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UPDATE: Saugus Teachers Association endorses incumbents for upcoming election

Posted: September 27, 2013 3:13 p.m.
Updated: September 27, 2013 5:36 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA - After an hour-long forum with the five candidates vying for seats on the Saugus district board Thursday night, the Saugus Teachers Association decided to endorse the three incumbents up for re-election in November.

“We believe their experience, knowledge and willingness to bring about the necessary changes for our Saugus Union School District students is what we need,” association President Debbie Rocha wrote in an email about the three incumbents, Doug Bryce, Paul De La Cerda and board President Judy Umeck.

The three incumbents, each of whom have served at least two terms on the Saugus district board, are joined by challengers Stacie Allegra and Chris Trunkey in the race for the three open seats up for election on Nov. 5.

During Thursday’s forum, attended by more than 60 people, all three incumbents cited their experience as board members as reasons they should be re-elected.

Allegra and Trunkey also cited experience, personal and familial, among their qualifications to be elected.

Allegra said she would like to serve on the board as a way to give back to the community and pointed to her experience as a mother and participation in the district as reasons she would make an effective board member.

“I’m just ready to go and get involved and I’m happy to do so,” she said.

Trunkey also said he has personal experience in the district, being involved in Parent Teacher Associations and on site councils for district schools, but also talked about his business experience as a chief financial officer for a movie company.

“I believe the voters of this district showed in the last election that they wanted new representation on the board,” he said. “Unfortunately, their only option then was Stephen Winkler.”

Trunkey said, if elected, he would like to focus on ways to increase enrollment and see more money return to site budgets.

Allegra shared that sentiment.

“We need to make sure the money we do get stays as close to the classroom as possible,” she said.

Bryce said he thinks the district can do more to increase its communication efforts.

“I think communication with our public and with our employees is extremely important,” he said.

De La Cerda said he would like to make offering technology in the classroom a priority and would work to reduce class size.

“We need to work as hard as we can to recover from the recession and losing many valuable teachers over the years,” he said.

Umeck said she would work to close the achievement gaps between school sites and between different populations at the schools.

Doing so will take a deal of experience and effort, she said.

“I think we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us,” she said. “I don’t have rose-colored glasses on right now.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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