOUND ADOPTION OF COMMON CORE CONSISTENT WITH THE “WHOLE CHILD” CONCEPT
The state has mandated the adoption of Common Core State Standards, and our district must continue to implement them in a fiscally sound manner and consistent with our long-established whole child concept. I will support Laguna’s long-standing commitment to the “whole child” concept, which values development of young, healthy, safe, well-rounded individuals with opportunities in academics, the arts, sports and in our community.
ARTS AND SPORTS
The arts and sports are vital to a high quality education. From Art Masters to our music and performing arts programs, our students are encouraged to participate in art at every age and level of ability. Our high school sports programs offer a variety of rich opportunities for competition, athletic development and sportsmanship. These programs have my full support.
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
Laguna Beach has amazing Special Education Services. These vast services support students, their parents and our community. These programs have my full support.
MY OVERALL GOAL
My overall goal is to help make LBUSD the best school district in the country. I have the experience, passion and commitment to make this happen. I ask for your support, your vote and the honor to represent you.