Five candidates running for three seats on the San Juan Unified School Board were grilled last night by a panel of high school seniors.
It was the second such forum sponsored by the district.
Wally Harmon and Sabine Wilson of Rio Americano High School and Megan Archer and Jared Anderson of El Camino High School asked candidates what skills they will bring to the job, the value they put on teaching arts in the class and how they would close the achievement gap.
Candidates Lucinda Luttgen, a retired teacher; Saul Hernandez, a business owner; Pam Costa, a retired teacher; Mike McKibbin, a retired educator; and John Hawes, a professor, answered questions before about 100 onlookers in the El Camino High cafeteria.
Mark Lennon, a veterans administrator, also is on the ballot but has withdrawn from the campaign, said Trent Allen, district spokesman. Lennon indicated that he would accept the seat if elected, Allen said. The Bee could not reach Lennon for comment.
Luttgen, the only incumbent running, faced an amicable group of competitors who all seem to agree the district is headed in the right direction.
McKibbin said educators need to continue to move away from assessments and toward project-based learning, and that district officials need to work harder to close the achievement gap.
Hawes, an online college professor, said technology is a key to student success. "My desire as a board member is to have cutting-edge programs that connect students to technology," he said.
Hernandez, a parent volunteer on school site councils and district committees, said parents want to be heard.