New Member Joins District School Board

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The biggest challenge for the Los Alamitos Unified School District may be readjusting to life without the Orange County High School of the Arts, according to the district's newest board member.

"The biggest thing right now is to resolve the process of OCHSA leaving," said Robert Haub, 60, who was voted in to the school board last week. "There's going to be a lot of adjustments."

The Seal Beach resident said any time there's a change, there's a period of transition. He added that other board members are also concerned about the school's move to Santa Ana in the fall. School board member Del Clark agreed.

"OCHSA was a very unique program and that uniqueness really gave the rest of our arts program a tremendous boost," Clark said. "It won't be exactly as it was but it's not as if the entire arts program will be collapsing because they are gone."

Haub, who put four of his six children through the schools in the district, said one daughter was involved with the arts school when it was still a fledgling program under its current Principal Ralph Opacic. He is proud of the successes of the school district and said the academic programs are comparable to a private education.

Haub's other priorities include the phonics reading for the primary grades and ensuring that the mathematics program stays strong at all levels.

After two interviews and a public candidates' forum last week, his candor and past experience in business and finances impressed the previously all-female board.

"Bob brings balance to our board and he has a history of a relationship with our district," Clark said. She added that all the candidates were strong, however, and had to field some difficult and technical questions.

After 27 years of working in the regulatory policy and affairs division of Southern California Edison, Haub retired but remains active as a part-time instructor in the business program with the University of Phoenix.

Ana Cholo-Tipton can be reached at (714) 966-5890.

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