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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Ballot and voting information for San Diego County.
This is an archive of a past election.

Board MemberDel Mar Union Elementary School DistrictNovember 8, 2016California General Election

School
November 8, 2016California General Election

Del Mar Union Elementary School DistrictBoard Member

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Governing Board Member, Del Mar Union School District
10,624 votes (44.56%)Winning
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  • EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION: Continue providing an unparalleled education. Our curriculum teaches critical thinking and problem-solving, which results in top test scores for our kids and preserves property values for all.
  • FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: Ensure we continue the budget discipline that will keep our District strong over the long term. We have maintained a BALANCED BUDGET with HEALTHY RESERVES while preserving class sizes.
  • EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE: Continue working productively with our strong and cohesive Board of Trustees. We represent multiple perspectives and professions, but we are committed to collaboration and getting the best results.
Profession:Governing Board Member, DMUSD; Past PTA President; Mother of 3 children (ages 4, 8 & 10)
Governing Board Member, Del Mar Union School District — Elected position (2015current)
Chief Operating Officer, Investment Banking Services, Goldman, Sachs & Co. (20012008)
Director of Public Affairs, Presidio Trust, San Francisco (19981999)
Public Affairs Associate, GCA (19961998)
AmeriCorps Member, Partners in School Innovation (19951996)
Columbia Business School MBA, Finance (2001)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill BA, Journalism & Political Science (1995)
PTA President, Del Mar Heights School (20122014)
Strategic Planning Committee, DMUSD (20132014)
Founder, Baby & Toddler Playgroups, Del Mar Foundation (20132014)
Volunteer of the Year, Del Mar Heights School (20122013)
Facilities Planning Committee, DMUSD (20122013)
  • All Current DMUSD School Board Trustees
  • Del Mar California Teachers Association
  • Current and Former County Supervisors representing Del Mar and Carmel Valley, Dave Roberts and Pam Slater-Price
  • Doug Rafner, President and Trustee, Del Mar Union School District Governing Board
  • Dave Roberts, County Supervisor representing Del Mar and Carmel Valley (District 3)
  • Kristin Gibson, Board Clerk and Trustee, Del Mar Union School District Governing Board
  • Scott Wooden, Trustee and Former President, Del Mar Union School District Governing Board
  • Pam Slater-Price, Former County Supervisor representing Del Mar and Carmel Valley (District 3)
  • Carolyn Perkins, Community Volunteer and Widow of Doug Perkins, Former DMUSD School Board Member
  • Jill MacDonald, Former Solana Beach School Board Member and Former President, Del Mar Foundation
  • Dee Rich, Former Trustee, DMUSD & SDUHSD
  • Alan Kholos, Former Trustee, Del Mar Union School District Governing Board
  • Comischell Bradley-Rodriguez, Former Board President, Del Mar Union School District Governing Board
  • Mary Farrell, Civic Leader
  • Kate Takahashi, Former PTA President, Carmel Del Mar School
  • Sandra Hoyle, Former PTA President, Del Mar Hills School
  • Kate Lampe, Former PTA President, Del Mar Heights School
  • Robert & Muffie Knox, Community Members
  • Suzanne Hall, Former DMSEF Board Member, Torrey Hills
  • Aimee Smith, Former DMSEF Board Member, Del Mar Heights
  • Neil Duhamel, Sage Canyon Parent
  • Ty Humes, Ocean Air Parent
  • Lori Laroque, Business Owner and Ashley Falls Parent
  • Lani Curtis, Former PTA Executive VP, Del Mar Heights School
1.
Funding to Schools

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?

Answer from Erica Halpern:

The new law requires the District to incorporate community input on our priorities.  Happily, we have been doing that for five years since the development of our Strategic Plan process.  This plan is updated annually during a comprehensive series of meetings and working groups.  One priority is featured monthly in public board meetings with a full progress report and discussion.

Transparency is a cornerstone of good governance.  Our board has focused on community engagement and providing clear, accessible information about our budget and priorities.

1.
Plan of Action

What is the most significant challenge facing the Del Mar Union School District, and if you are elected, what steps will you take to address it?

Answer from Erica Halpern:

Our elementary school kids get an EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION, and we do it with a BALANCED BUDGET and HEALTHY RESERVES.  Learning in our classrooms has never been better.  Sustaining top-notch instruction requires rigorous fiscal management, which must remain our focus.

In contrast to most school districts, our funding comes mostly from local property taxes rather than the state.  That means we have more dollars per student, and we are able to provide an unrivaled level of instruction.  It also means that if property tax revenue goes down, our revenue goes down with it.

