Meet the candidates

Compiled by Karen Billing

On Nov. 4, San Dieguito Union School District members can vote on the two seats up for election on the five-person board of trustees. Three candidates are running to fill the positions, including the current board president Beth Hergesheimer, the current vice president Joyce Dalessandro and newcomer Michael Klein, a dentist from Encinitas. Here is a look at the candidates:

Beth Hergesheimer
Beth Hergesheimer is currently board president of the San Dieguito Union High School District. She is a 13-year San Diego resident.

Q: What about this district makes it stand out?
A: Our students are high performing, our parents are involved, our teachers are highly qualified, and our staff is committed to doing their jobs well. Our board is passionate about doing right by our students. All facets of the district really want to work together, and I think our results and reputation reflect this.

Q: What do you feel are the biggest issues facing the school district?
Fair and adequate state funding is a key issue for the public school system. Ongoing state budget concerns and under-funded state and federally mandated programs are additional financial burdens that require our district continue to be fiscally frugal, keeping money as close to the classroom as possible while continuing to seek more stable and equitable funding. The current State fiscal situation has required ever more diligence by our district regarding budget, expenditures, and programs. There is still much to be accomplished and there are many challenges to face.

Q: What can you bring to the board as a member?
A: I bring four years of experience, including completing the California School Board Association’s Masters in Governance Program. I also believe that my human resources experience is valuable, as a school district is really a very human resources-intense enterprise. Lastly, I have always been able to ask good questions and synthesize information well, and will put my full efforts into making the best decisions possible for all of the students, families and residents of our district.

Q: If elected, do you have the time to devote to issues facing the district?
A: Absolutely. I believe one of my strengths is the time I devote to being available to district families and present at school and district events. I hope to increase my involvement in representing our district to our legislators as we work through state and district budgetary issues.

Human resources in hospital, manufacturing and engineering settings

School District experience:
Flora Vista Elementary Health and Safety chairperson, PTA president, pre-school advisory committee member and San Dieguito Union High School District member since 2004.

Children in District:
Two sons attended district schools and another is currently enrolled in the district.

Michael Klein
Michael Klein, a 13-year Encinitas resident is seeking a seat on the San Dieguito Union High School District board for the first time.

Q: What about this district makes it stand out?
A: Its continued success in academics.

Q: What do you feel are the biggest issues facing the school district?
A: I feel that the district needs to be more transparent. The school district was over budget on the construction of Canyon Crest High School and numbers will prove that. In North County, the La Costa Valley property issue is a viable issue that needs to be addressed better by the school district.

Q: What can you bring to the board as a member?
A: My success in business will enable me to bring that same success to the school district in dealing with budget issues in these tough times for now and in the future. I will strive to answer the needs of our children because their success is paramount.

Q: If elected, do you have the time to devote to issues facing the district?
A: Absolutely. As in my own business I always tackle problems head on and in a timely manner. I strive to be n active participant in the community and therefore would always make the time to devote to issues facing the district.

Dentist with office in Encinitas.

Public service experience:
Encinitas Chamber of Commerce president from 2006 to 2008. Member of the board of Class Act, a public-private partnership that brings the arts into classrooms. Served as Class-Act president from 2003 to 2007.

Children in District:
Daughter Rebecca attends Oak Crest Middle School; son Joshua is a sophomore at La Costa Canyon High School.

Joyce Dalessandro
Joyce Dalessandro, a 33-year Del Mar resident is completing her third term as San Dieguito Union School District board vice-president.

Q: What about this district makes it stand out?
A: The San Dieguito Union High School District is the lowest funded High School District in the county and the fifth lowest funded in the state. That usually comes as a great surprise to many people – mostly because our achievements do not reflect our funding challenges. What makes this district stand out is that we are among the highest achieving districts in the state and nation. The partnership among the board, administration, teachers, staff and community is unique. We work together, with a united purpose, to provide choice and opportunity and a rigorous and relevant education to every single student in our schools.

Q: What do you feel are the biggest issues facing the school district?
A: Every year, because of the funding model for schools in the state of California, the budget is one of our biggest issues. This year the budget stands alone as the foremost issue with which we will wrestle. We have had tough times before and have, through careful oversight and forward thinking, weathered many bad budgets.

We are very conservative with regard to our expenditures, maximizing our dollars in every way that we can, planning very carefully for the future and keeping every dollar as close to the classroom as possible. We are at the cutting edge of community partnerships and shared use agreements, we bring in millions of dollars in grants and matching funds, we have cost-cutting measures in place in every department in every school. Our parent foundations are second to none in providing so many extras that we would not otherwise afford.

Q: What can you bring to the board as a member?
A: I bring my extensive background, experience, time, energy, and problem solving skills to the board to keep us on the path of innovation and excellence. My commitment is to ensure that every single student receives the highest quality education available.

Q: If elected, do you have the time to devote to issues facing the district?
A: My position as a member of the San Dieguito Union High School District Board of Trustees is my full time job. My commitment to this district is proven; I devote many hours each week toward its strength and success.

School district experience:
Past president of the Torrey Pines High School PTA, served on the district Strategic Planning Committee, served on the Torrey Pines Site Council and was founding member of the Torrey Pines High School Foundation and was president of business fundraising in its early years. Member of Dollars for Scholars board and currently reviews applications and conducts student interviews. She was elected to the school board in 1996.

Children in District:
Two daughters graduated from Torrey Pines.

Related posts:

  1. Wanted: More female candidates
  2. Interim principal named for Del Mar Hills
  3. School district begins search for a new home
  4. Hills principal gets new local post
  5. Local Listing

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Posted by on Oct 16, 2008. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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