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Election 2018: Meet the candidates for Fountain Valley School District board

Fountain Valley School District candidates, from left in each row: Sandra Crandall and Jim Cunneen (top row) and Lisa Schultz and Jennifer Weimer.
(Courtesy photos)

Voters will choose three candidates from a pool of four for the Fountain Valley School District board of trustees.

Incumbents Sandra Crandall, Jim Cunneen and Lisa Schultz are seeking reelection Nov. 6. Candidate Jennifer Weimer is the only newcomer challenging for a seat on the five-member board.

The district contains seven elementary and three middle schools.

The Daily Pilot sent a questionnaire to all the candidates to get a better idea of who they are, why they’re running and what issues they feel are most pressing. Some responses have been edited for formatting, brevity or clarity.


Schultz did not respond.

Sandra Crandall

Age: 70

Professional occupation: Retired teacher of lower primary grades for 39 years in Fountain Valley School District

Education: Bachelor of Arts in sociology, minor in education, teaching credential with specialty in early childhood education


Time lived in the district: 24 years

Neighborhood in which you live, and how long you’ve lived there: Mariposa, 24 years

Public service, activism and volunteerism: Fountain Valley School District board, 2010 to present; Fountain Valley Community Foundation Activities Committee; Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center volunteer; National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation

Immediate family members: Husband Larry Crandall, son Mark McCollom, stepdaughters Erica Bauer and Jillian Clausi, four grandchildren

What are the three issues you believe are the most important facing the district and why?

1. Communicate frequently and with transparency with parents and the community during implementation of state-driven compliance issues. This is important, as many decisions are being taken out of the realm of local control.

2. Maintain a fiscally sound budget in order to deliver high-quality instruction in light of the rising costs of pensions and doing business. This is important to sustain quality programs, high-quality staff and safe and clean facilities for the long term for all our students.

3. Deliver our modernization projects at all 10 schools on time and within budget. This is important because the taxpayers opened up their wallets to fund, after 50 years, the modernization of our schools, including installing air conditioning, and they are owed a complete and quality project.


Jim Cunneen

Age: 50

Professional occupation: California-licensed civil engineer; business development manager for Group Delta Consultants Inc.

Education: Juris doctor

Time lived in the district: 25 years

Neighborhood in which you live, and how long you’ve lived there: Rancho Mesa, 23 years

Public service, activism and volunteerism: Fountain Valley Planning Commission; Fountain Valley Community Foundation; Fountain Valley Community Housing and Development; Cox Elementary School Site Council; Fountain Valley Rotary Club; Knights of Columbus, Holy Spirit Catholic Church

Immediate family members: Wife Mimi, children Dominic, Delaney, Delilah, Dahlia and Daniel

What are the three issues you believe are the most important facing the district and why?


1. Safety: Keeping students and staff safe on campus in an era of increased violence has received increased focus and attention. Our district will be convening a new Safe Schools Task Force this fall that will be charged with all aspects of student safety, including positive school/work culture, safe physical environments, training and mental health.

2. Spending: As school modernization has begun at multiple campuses, diligent and watchful spending of precious school dollars, including the community contribution from the Measure O school bond, is important to maintain good fiscal health. As FVSD is not a district that receives much additional Local Control Funding Formula funding beyond the base, coupled with increasing STRS and PERS contributions annually, we must stretch revenue and continue to be creative in generating alternative streams of income from steady sources, such as our Fund 40 account from past surplus property sales.

3. Scores: FVSD students have been well-prepared and have performed increasingly better each year on the California standards testing for English language arts and math, in addition to science and classroom performance. However, our district continues to make learning for all kids a top priority with more and much earlier academic rigor, such as reading in the early kindergarten stages.

Lisa Schultz

Did not respond.

Jennifer Weimer

Age: 43

Professional occupation: Process safety engineer for Chevron

Education: Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering, Cal Poly Pomona

Time lived in the district: Almost 12 years

Neighborhood in which you live, and how long you’ve lived there: Did not answer

Public service, activism and volunteerism: West Orange County Consortium for Special Education Community Advisory Committee; Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee for Measure O; Hope United Methodist Church (Torrance) finance chairwoman

Immediate family members: Husband Bruce, daughter Erin, son Jeremy

What are three issues you believe are the most important facing the district and why?

1. Safety: Ensure that preventive measures (mental health, counseling) are instituted along with administrative and physical deterrent systems.

2. Community engagement: Advertise the district needs to the residents and attract involvement. A strong community will help alleviate safety concerns and allow time for teachers to train and the children to learn in a better environment.

3. Effective use of Universal Design for Learning: This would allow for more-inclusive classrooms for special-needs students as well as increase learning for all levels of children, including English-language learners and gifted students.

Twitter: @vegapriscella