It is critical that we retain sufficient financial reserves so that in a downturn we can PRESERVE CLASS SIZES, RETAIN our highly-trained TEACHERS, and MAINTAIN OUR PROPERTY VALUES.  Our board keeps a close eye on our expense structure and is strategic in resource allocation.  We have a stable financial framework that ensures we can provide high-quality education now and into the future.

Researched by Voter’s Edge
Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

[Candidates for this position had to pay a fee of $220 if they chose to present a 200-word statement in the sample ballot pamphlet.]

DEL MAR UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT
Governing Board Member

ERICA HALPERN
Governing Board Member, Del Mar Union School District/DMUSD Parent

Our elementary schools deliver the best in public education. Continuing to do so requires the highest standards of excellence and relentless fiscal discipline. That balance is my focus on the Del Mar Union School District Board. My experience in finance and business management makes me a voice for sound decisions. As the mother of three young children in DMUSD or soon to enter, quality education is at the heart of every vote.

Eighteen months ago, the Board selected me from 11 candidates in a public interview process. We have since established a cohesive Governing Board that welcomes multiple perspectives. Responsible budgeting, exceptional teaching, leveraging technology, and strategic resource allocation have resulted in a top-notch education for our kids.

During my prior two years as PTA President, our team expanded educational programming and increased fundraising. My career spanned positions with top entities in education reform, public affairs, finance and management. I hold a Finance MBA from Columbia Business School and Journalism BA from UNC.

Our board has achieved results, but we have more to do. If you elect me to serve our community for another term, I’ll continue to put educational excellence first and ensure we as taxpayers get the full value of our investment.

Governing Board Member, Del Mar Union School District
6,513 votes (27.32%)
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  • FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: Ensure we maintain a BALANCED BUDGET with HEALTHY RESERVES so we can preserve small class sizes and keep highly-trained teachers. Continue a budget discipline that will keep our District strong and stable over the long term.
  • EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION: Continue providing top-notch education for EVERY student in the district. We have high-caliber teachers, meaningful integration of technology in classrooms, and curriculum that teaches real world critical thinking.
  • EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE: Continue working productively with our strong and cohesive board of trustees. We represent independent perspectives and professions, but we are committed to what matters most - success for EVERY student.
Profession:Trustee, Del Mar Union School District; 17 years in Public Service - County of San Diego
Trustee, Governing Board of Trustees, Del Mar Union School District (2015current)
Assistant Director, Department of Planning & Development Services, County of San Diego (2012current)
Trustee, Governing Board of Trustees, Del Mar Union School District — Appointed position (2015current)
Director, Board of Directors, San Diego North Chamber of Commerce — Appointed position (2011current)
Chief, Building Division, Department of Planning & Land Use, County of San Diego (20052012)
Policy Advisor, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob (19992005)
San Diego State University (SDSU) Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), general (2014)
University of California San Diego (UCSD) Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), communication (1998)
Volunteer, Rady Children's Hospital (2015current)
  • Every member of the Del Mar Union School District Governing Board of Trustees
  • Teachers - Del Mar California Teachers Association
  • Current and Former County Supervisors representing Del Mar and Carmel Valley, Dave Roberts and Pam Slater-Price
  • Doug Rafner, President and Trustee, Del Mar Union School District Governing Board
  • Kristin Gibson, Board Clerk and Trustee, Del Mar Union School District Governing Board
  • Scott Wooden, Trustee and Former President, Del Mar Union School District Board of Trustees
  • Dianne Jacob, County Supervisor, California School Boards Association President, former teacher
  • Dave Roberts, County Supervisor serving Del Mar and Carmel Valley
  • Pam Slater-Price, Former District 3 County Supervisor representing Del Mar and Carmel Valley
  • Dee Rich, Former Trustee, DMUSD & San Dieguito Union High School District
  • Alan Kholos, Former Trustee, Del Mar Union School District Governing Board
  • Comischell Bradley-Rodriguez, Former Board President, Del Mar Union School District Governing Board
  • Lani Curtis, Former PTA Executive VP, Del Mar Heights School
  • Kate Lampe, Former PTA President, Del Mar Heights School
  • Sandra Holye, Former PTA President, Del Mar Hills School
  • Kate Takahashi, Former PTA President, Carmel Del Mar School
  • Robert & Muffie Knox, Community Members
  • Mary Farrell, Civic Leader
  • Jill MacDonald, Former Solana Beach School Board Member and Former President, Del Mar Foundation
  • Carolyn Perkins, Community Volunteer and Widow of Doug Perkins, Former DMUSD School Board Member
  • Suzanne Hall, Former DMSEF Board Member, Torrey Hills
  • Aimee Smith, Former DMSEF Board Member, Del Mar Heights
  • Neil Duhamel, Sage Canyon Parent
  • Ty Humes, Ocean Air Parent
  • Lori Laroque, Business Owner and Ashley Falls Parent
1.
Funding to Schools

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?

