By Karen Billing
On Dec. 19, new Del Mar Union School District board member Alan Kholos will take his seat at the table. As he ran unopposed there was no need for an election.
Kholos said he wants to serve on the board because he believes in the importance of education and community service.
“From an education perspective I am lucky to be in a family where a love of lifelong education has always been an important value,” he said going back to a quote on the wall of Royce Hall at his alma mater UCLA: (paraphrased) “Education is learning to use the tools that the human race has found indispensable.”
From the community service perspective, Kholos’ father had a 33-year career in the Air Force and Kholos followed his path, serving as an officer in the Air Force. Kholos worked for federal courts as a lawyer in Los Angeles before moving to San Diego. His wife, Tina, is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in public health.
“We want to show our children that education and community service are very important and the best way to do that is to be part of it,” Kholos said.
The Kholos family has lived in San Diego since 1999. Kholos works as the assistant general counsel for CareFusion Corporation in Torrey Hills, a company that provides critical care medical device products for intravenous infusion and respiratory therapy. Tina worked at Ocean Air School as a health aide technician for six years until stepping away last month. Their children, Cameron and Carly, are in the sixth and fourth grade at Ocean Air School.
Kholos first started thinking about running for the school board two years ago.
“I was very concerned with what I perceived as instability. There was a lot of nervousness; parents didn’t seem happy and staff seemed unsettled and people were asking a lot of questions about governance,” Kholos said.
He said he believes that the district has changed since then and has become more stable, but he still wanted to be a part of the district’s leadership.
Kholos said everybody on the board brings technical skills from their background, whether it’s an educational, business or legal background—the key is striking the right balance. He believes he will fit in well and can bring technical skills in finance and governance.
Kholos also believes he can effectively represent the community’s interests on issues that the district brings before the board.
Kholos has already spent time with district superintendent Holly McClurg to get a handle on the responsibilities of the board and the “general cadence” of the board meetings. Next week, Kholos is attending the California School Boards Association conference for new board members and he has already started the process of meeting with members of various district staff departments to learn about different elements of the district—he is starting with finance.
In joining the board, Kholos sees money as being the biggest challenge the district will face.
“We face less than certain economic times and that impacts the revenue available to our district,” Kholos said. “Part of the equation is understanding that better and finding creative ways to get the resources the district needs to be successful.”
He said it’s important to really look at how to allocate money most effectively.
“Prioritization is always the toughest thing to tackle,” Kholos said. “I hope we can work together to have productive dialogue on our priorities and with experts in the district in setting those priorities.”
While there is work to be done and Kholos said he is up to the task, he said the community is very lucky to have a strong district with solid schools. Quality teaching and giving children the best education possible are things he believes the district does well.
“The primary mission no one would doubt or question is that we have the highest level of professional education for the children in the community,” Kholos said. “We have engaged parents and all the indications, whether they’re objective like API scores or the general reviews the district gets, are that we have a very, very successful district.”