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Three vying for Saugus Union School District board

Election: Incumbents, challenger take aim at two available seats

Posted: August 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 16, 2011 1:57 a.m.

Two Saugus Union School District board incumbents are going up against a challenger who’s also an educator this November for two spots on the elementary school board.

Stephen Winkler works for Los Angeles Unified School District and decided to run as a Republican to challenge Democrat and Saugus Union incumbent Rose Koscielny, who is finishing her fifth term on the board.

The two will be on the Nov. 8 ballot with incumbent Rose Diaz, who is seeking a fourth term. The two top vote-getters will win.

School district boards are considered nonpartisan offices, and party affiliations do not appear on ballots.

Koscielny said party affiliation shouldn’t matter in a school board race.

“It’s not Republican, Democrat. It’s working for the best results for the students and the community,” she said. “I don’t think partisanship has anything to do with the education of our students.”

Koscielny said she is the only Democrat on the five-member board, and continues to work well with everyone.

“Every decision is student-based,” she said.

In addition to decreasing class sizes and better meeting the needs of individual students, Winkler wants to emphasize American history in the elementary school curriculum.

“I would like to make children proud to be Americans,” said Winkler, who said he is writing a book on American history. “I would like them to feel the greatness of the United States of America.”

Public school districts, including Saugus Union, must follow state standards on curriculum.

Koscielny said Saugus Union needs to continue its efforts to bring technology to the classroom and boost enrollment within the 10,000-student elementary school district.

Diaz and Koscielny cited the need for experience on the board, especially as the district has gone through administration changes this year, and as it faces continuing state budget shortfalls.

The district has a new superintendent, chief of finances, and assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction — three major leadership positions.

“I think we need the stability in the district,” Diaz said. I think we have a really good board. I think we’re all there for the right reasons.”


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