Answer from Darren Gretler:

The new law requires the District to incorporate community input on our priorities.  Happily, we have already been doing that for five years since the development of our Strategic Plan.  This plan is updated annually during a comprehensive series of meetings and working groups.  One priority is featured monthly in public board meetings with a full progress report and discussion.

 

Transparency is a cornerstone of good governance.  Our board has focused on providing clear and accessible information about our budget and priorities.

1.
Plan of Action

What is the most significant challenge facing the Del Mar Union School District, and if you are elected, what steps will you take to address it?

Answer from Darren Gretler:

It is critical that we retain sufficient financial reserves so that in a downturn we can PRESERVE CLASS SIZES, RETAIN our highly-trained TEACHERS, and MAINTAIN OUR PROPERTY VALUES.  Our board keeps a close eye on our expense structure and is strategic in resource allocation.  We have a stable financial framework that ensures we can provide high-quality education now and into the future.

 

In contrast to most school districts, our funding comes mostly from local property taxes rather than the state.  That means we have more dollars per student and we are able to provide an unrivaled level of instruction.  It also means that if property tax revenue decreases, our revenue decreases with it.

Researched by Voter’s Edge
Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

[Candidates for this position had to pay a fee of $220 if they chose to present a 200-word statement in the sample ballot pamphlet.]

DEL MAR UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT
Governing Board Member

DARREN GRETLER
Governing Board Member, Del Mar Union School District/DMUSD Parent

I am proud to serve you as a trustee of one of the strongest elementary school districts in the state.

Fiscal discipline and planning are the foundations for high-functioning schools. I will maintain balanced budgets and long-term fiscal solvency through smart strategic planning and healthy reserves.

I will continue to support and strengthen our educational standards, reaching beyond traditional fundamentals to create learners and leaders ready for the world as it will exist beyond elementary school. I am passionate about meaningful, cutting-edge technology, the best teachers, and effective class sizes.

I will do the hard work necessary to sustain the District’s excellence, build on past accomplishments, and collaborate with community members, parents, District staff and the Board to ensure the District’s continued success.

I am dedicated to smart, reasonable decisions that ensure every student has the best opportunities to learn and grow. I ask you for the opportunity to make further progress towards our goals.

Background
B.A. (Communication) UCSD; M.B.A., SDSU; Seventeen years in public service with the County of San Diego; Board of Directors, San Diego North Chamber of Commerce; Active in youth sports; Married to Erika, with two children who attend Sage Canyon and Ashley Falls

Teacher Education Professor
6,707 votes (28.13%)Winning
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  • EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY--move the DMUSD into 21st century learning using technology in the classroom, including implementation of a Learning Management System across the district to boost student learning and outcomes.
  • TEACHING SKILLS NECESSARY FOR 21st CENTURY JOBS & HIGHER EDUCATION--most jobs that our children will have in the future don't even exist today and will depend on critical thinking, creative problem solving, abstract thinking, and collaboration.
  • REVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES--15 percent of the DMUSD children receive special education services. Rather than continuing to accommodate and modify current curriculum, research shows the benefits of early therapeutic interventions.
Profession:Director, Teacher Education & Credentialing and Masters in Education programs; Education Professor; PTA Board Member
Systemwide Director, Teacher Education Department (Multiple/Single Subject), Alliant International University (2015current)
Director, Master of Arts in Education Degree Program, Alliant International University (2015current)
Director, Special Education Credential Programs, Alliant International University (2015current)
Associate Professor, Education, Alliant International University (2015current)
Parliamentarian, PTA Executive Board Member, Sage Canyon Elementary — Appointed position (2016current)
Associate Professor, Special Education Degree & Credential Programs, Azusa Pacific University (20042015)
Committee Member, Office of Administrative Hearings Special Education Advisory Committee — Appointed position (20122014)
Parent/Community Representative, Special Education Local Planning Area, North County Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE) — Appointed position (20122013)
Board of Directors member, Learning Disabilities Association of San Diego — Appointed position (20112012)
Board of Directors member, Educational Advocacy for Children — Appointed position (20052008)
Cornell University Certificate, Business Leadership in Education (2007)
Cornell University Certificate, Financial Management in Education (2007)
Cornell University Certificate, Proactive Leadership in Education (2007)
Capella University Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) , Education (2005)
Point Loma Nazarene University Master of Arts (M.A.), Special Education (1996)
Classroom volunteer/Dad's Club member, DMUSD (Early Child Development Center/Preschool, Torrey Hills Elementary, Sage Canyon Elementary) (2010current)
Karate Instructor & CEO, Therapeutic Karate, Inc. (2014current)
Member, Grace Point Church, Carmel Valley (2004current)
PTA Exectutive Board Member--Parlimentarian, Sage Canyon Elementary (2016current)
Treasurer, Home Owners Association (20142016)

