SAN GABRIEL VALLEY SCHOOL ELECTIONS : Profiles of Candidates for Tuesday Ballot : Baldwin Park Unified : 3 seats

Clinton Nixon, 69, 19-year incumbent, former retail grocery manager and businessman.

As board member, improved teachers’ salaries, avoided financial problems and labor disputes, acquired drug-sniffing dogs for district.

“It is important that we have continuity of direction as the district continues to grow and expand in programs and facilities.”

Anthony J. Bejarano, 43, retired, head of youth-oriented Paul Bejarano Foundation, member of Parents for Youth Progress and Proficiency and Lions Club, Vietnam veteran, dropout who later attended East Los Angeles College and Chavez Associates trade school.


Believes board has lost touch with the community and teachers; wants monthly meetings with teachers and classified staff; wants freedom for teachers to teach based on their students’ abilities.

Eulogio (Eli) Roca, 33, printer-broker, 12-year resident of Baldwin Park, has two children in district schools, member of Parents for Youth Progress and Proficiency and Lions Club.

Wants to prioritize funding so the students’ needs come first.

“Every child is an individual and that needs to be stressed more than anything else.”


Ralph Nunez, 32, administrative assistant for Baldwin Park, parent, lifetime resident, board member of East Valley Boys & Girls Club, past president of Baldwin Park Optimist Club, Chamber of Commerce Royal Ambassadors.

Says he will work to maintain financial stability and encourage parental involvement and student self-esteem and maintain a drug-free and gang-free environment and strong academic program.

Bruce Snyder, 56, business owner, 14-year incumbent, 25-year president of Gremlin Division of Junior All-American Football Conference.

Stands on achievement: The district is fiscally sound, did not lay off any employees, gave teachers a raise and has not had any cuts since Proposition 13.

“We’re a very professional school board. We work together, and we like each other.”

Philip Morris, 48, union representative, brick mason, 15-year Baldwin Park resident, has children in district, involved with Parent Advisory Group, active with Girl Scouts.

Wants to promote extracurricular activities, expand vocational options and stop the teacher exodus.

“We’re turning into a training ground for new teachers because the climate doesn’t lend itself to keeping them.”


Richard D. Cooks, withdrawing, giving support to Bejarano and Roca.

Charter Oak Unified

3 seats

Robert Hoenig, 57, six-year incumbent, educator, parent, past president of teachers union in south El Monte, teacher negotiator.

Familiar with state law and educational codes; supports opening multipurpose center for all schools in district and community groups.

“I’ve seen both sides of the picture for six years.”

Jeannie Gwin, 45, homemaker, college graduate, mother of eight, 18-year resident, school volunteer aide, coach, team mom, unit commissioner of San Gabriel Valley Boy Scouts.

Believes in a positive approach to education; wants higher math and reading levels. She is dissatisfied with what board spends on administrative costs.


“They are gutting the program.”

J. Glenn Salter, 34, business owner, parent, working on double degree in business management and business administration.

Believes board needs a “fresh, bold point of view” and a business perspective, ability to negotiate on a professional level and help in starting visionary communication skills.

“I have never wanted to do anything more with my life than to do this.”

Ronald T. Bunte, 57, director of Children’s Services at Masonic Homes of California, 31 years as a secondary school teacher and administrator; has attended more than 300 board meetings in 25 years.

Believes there is “no greater advocate for children than a school board member.” Will guarantee reasoned decisions based on experience, research and judgment.

“We need more reading teachers and improved communication from the board to the taxpayer.”

Geoffrey Knight, 45, real estate broker, has four children in district schools, raised in Covina, seven years coaching youth athletic games, former Marine, on board of San Gabriel Valley YMCA.

Seeks the best possible education for students by “budgetary priority to attract and retain the highest-quality teachers, staff and equipment.” Opposes building performing arts center.

Josie Araiza, 18, college student, former student representative to the board, class senator, participated in weekly leadership meetings, interacted with parents, teachers and students with anti-drug, anti-gang and anti-racism rap sessions.

Believes she will add a new perspective as someone who has just gone through the system. Will involve the community in decision-making.

Brian A. Perkins, 33, former restaurant owner and manager currently seeking employment with the Los Angeles Police Department, parent and homeowner.

As a former business owner, he is aware of making decisions that affect others.

“I am truthful, honest and fair, and promise if elected, that I will do my best to represent the parents and students of this community.”

Hacienda La Puente Unified

2 seats

William L. (Bill) Torres, 68, 20-year incumbent, small-business franchise owner, semi-retired, has been business manager for several school districts.

Says he has spent most of his adult life working with young people; believes it is important to have continuity and uniformity of support for young programs.

“I think it is incumbent that I give it one more go.”

Manuel Maldonado, 38, grocery store manager, 22-year resident of La Puente, business degree with minor in teaching, has children in district schools, chairman of La Puente City Community Relations Committee, co-founder of the area’s soccer team and speaks Spanish.

Wants more certified teachers and educational resources, including libraries in all schools, and would alleviate overcrowding by opening new schools.

