Special election 2021: San Dieguito Area 5 candidates share their views

SDUHSD’s Area 5 election will be held Nov. 2.
(File photo)

Tuesday, Nov. 2 will be election day in San Dieguito Union High School District’s Area 5, which includes the neighborhoods of Carmel Valley and Pacific Highlands Ranch. Every active registered voter residing in the area will receive a ballot in the mail to cast their vote.

Below, in alphabetical order, the three candidates Julie Bronstein, Ty Humes and Lea Wolf responded to questions in their own words.

Julie Bronstein

Julie Bronstein

Why are you running to represent Area 5?
I’m running to represent Area 5 because I care deeply about our students and want to ensure their success in all aspects of their academic experience including their classroom instruction, extracurriculars, and mental health. If elected, I’ll listen, work hard, and bring a positive and collaborative approach to solving the problems facing our schools.

I’m a parent with two students currently enrolled at schools in our district, a dedicated community and school volunteer, and a volunteer advisor with the Autism Tree Project Foundation. I also serve as V.P. of the development committee on the board of the Canyon Crest Academy Foundation, and have volunteered in many capacities at our schools. Professionally, I work at UC San Diego as executive director of development for health sciences. With my master’s degree in public administration from USC, I have a strong educational and governance background suited for this leadership role.

What do you see as the biggest issues facing San Dieguito?
The San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) is widely considered to be the best school district in San Diego County. On the School Board, I will work hard every day to ensure our schools remain great by continuing to invest in technology, ensuring the best possible teachers and principals are working in our schools, and employing best practices to guide curriculum.

COVID-19 is another issue that has caused much debate in public education. If elected to the School Board, I’ll listen and bring parents together focused on finding solutions that ensure the best academic outcomes for our students, and prioritize the health of our students, teachers, and staff.

We have also seen our students’ mental health impacted by a variety of factors including COVID-19, social media and academic pressure. I am keenly focused on ensuring that the mental health needs of our students are addressed in a comprehensive manner.

What do you think you can bring to this board as a trustee?
We live in an incredible community with truly wonderful schools. As a mom, an education advocate, and a non-profit leader, I will use my experience to support our students, parents, and teachers to ensure that we are giving our children the best education possible. This is a critical time for our schools, and I will work with all stakeholders to support the success of our students

I care about all 13,000 students in SDUHSD and am committed to helping them succeed. I’m a collaborative problem solver who will look for innovative ways to ensure our district remains the best in San Diego County. In addition, I offer a unique skill set gained from my career and service background that will enable me to make a meaningful impact in protecting and enhancing the quality of public education in SDUHSD.

Ty Humes

Ty Humes

Why are you running to represent Area 5?
I am running to represent Area 5 because I not only believe but wholeheartedly know that my 15-year residency and comprehensive involvement in the educational system and community allow me to provision unparalleled leadership for an area that has been wholly underrepresented since the inception of the area designation in the district.

What do you see as the biggest issues facing San Dieguito?
The biggest issues that I see facing San Dieguito are as follows.

- Lack of vision and subsequent management of integrating the needs of a district that operates in silos as opposed to one entity.

- Complete failure to lead all stakeholders to the table to acknowledge, address and implement a scalable model that centers on students/families.

- No viable plan in place to fully give parents a seat at the table to preview, review and work with educators on the following.

- Curriculum

- Social issues/public policy concerns

- Diversity and inclusion outside of North County lens

What do you think you can bring to this board as a trustee?
I can bring true leadership to this board as the only candidate who actually has had to address, work with and solve the acrimonious environment that is currently permeating our district. My American journey is extremely unique and has allowed me to gain the experience of addressing and solving problems in diverse environments where I am usually the minority. What this means to the voter is that they are not going to continue to get the same profile that they have had for 86 years. My DMUSD experience, which represents 87% of Area 5, is the summation that I can and will bring not only Area 5 but the district together. I am a healer with experience in the educational spectrum in our community.

Lea Wolf

Lea Wolf

Why are you running to represent Area 5?

It is difficult to sit back and watch the endless power struggles and political infighting on the San Dieguito Union High School District Board of Trustees. This conflict robs the students of an enriched educational experience due to irresponsible leadership.

My goal is to ensure students of better educational opportunities, develop mental health programs, engage parents in the process, and implement systems to increase transparency and accountability of financial resources.

Our community needs the strong voice of a trustee that will refocus the district’s attention on improving the whole student educational experience, rather than the whims of the teachers union and other special interest groups. There needs to be periodic reviews of schools officials and administrators to ensure that their fiduciary responsibilities to the students, parents and taxpayers are being fulfilled.

Please check my website to find more about my professional background at vote4lea.org

What do you see as the biggest issues facing San Dieguito?

2020-2021 has been a time of intense controversy stemming from political agendas and special interest groups that are corrupting our school systems and hurting our students, taxpayers, and the community.

Here’s how I plan to stop the infighting, bring people together and refocus the district’s attention on student achievement — where it belongs:

- Form committees to increase parental input in decision making

- Implement programs to develop life skills such as critical thinking, resilience and character, decision making, conflict resolutions and more

- Allocate funds to strengthen student mental health programs

- Promote Civic Studies, citizenship responsibilities, and diversity, inclusion, and equal access

- Implement systems to increase financial and administrative transparency

- Demand fiscal and administrative accountability

- Keep schools open with safety measures

- Support parents’ right with pediatrician approval, to make mask and vaccine choices

- Oppose CRT (Critical Race Theory)

What do you think you can bring to this board as a trustee?

As a 21-year, active resident of this district and the parent of a SDUHSD graduate, the author of educational reform programs, which has been recognized globally, and as a SDUHSD volunteer and advocate for students and their families, I can bring broad experience and a successful leadership record to the board. My projects and initiatives are a proven record and expertise to bring a successful leadership record to the board.

As a co-founder of letsspeakup.org, I have a proven record of educating and advocating for students’ rights and well-being. As a co-founder of ICIARA, Inc (ICIARA.com), we’ve been on the forefront developing an integrative solution of technology and educational reform programs where each stakeholder acts responsibly and is held accountable to their roles.

Already being a voice for children and creator of innovative solutions for accountability make me a prime candidate for the trustee position.

Please check my website vote4lea.org or email EmpowerStudents@Vote4Lea.org

Those who wish to vote in-person, can do so at the Registrar of Voters office (5600 Overland Avenue), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.