I am so excited to use my 20+ year career in Education to help serve the families and children of the DMUSD. I am at a point in my career where I really want to give back to my community and can use my educational expertise to advise the board on current and relevant educational issues.

I have taught at all levels of education, so I understand what it is like to be a teacher. I have trained over 1500 local teachers and am in the classroom regularly observing and mentoring current teachers. In my current role as System-wide Director of Teacher Education at Alliant International University, I know about best educational practices and pedagogy. In my research, I am up-to-date on current educational issues, as well as the future direction of education. I understand how to integrate educational technology in the classroom and teach my own students how to utilize educational technology to improve student learning and outcomes. I also know the complexities of special education and believe that research-based early therapeutic interventions can address underlying causes of many learning difficulties, rather than merely modifying the curriculum and making classroom accommodations.

I believe in transparency and open dialogue with the community. I also believe in partnering with the community and utilizing mentors to help train our children in real-world skills and critical thinking. I feel it is important to listen to the needs of the families and children living in our district. I want to hear YOUR voice and I'm here to serve YOU.

I want to continue to support fiscal responsibility by balancing expenditures and reserves. Having spent several years as Treasurer for our HOA, I understand the complexities of budgets and fiduciary decision-making. I also have a unique understanding of education budgets and school finance because of my position in higher education management.

I believe the DMUSD is making great strides in educating our children. I feel my unique educational experience and background can help them further accomplish their mission of forging a path for tomorrow's global and innovative thinkers. Lastly, I offer something more and different than what the current board is comprised of and this can directly benefit YOU and YOUR CHILDREN.

  • Mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulkoner
  • San Diego City Council Member (District 6), Chris Cate
  • Former San Diego City Council Member (District 5), Carl DeMaio
  • Governing Board Member (Carlsbad Unified School District), Ray Pearson
  • Governing Board Member (San Ysidro School District), Steven Kinney
  • Former Board of Trustee (La Jolla Country Day School), Barbara Cunningham, Psy.D
  • Trisha Adams Jones
  • Brooke Ruehl, Psy.D
  • Jessica & Brad Perliman
  • Carrie Botzum
  • Stephanie & Ken Pearcy
  • Kathy & Tim Stafford
  • Jennifer Old-Lawrence
  • Nancy Vasquez Lichtman
  • Julie Shamon
  • Nancy Opiteck
  • Kelsey Mullen Holohan
  • Anna Dashevsky Wheitz
  • Joyce Aftahi
  • Amy Szerkeres
  • Arie Spangler
  • Lisa Paglia
  • Alexis Velto Marguglio
  • Danielle Perricone Alamoto (Brain Builders)
  • Kerry Kane
  • Kristina & Steve Elliott
  • Jesse & Justin MacLaurin
  • Barbara Immamoto
  • Rachel & Brent Busby
  • Paola Ipson
  • Chris Elleraas
  • Sarah Chotiner
  • Karen Landers
  • Robynne Neves
  • Leah Anne Borrell
  • MaryAnne & Dave Fernandez
  • Rachel & Ryan Goldenhar
  • Michelle & Bob McGraw
  • Vanessa Starr
  • Jennie Wei
  • Jeff Powers
  • Jeff Rideout
  • Molly Stewart
  • Kimber & Brandon Roach
  • Lindsay & Terry Harding
  • Dianne Sievenpieper
  • Sheela & Samir Shah
  • Sonja Goldsmith
  • Karen Gee & Robert Schlacter
  • Sarah & Alan Simmons
  • Julie & Chat Sweet
  • Erin Espinoza
  • Mike Allen & Melissa Woo-Allen
  • Kamla & Todd Tilley
  • Shanaz Mehdiabadi
  • Josie Bravo
  • Tracy Jackel
  • Sharon & Curtiss Stinis
  • Katie & Scott Sutherland
  • Suzanne Miller
  • Jennifer Bishop
  • Megan & Bijan Bijan
  • Suzie & Paul Nelles
  • Stephanie Gao
  • Dawn Levey
  • Sommer & Tom Newman
  • Kim Highland-Belding
  • Claire & Gary Gao
  • Kevin McVeigh
  • Maureen Easley
  • Kim Twomey
  • Debra Roberts
  • Margaret & Gary Bellowe
  • Gloria and Jeff Zeitung
  • Allison Leeds
  • Aimee Vadnais Cochrane, Psy.D, LMFT
  • Rebecca Kenyon, Psy.D, LMFT
  • Special Education Teacher (San Diego County Office of Education), Elmer Vigilia
  • Owner & Center Director (FasTracKids Del Mar), Kristin Rude, MA
  • Professor of Education (Alliant International University), Cindy Pancer, EdD
1.
Funding to Schools

