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4 Candidates in Race for Lawndale School Board Posts; 1 Drops Out

October 24, 1985|GEORGE STEIN | Times Staff Writer

LAWNDALE — One incumbent, two Northrop Corp. employees and an emergency medical technician are campaigning for three seats on the Lawndale Elementary School District board.

The name of a fifth candidate, Ann Manson, will appear on the ballot, but she said health problems will prevent her from campaigning or taking office.

The district, which includes the city of Lawndale and a strip of unincorporated county territory on its eastern edge, has 4,030 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, 172 teachers, seven schools and a budget of $13.7 million.

A blue-collar, generally low-income area, according to school statistics, the district has a mixed racial and ethnic character. Anglo students make up 42.8% of the student body, Latinos 37.3%, Asians 13.9%, blacks 5.6% and American Indians 0.4%.

Board members, by their own wishes, receive no pay for their work. The three candidates receiving the most votes in the Nov. 5 election will win four-year terms.

Here, in alphabetical sequence, are brief descriptions of the active candidates and their positions:

- Leslie H. Ayers, 37, works for McCormick Ambulance Service in Inglewood. He did not return repeated telephone calls.

- Bonnie J. Coronado, 30, an expediter for Northrop, believes the school district should provide day care before and after school. "I am a single woman who is probably going to have to work the rest of her life," she said. "I was raised by a single mother so I understand that."

Coronado said she did not know exactly how to finance the program she wants, but said she expects to learn more about financing as a member of the board. "Until you actually do it, you don't understand," she said.

- Rosine Drees, 57, is the only incumbent running for reelection.

Finding a new superintendent, Dr. James Waters, to replace Supt. Richard Moodey, who died in February, 1984, was a major accomplishment of her tenure on the board, Drees said. "It took a lot of extra hours and a lot of reading. We are pleased with the results."

Drees, a homemaker and part-time clerk for the Hawthorne Elks Lodge, hopes that teacher training efforts and a recently hired assistant superintendent will lead to improved test scores for Lawndale district students. "That is what the public asks us about," she said.

Supt. Waters acknowledged that "the scores are low, compared to some of the towns, (for example) Torrance and Redondo Beach. Some others we compare more favorably with."

The 1984 district averages on the California Assessment Program tests ranged from the 5th percentile to the 16th percentile, Waters said. Third and sixth graders showed a slight trend of improvement, while scores of eighth graders declined slightly, he said.

- Robert P. Kruse, 55, an operations control manager for Northrop, would like to negotiate multi-year contracts with the teachers and other personnel, instead of the one-year contracts now in effect. He termed the yearly negotiations "an annual time-waster," and suggested that a five-year contract would make more sense.

Kruse also believes that considerable savings could be achieved by consolidating the Lawndale, Lennox, Hawthorne and Wiseburn elementary school districts with the Centinela Valley Union High School District. He said he would work to put such a measure on the ballot. Previous consolidation proposals have failed at the polls.

Kruse resigned two years ago from the Centinela Valley high school board after a dispute with other board members. He is the husband of Lawndale Mayor Sarann Kruse.

Another Lawndale school board incumbent, James Vigneau, decided not to run for reelection. The other board position was held by Louis Ramirez, who died in July.

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