Robert Tsang, 46, international trade specialist, U.S. resident 26 years, chemical engineer, parent, active in PTA and committee to incorporate city, volunteer principal for Hacienda Heights Area Chinese School.

Wants to emphasize basic skills and synchronize standards districtwide, build respect for teachers; believes being an Asian will help “bring people together.”

Anita Perez, 53, sales manager, parent, 30-year resident, on boards of Chamber of Commerce women’s division, Sheriff’s Department’s Operation Courage, PTA and parent advisory committees.

Concerned about quality education; wants increased anti-drug and anti-gang programs, security around schools; would expand involvement of parents, teachers and classified employees in all decisions, including budget.

Sally Ann Holguin-Fallon, declined to state age, scholarship administrator, 35-year resident, member of county Legal Compliance Textbook Review Committee, former college instructor. Wants to establish fundamental, magnet, technical and alternative schools, to lower class sizes, establish a theater group and to include the corporate community in decision-making.

“Corporate executives never let their businesses go under.”

Norman Hsu, 66, Postal Service account representative, candidate last term, taught in Indonesia and Laos, U.S. resident since 1979, helps Asian immigrants assimilate, on board of Valley American Red Cross and United Way and Los Angeles Sheriff Cultural Awareness Committee.

Wants to bring school district spending under control, to build up communication between school board, community and students, and lower the dropout rate.

Kenneth R. (Ken) Manning, 40, 12-year incumbent, general contractor and real estate developer, has had two children in the system throughout his tenure, district chairman of Boy Scouts of America; member of Kiwanis, school booster club, Chamber of Commerce.

Wants to finish School District Asset Management Plan, Master Plan, work to end gang violence and keep district current and progressive. Will not seek another term.

Lisa M. Batistelli, 26, homemaker, former bank teller, parent, 18 years in area, bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Wants to improve communication between parents and the board and to get parents more involved; believes in students’ being taught “skills for everyday living,” such as balancing a checkbook, so students are “ready for life when they graduate.”

Pomona Unified

2 seats

Nancy J. McCracken, declined to state age, incumbent since 1982, president of the city Library Board; member of PTA, Cultural Arts Commission, Fundamental Schools Committee.

Believes district has been making great strides: The budget is balanced and has a 3% reserve, no cuts were made in the classroom; believes continuity is needed to ensure ability to obtain “desperately needed” facilities, including a district stadium.

Monte Moore, 37, firefighter, eight-year resident, parent, vice president of NAACP, representative for Washington-based Traditional Values Coalition.

Wants air-conditioned schools, safety on campus, relief from overcrowding, an upgraded curriculum, recruitment of minority teachers, retirement insurance for school employees.

“The board is not sensitive to the needs of the community.”

Brenda P. Engdahl, 50, board member four years and current president, travel agent, 20 years in the area, former instructional aide for district, elected to Diamond Bar Municipal Advisory Council; has worked for effective multicultural program.

“I am strongly committed to quality education for all kids.”

Rowland Unified

2 seats

Jerre Davenport, 62, homemaker, retired school district employee; chairwoman of Operation Safe Community coalition against drugs and crime; has three grandchildren in district schools.

Intends to increase communication and interaction among the board, the community and the schools and develop high-tech vocational programs with support from business partnerships.

“We need to send out into the world young people who are able to hold jobs.”

Pete Lamphere, 48, sales manager for lighting manufacturer, parent of three teen-agers, supports high school band, participated in Little League and PTA.

Wants to eliminate $8,000 fringe-benefits plan for board members; believes administrators should work 10 days a year as substitute teachers; supports three-term board limit.

“Before we take away from the kids, we need to take the lead and tighten our belts.”

Leland (Lee) McElhaney, 50, civil litigation attorney, raised $10,000 for Rowland Elementary School air-conditioning system, member of board’s Personnel Commission, a parent.

Wants to reconsider reduction of high school teaching staff; favors cuts in the administration rather than the classroom.

“Cuts in core curriculum should not have occurred.”

Phil Anderson, 57, incumbent.

Seeks to balance an $85-million school district budget and defeat Proposition 13, which California voters approved in 1978.

“I have to look out for individuals who are semi-retired or retired because (property values) will go up who knows how much.”

Joe Leon, 27, aerospace engineer, Rowland High School graduate.

Wants to eliminate drugs and gangs in schools.

“We’ve got gang violence, drug problems and a budget crisis impacting the entire state. I hope to eliminate drugs and help better students to go on to college.”

Robert J. Wilson, 45, incumbent, attorney, parent, past president of Yorbita Elementary School PTA, member of Nogales High School booster club and Operation Safe Community.

Wants to install more computers in classrooms and expand an existing guidance program to help “at-risk” students with “something like a Big Brother or Big Sister program.

“It would go a long way into guiding kids into education.”

San Marino Unified

1 seat

Robert Gayl, 42, real estate investor, parent, principal of Lake Arrowhead School in the Rim of the World School District, consultant for special education for Alta Loma School District.