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?

Answer from Stephen Cochrane:

The DMUSD is doing a good job allocating funding to its schools and is doing so in a way that is fiscally responsible.  The new law requires the District to incorporate community input as part of its priorities.  Through its Strategic Plan process over the past 5 years, the district has been incorporating community input and updates this Strategic plan annually as a result of input from working groups and a series of comprehensive targeted meetings.  This feedback is updated regularly and allows for full progress reports and discussions during the public board meetings, which are held monthly.  The public can also read further about funding issues and budgeting concerns/priorities on the DMUSD webpage, which publishes both the agenda for future meetings and minutes from past meetings on it.  This helps in keeping transparency of school issues visible to the public, which is a practice of good governance.  Transparency and openness is very important to me and is something I would continue to support if elected to the Board.  Also, it is extremely important to me that the public has access to board members, which further emphasizes community involvement and engagement.  I want to hear from the community about what school issues are important to them.  If elected, I would continue this position of being open and engaged with the public and being a sounding board for school issues that are important to the community.

1.
Plan of Action

What is the most significant challenge facing the Del Mar Union School District, and if you are elected, what steps will you take to address it?

Answer from Stephen Cochrane:

The biggest challenge is that the current school board faces is that it lacks a board member with significant educational expertise.  A school board should have someone on it who has a strong education background and someone who understands what it is like to be in the classroom.  I have been in the education field for 20+ years and I am regularly in the classroom mentoring and working with teachers.  As an Education Professor, I have trained over 1500 local teachers during my career.  I have 5 teaching credentials and a school administrative credential.   I have expertise in educational technology and can help the DMUSD accomplish its vision to educate the 21st century student.  I can help implement the online Learning Management System that the district has already purchased, so that we capitalize fully on this investment.  In fact, I am already training many teachers in San Diego County on how to use Learning Management Systems for improved student outcomes.  I have no doubt that, if elected, I would be able to work colloboratlvely and cohesively with the current board and provide a unique perspective that it currently lacks.  Similar skills sets are redundant and do not benefit the community.  I offer something different--a strong educational background which would most benefit all the children in this district.  It is important that the community understands that a school board should be represented by a candidate who knows and understands schools.

 

 

Researched by Voter’s Edge
Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

[Candidates for this position had to pay a fee of $220 if they chose to present a 200-word statement in the sample ballot pamphlet.]

DEL MAR UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT
Governing Board Member

STEPHEN COCHRANE
Teacher Education Professor

My wife, Aimee, and I have two children--Christopher (3rd grade) and Nicholas (Kindergarten)- who attend Sage Canyon Elementary. We’re both executive PTA board members and actively volunteer in our children’s classrooms. I’ve also been a DMUSD representative to its Special Education Consortium.

I have 20+ years experience in the education field as a teacher, professor of teacher education, university administrator, and academic researcher. Currently, I’m a Teacher Education professor and the System-wide Director of Teacher Education at Alliant International University, leading their Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education teacher credential programs, as well as their Master of Arts in Education degree program.

I have a Ph.D. in Education, M.A. in Special Education, and five teaching credentials, as well as three certificates from Cornell University in Education Management for Business, Leadership, and Finance. I also hold a School Administrative credential. Additionally, I’ve been on the Board of Directors for multiple non-profit corporations, as well as a California State Education Advisory Board.

My level of expertise in Education Technology and Special Education will result in a better-rounded board.

If elected, my background in education will improve our students’ creative, analytical, and critical thinking, as well as their level of emotional intelligence.

News

Q&A:Meet the DMUSD candidates — October 20, 2016 Del Mar Times

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