CONEJO VALLEY SCHOOLS
Six candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for two seats in the Conejo Valley Unified School District board race, where the hot issues are finding space for students in an era or smaller classes and growing enrollment. Increasing the district's responsiveness to parents is also a key concern.
Dorothy L. Beaubien
Occupation: School trustee, retired teacher
Education: Bachelor's degree in English from Beloit College in Wisconsin and a master's degree in school administration from University of La Verne
Background: An English teacher for 31 years, Beaubien taught for 26 years in Ventura County. She has lived in the Conejo Valley for 35 years and is active in the California School Boards Assn. and the area Chamber of Commerce.
Issues: A supporter of the popular state initiative to shrink class size for young students, Beaubien favors expanding facilities to fit the smaller classes. She also advocates expanding school technology while pushing a phonics reading program. School choice and zero-tolerance for drugs are among her priorities.
Occupation: School board trustee, homemaker, bookkeeper
Education: Bachelor's of business education from UCLA and graduate work at UCLA, USC and Cal Lutheran
Background: During her 33 years in the Conejo Valley, Didio has participated in the Ventura County School Boards Assn., the California Assn. of Suburban School Districts and the PTAs at Westlake High and Meadows Elementary.
Issues: Finding the space to accommodate the Conejo Valley's growth and the class size reduction movement are among Didio's top concerns. She also backs programs that provide career opportunities for all students, such as school-to-work.
Paul F. Finman
Occupation: Electrical engineer
Education: Bachelor's degree in physics from MIT and a master's degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford
Background: Finman has been active in United We Stand and the Young Republicans over the last decade. He volunteered at a children's fair for the Ventura County Discovery Center and has volunteered his computer expertise to various schools. Finman has been active in the Maple Elementary School PTA.
Issues: Hoping to counteract what he deems a bureaucratic approach to schooling, Finman advocates accommodating parents more by allowing them to select an individualized curriculum. To that end, he favors expanding the independent study program.
Debra J. Lorier
Occupation: Homemaker, businesswoman
Education: Bachelor's in business and economics from Westmont College
Background: For the last seven years, Lorier has been involved in a number of school groups, including the PFA and site councils. She has also been a classroom volunteer.
Issues: Lorier supports a phonics-based reading program and an abstinence-based sex education program. She also espouses the creation of more charter and fundamental schools and allowing parents more choice in where their children attend school. She does not support raising taxes to support such reforms.
Occupation: Lutheran minister
Education: Diploma, Seminario Concordia in Brazil. Master's of divinity and doctorate of theology from the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis
Background: A Newbury Park resident for a decade, Reimnitz has been active in Casas Las Sendas Homeowners Assn., the Cypress Elementary site council and the American Youth Soccer Organization. He is pastor of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks.
Issues: Back-to-basics education and reducing class size top Reimnitz's priorities. He also advocates more local control of schools in terms of curriculum and the distribution of scarce tax dollars. Reimnitz favors putting more district resources into the classroom and providing "fair teacher salaries."
Charles E. Rittenburg
Education: Bachelor's degree in science from George Washington University and one year toward a master's in criminal justice
Background: A Newbury Park resident for 11 years, Rittenburg's four children have all attended Conejo Valley schools. He has been active in school site councils, band boosters and the PTA at Sequoia Intermediate School. A retired U.S. Army Reserve major, Rittenburg works for Northrup Grumman.
Issues: Emphasizing technology and giving students a strong grounding in the basics of reading and mathematics are top priorities to Rittenburg. He also believes the school board would be more accessible to parents if meetings were broadcast on the educational TV channel.