Meet the Solana Beach School District board candidate: Julie Union

Three candidates are vying for two open seats on the Solana Beach School District Board of Education in the Nov. 6 election: Richard Leib (incumbent), James Summers and Julie Union. Below are candidate photos, bios and answers to two questions given to them by this newspaper. Solana Santa Fe Elementary School in Rancho Santa Fe is located in this district.

Name: Julie Union

Years living in the Solana Beach School District:

15 years


•Community Volunteer (1997-present)

•Small Business Owner (1995-2002) Treasured Moments Photography

•Senior Account Manager (1988-1995) Creative Promotional Services

•Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University

Community activities:

•Parent Teacher Association (PTA):

Vice President of Volunteers, Solana Pacific (2012-present)

President, Carmel Creek (2010-2012)

Chairman, International Potluck and Performances (2008-2011)

Vice President of Volunteers, Carmel Creek (2008-2009)

Yearbook Chairman (2004-2005)

•Girl Scouts: Regional/Local Troop Leader (1997- present)

•Athletic Team Liaison, Canyon Crest Academy Foundation (2006-2010)

•Carmel Valley/Del Mar Youth Soccer Supporter (1997-present)

1.) What do you think are the biggest issues facing the Solana Beach School district?

Fiscal Planning:

While the Solana Beach School District has been exceptionally well run by district leadership with the foresight to prepare for this economic downturn by keeping reserves, these reserves are limited. The SBSD is a Basic Aid District which is dependent on property values that are very slowly recovering. The state government is pinning its hopes on the November passage of Proposition 30. The SBSD wants to hope for the best but will need to prepare for the worst. My goals will be to keep our fiscal house in order with a focus on the future.

Technology Implementation:

The traditional ways students learn and teachers educate are changing...rapidly. In the future, paper tests with fill in bubbles and bound textbooks will be replaced by specialized tests on school computers and online books. The implementation of technology in our classrooms is imperative in our 21st century learning environment. During the September 2012 school board meeting, Dr. Nancy Lynch reported that the SBSD has 2,980 students and 1,230 iPads. My goals will be to maximize technology in a fiscally responsible manner, and to also work closely with parents to bridge the home-school technology learning curve.

Facilities Master Planning:

The SBSD has the oldest school and the newest school in our general area. Part of the district office and Child Development Center (CDC) preschool in Solana Beach was originally built in the 1930s. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a new school will be opening in the fall of 2014 in the Pacific Highlands Ranch community. In between the oldest and newest, the SBSD has six schools built between the 1970s and 1990s. Infrastructure, layout design, maintenance, and construction priorities will be issues to be decided upon as the long-range vision and master plan is developed. My goals will be to integrate the needs of the entire district and represent the whole.

2.) Do you have any suggestions as to how the biggest issue in your answer for #1 should be addressed by the board?

While sound financial planning is a critical issue, it is only one of the many important issues to be addressed by the SBSD board. By keeping the focus on “what is best for the kids” in all decisions made, the board will achieve the goal of providing the best educational opportunities for all Solana Beach School District students. If elected, I would look forward to joining the school board in their following of the California School Board Association (CSBA) responsibilities: supporting the superintendent and support staff, developing long-term vision and facilities master plans, overseeing curriculum and budget priorities, and ensuring accountability to the public. I believe my experience as a school and community leader coupled with my business background uniquely qualifies me for this position. Email:; Website: