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Candidate lineups firm up in races for area school boards

COSTA MESA, JUNE 2, 2014 - Valters Lauzums, left, and Karen Hernadez cast their ballots at Mariners
Residents can cast their ballots in November for school district elections in area cities.
(File Photo)

The lists of area school board candidates were finalized this week by the Orange County registrar of voters office.

Here’s an overview of who will appear on local ballots in November:

For the record:
2:15 PM, Aug. 20, 2018 This article incorrectly stated that Ocean View Trustee , Patricia Singer is seeking reelection. In fact, she was appointed to her seat and is now seeking election.

Coast Community College District

For the first time, residents will elect trustees of the Coast Community College District by voting area. The five-member board governs Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Golden West College in Huntington Beach and Coastline College in Fountain Valley. Incumbent David Grant is running unopposed to represent trustee Area 5.


The candidates in Area 1 are:

  • Jim Moreno: 12-year veteran of the board of trustees and a retired Los Angeles County employee;
  • Dom Pham: legislative district representative.

Fountain Valley School District

Three candidates will be elected to the five-member board, which oversees seven elementary and three middle schools.

The candidates are:


  • Sandra Crandall: veteran school board member and former teacher;
  • Jim Cunneen: current school board president who is a business development manager and associate engineer at Group Delta, a geotechnical and environmental engineering firm;
  • Lisa Schultz: school board member who serves on the board of the Fountain Valley Schools Foundation;
  • Jennifer Weimer: parent and engineer.

Huntington Beach City School District

The five-member board has three seats up for a vote, with board Vice President Shari Kowalke and trustee Paul Morrow seeking reelection to four-year terms.

The district comprises two middle schools and seven elementary schools.

The candidates are:

  • Karrie Burroughs: retired teacher who ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2016;
  • Jennifer Hayden: attorney and parent;
  • Shari Kowalke: board member appointed in 2011 and elected in 2014 who has volunteered with the PTA at district schools;
  • Diana Marks: retired teacher;
  • Paul Morrow: board member elected in 2014 who was principal at Marina High School for nine years and was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame’s Honor Roll in 2005.

Huntington Beach Union High School District

Three members will be elected to the five-member board, which governs six comprehensive high schools and three continuation high schools in Huntington Beach, Westminster and Fountain Valley.

The candidates are:

  • Bonnie Castrey: board member with a long career in dispute resolution;
  • Duane Dishno: board member and former superintendent of elementary, high school and unified school districts;
  • Saul Edward Lankster: criminal justice professor who ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2016;
  • Martin Salgado: English instructor at Cerritos College who attended the Ocean View and Huntington Beach Union High school districts;
  • Diana Lee Carey: former junior high and high school principal in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and former life sciences teacher in the Huntington Beach Union High School District.

Laguna Beach Unified School District


Three members will be elected to the five-member board, which governs four schools.

The candidates are:

  • Carol Normandin: board member who ran an executive search firm for 13 years;
  • Dee Perry: board member and former special-education teacher and speech pathologist;
  • Christine De Bretteville: parent and employment attorney with One LLP;
  • James Kelly: former president of Menlo College and the National Assn. of Social Workers.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District

Trustees will be chosen by voters in the areas they live in instead of by voters throughout the school district. The adjustment, approved in October, is intended to make the trustee zones more equal in population and to settle a lawsuit.

The seven-member board governs 32 schools in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

The candidates for four available seats are:

Area 2

Includes College Park, Davis Magnet, Paularino and Sonora elementary schools, plus Costa Mesa Middle School and Costa Mesa High School.


  • Charlene Metoyer: board member elected in 2014 who was an educator at district schools from 1988 to 2012;
  • Michelle Murphy: school site council member for Woodland Elementary School.

Area 4

Includes Anderson, Harbor View, Lincoln and Newport Coast elementary schools

  • Gina Nick: owner of a medical practice in Newport Beach, a former president of the California Naturopathic Doctors Assn.;
  • Karen Yelsey: 12-year trustee who held the title of board president for three of those years.

Area 5

Includes Newport Harbor High, Ensign Intermediate and Newport Elementary schools

  • Michelle Barto: Newport Beach small-business owner and president of the Newport Heights Elementary School PTA;
  • Paul Hillson: small-businessman and parent.

Retired businesswoman Kate Malouf suspended her campaign Tuesday, saying she wanted to put her family first. Malouf said she would continue volunteering at her children’s schools.
Longtime trustee Judy Franco announced in October she would not seek reelection after serving on the board since 1980. Franco will complete her time on the panel in December.

Area 7

Includes Pomona, Rea, Victoria, Whittier and Wilson Elementary schools

  • Ashley Anderson: education initiative director at Trellis, a local nonprofit, who also is part of the Newport Mesa Schools Foundation and the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce Education Committee;
  • Bertha Rodriguez: tax preparer and parent;
  • Diane “Dee Dee” RuoRock: real estate broker who serves on the PTA and site council at Victoria Elementary School.

Trustee Walt Davenport, who has served on the board about 10 years, said he would not seek reelection because he has “been there long enough.”
Ocean View School District

Voters will select three candidates to serve four-year terms on the five-member board. Trustees John Briscoe and Jack Souders are seeking reelection. Trustee Patricia Singer, who was appointed, is seeking election to the seat.

Ocean View consists of two preschools, 11 elementary schools and four middle schools in Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Midway City and Westminster.

The candidates are:

  • John Briscoe: board member elected in 2006 who also is a marketing instructor at Cal State Long Beach and is seeking the 47th Congressional District seat in November;
  • Kate Holmes: community volunteer;
  • Patricia Singer: board member appointed in March after trustee Joseph Gaglione resigned, a real estate broker and president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Lake View Elementary School;
  • Jack Souders: current board president who was elected in 2014 and began his teaching career in the Long Beach Unified School District in 2000;
  • Gracey Van Der Mark: businesswoman who came under fire in April after reportedly making a post about “colored people” with a video she uploaded to YouTube in 2017.

Priscella Vega is a Daily Pilot staff writer. Daniel Langhorne is a contributor to Times Community News.

Twitter: @vegapriscella