Report Card

News and discussion on K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region

November 28, 2012
Sac City candidates forum scheduled for Thursday

The Sacramento Council of Parent Teacher Associations is hosting a community candidates forum Thursday for residents living in Sacramento City Unified School District's Area 1, which includes Land Park, downtown, midtown and Curtis Park.

The school district's elected board member, Ellyn Bell, is resigning with two years remaining on her term. Trustees will appoint her replacement from a pool of six applicants on Dec. 20.

The candidates are Gwynnae Byrd, Jay Hansen, Bina Lefkovitz, Anna Molander, David Ross and Kathryn Tobias. Candidate Harold Stewart-Carballo withdrew his application Tuesday and candidate Samara D. Palko was disqualified because she does not live in Area 1.

The forum is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at California Middle School, 1600 Vallejo Way, Sacramento. Childcare is available.

Here are the candidates:

• Gwynnae L. Byrd runs a business efficiency consulting firm and is active in the community. She previously was the deputy legislative counsel to the Legislative Counsel Bureau and chief counsel and principal consultant to Senate Majority Leader Richard Polanco. Byrd ran for the Sacramento City school board in 1996.

"I have always looked for opportunities to serve my community, and will continue to do so in ways that I hope can make a difference in the lives of others, " Byrd wrote in her application.

• Jay Hansen is the chief strategy officer for the California Medical Association. He was formerly the legislative and political director for the State Building and Construction Trades Council. He helped found the Sacramento Stonewall Club.

"Public service is truly one of the most important things a citizen can do, " Hansen wrote in his application. "While great opportunities to serve are all around us, the chance to serve as a Sacramento City Unified school board member is certainly special."

• Bina E. Lefkovitz is founder and co-director of the Youth Development Network, which teaches organizations how to support youth development in the workplace. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wrote a personal letter recommending Lefkovitz, whom he has known for 20 years. Lefkovitz is the wife of Jay Schenirer, former Sacramento City school board member and current city councilman.

"My goal in seeking membership on the SCUSD Board is to continue advocating for better supports and opportunities for students and families, especially those who are most vulnerable, " Lefkovitz wrote in her application.

• Anna F. Molander, an attorney for the state Department of Health Care Services, previously was a senior associate for the Ryan Law Group and Bullivant Houser Bailey. Molander's community and volunteer roles include commissioner of the city of Sacramento's Planning and Design Commission and board member of the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra.

"I want to see Sacramento's schools hailed as the best schools in California, " Molander wrote in her application. "A strong public school system is the bedrock of a healthy and prosperous community."

• David Ross, director of Alpine Adventures, has served in a leadership capacity on the Sacramento Children's Chorus and on site councils at California Middle School and Sutterville Elementary. Ross is an former board member of the Cordova Recreation and Park District and volunteers with Sacramento City Unified's District Advisory Council. Ross previously ran for Bell's seat in 2010.

"My knowledge of the district will allow me to be a good steward of the district and a good fit with this board, " Ross wrote in his application.

• Kathryn J. Tobias, is a classroom volunteer who has been active in the Parent Teacher Student Association at several district schools her son has attended. Tobias is the senior staff counsel for the state Department of Parks and Recreation and previously was chief counsel for the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

"I have worked for several boards and commissions and I have observed and given a lot of thought to what makes a good board member, " Tobias wrote in her application. "I am a good listener and know the value of working toward consensus, even if consensus is not required or reached."

Full profiles, including resumes and recommendations letters, can be seen at

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About Report Card

Loretta KalbLoretta Kalb started her reporting career at The Sacramento Union, moved to KOVR-13 as a television reporter, editor and producer, headed to The Associated Press in San Francisco and eventually returned to Sacramento and joined The Sacramento Bee. Throughout her career, she has covered the state Legislature, courts, local government and, now, education. She is a Chico native and an Elk Grove resident.

Diana LambertDiana Lambert began her journalism career as a proofreader at the Lodi News-Sentinel. She is now a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee covering K-12 education and California State University, Sacramento. Previously she was The Bee’s Elk Grove bureau chief. Lambert was raised in a military family and lived at bases around the globe. She attended four high schools, graduating from Tokay High in Lodi and then Sacramento State University. She lives in Elk Grove.

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Twitter: @LorettaSacBee
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