Wants to continue installing computers in classrooms and modernizing facilities.

Robert Reed, 42, owns a swimming pool repair shop, parent, 12-year member of athletics staff at San Marino High School.

Seeks to increase enrollment in intermediate schools, mobilize the district’s approximately 10,000 high school graduates to donate money to the district, and hopes to save basic subjects, such as drama, math and English, from future budget cuts.

Bruce Rutherford, 40, real estate executive.

Endorses interdisciplinary teaching methods and smaller classes; seeks to expand the number of traditional academic subjects; wants to offer an elective foreign language program; suggests selling school assets or introducing a bond issue to pay for deferred maintenance.

“School districts have to learn how to depend on themselves.”

Selma Sax, 49, incumbent, homemaker, financial officer for a private business, parent, secondary schoolteacher and counselor for 10 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District, helped bring the district $500,000 through the Supplemental Grants Program.

Wants to continue role as a legislative advocate for the school board.

“The most effective advocate is the elected advocate.”

Fred Seares, 57, appointed incumbent, consultant for project management and business computer applications.

Wants to construct computer labs for different types of curriculum and modernize the district’s classrooms and buildings.

“Every school, every room needs some work.”

South Pasadena Unified

2 seats

Margaret Ann Abdalla, 49, incumbent, dental hygienist.

Wants to promote non-adversarial bargaining and seeks to develop the district-owned El Centro property, partially occupied by school district headquarters and a parking lot.

“I want to develop something that is mutually beneficial to the city and school district.”

Susan LaCombe, 46, incumbent, homemaker.

Wants to construct a computer lab at South Pasadena High School similar to the one at South Pasadena Middle School.

“We have high educational standards and students and their parents expect us to maintain those standards.”

Angel MaGaha, withdrew from the race.

Temple City Unified

3 Seats

Charlotte Bria, declined to state age, four-year incumbent, fourth-grade teacher at Loma Elementary School in the El Monte City School District.

Wants to improve academic standards and performance, maintain outstanding athletics, performing and fine arts programs.

Scott R. Norwood, 34, law office manager, 1975 Temple City High School graduate.

Believes “developing sources of revenue” is the biggest challenge the school district faces today; praises academic excellence fostered by current board.

“I’m looking forward to working with that team.”

Joan Vizcarra, 47, realtor, appointed incumbent in August, 30-year resident.

Wants to maintain stability on the board and a harmonious relationship between teachers and clerical employees and ease the transition of new Supt. Clint Taylor.

“The school district is on the brink of a new era of harmony, ushering in non-adversarial bargaining with employee groups and an improvement of academic standards and performance.

Wesley R. Wolfe, 36, member of the Oak Avenue Intermediate School Site Council, PTA member of Oak Avenue and Longden Elementary School, 1973 graduate of Temple City High School.

Wants to coordinate parents and other students in the “enormous task of educating non-English speaking children.”

Walnut Valley Unified

2 seats

Carol A. Herrera, 46, incumbent, supervisor at Puente Hills Mall, board member of La Puente Regional Occupation Program, member of the Los Angeles City Trustee Assn.

Seeks to assimilate the district’s culturally diverse students, who speak more than 50 languages, and lessen the difference in quality between schools.

“Some are high-powered and earn a lot of money. Others have lesser quality and quantity.”

Chris McPeak, 42, parent, special education teacher, treasurer for East Valley Women’s Club, on committee for San Gabriel Valley Regional Center, formerly on Pomona school board.

Seeks to continue program development and to increase academic standards despite budget cuts; wants to develop multicultural awareness through school events.

“We need to closely monitor the budget to achieve more and more with less and less dollars.”

Geoffry Novall, real estate agent; no further details available.

West Covina Unified

3 seats

Kenneth Chappell, 69, school board member 1962-68, parent, insurance agent, West Covina City Council member and mayor, 1968-88, retired U.S. Army major.

Wants to establish a cultural-sensitivity training program for teachers.

“Cultural diversity is happening more and more to our school district, and we need special instruction for teachers teaching those children.”

Joe Mount, 64, retired hydro-generation manager for the Southern California Edison Co.

Seeks to raise test scores and address the gang problem by involving parents in school activities.

“All through school, we need to get parents involved. We need a renewed emphasis on everybody.”

Elias Martinez, incumbent; no further details available.

Barney McBride, 64, retired special account supervisor for American Tobacco Co., participated in the Jack and Jill Family Education Workshop, Boy Scout Commissioner in Buffalo, N.Y., 1962-63.

Wants to improve employee morale and the district’s budget by monitoring expenses; wants to imbue students with a sense of caring.

“Let them enjoy their education. We have to let them know we care and they’re somebody.”

Mike Spence, 25, partner in a small public relations company, member of West Covina Fourth of July Celebration Planning Committee, co-director of the San Gabriel Valley Taxpayers’ Assn., Boy Scout counselor, university policies commissioner at UCLA.

Endorses a gang intervention and education program aimed at elementary school students, similar to DARE; advocates greater local control of the school district.