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SAN GABRIEL VALLEY SCHOOL ELECTIONS : Profiles of Nov. 5 School Board Candidates : Bassett Unified: Two seats, no incumbents

October 24, 1991

Brenda Johnson, 43, locomotive operator for Southern Pacific Railroad, community volunteer since 1978, unsuccessful school board candidate in 1988.

Organized movement to promote uniform requirement at district schools (one elementary school adopted uniform policy); believes uniforms cut down on unhealthy competition between students and decrease gang activity.

Richard Rodriguez, 47, sergeant with Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, teaches confirmation classes at local church and law-enforcement occupational classes at Los Altos High School, former Scoutmaster.

Wants every school district employee to take an oath to work to provide the best possible education for our children.

"I want to bring accountability to the school board. Everyone should know how and why we make our decisions."

Carol Smithberg, 57, assistant public relations director for Covina's Inter-Community Medical Center, school board member from 1984-89, former newspaper editor for Highlander Publications.

"When the two incumbents decided not to run, I decided I had four more good years in me."

Roberto V. Yslava, 49, legal assistant, volunteers legal services for indigent members of the community, former Arizona police officer paralyzed from the neck down in line-of-duty injury.

Has two sons at Basset High School; would stress getting back to the basics of good reading, writing and arithmetic skills.

"My work as a public servant and my education enables me to make that needed difference."

Bonita Unified: three seats

Diana Au, 36, incumbent (appointed in October), parent, student (working on degree in speech therapy), six years with the PTA, persuaded school board to install seat belts on school buses for special education students.

Wants accountability from everyone to make sure children get the best education, which includes fiscal accountability.

Ed Jones, 40, businessman, resident of city six years.

Believes his business background will help to improve the financial situation with the knowledge he can take to the district; wants to decentralize the district and give more responsibility to the schools; proposes volunteer program to involve parents and senior citizens.

Jeffrey W. Templeman, 45, incumbent appointed in April, Alhambra Police captain, 40-year resident, in police work for 23 years.

Wants financial accountability and improved communication with parents, business people and residents.

"We need to group together to do all that needs to be done."

Eric Simison, tried unsuccessfully to have his name removed from ballot. If elected, will resign.

Claremont Unified: two seats

John Dierking, 29, teacher in and graduate of Claremont schools, working on law degree; involved in education issues at the state Democratic convention.

Favors responsible budget, solid general education and educational opportunity. Opposes Proposition 8 parcel tax measure.

"It's about subsidizing bad fiscal management of the current school board."

Paul D. Held, 41, eight-year incumbent, attorney and businessman, involved in community and church affairs in various leadership capacities.

Favors Prop. 8 because "we need reliable school funding." Also supports restructuring of educational programs "to more effectively address the needs of the students."

Lissa H. Petersen, 47, six-year incumbent; college instructor, former high school teacher; involved with the League of Women Voters' District Advisory Committee to the school and Parent Faculty Assn.

Seeks adequate and stable funding from state; maintain climate of mutual trust between employee associations and school board; promote high standards in hiring, supporting and evaluating staff members.

Covina Valley Unified: three seats

Richard K. Harder, 46, first-term incumbent, health-care educator, faculty 11 years at University of La Verne, heads own health-care leadership and consultant service, member of Covina PTA and Covina High School Community Committee.

Will work closely with the district administration and staff to ensure tax dollars are wisely spent and the school well-managed.

Agnes F. Garwacki, 60, four-year incumbent, nursing instructor, registered nurse, master's degree in education, instructor at community college for 31 years, and a resident for longer. Would like to see good education for children whether they go to college or vocational school; believes she is very familiar with the budget and "pretty knowledgeable about what the problems are in the district."

Marie C. (Brown) Palmeri, 38, educator, mother, working on doctorate in curriculum and special education, teacher for 16 years, runs own tutoring business, 15-year resident, worked with Sacred Heart Church for 10 years teaching preschoolers.

Believes money should be put into educating students from preschool so state will not have to pay to imprison them later. Believes in good pay and decent benefits for educators.

Mary L. Hanes, 62, 12-year incumbent, pediatrician, 30-year resident.

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