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School Board Candidates Respond to the Issues

April 01, 1993

The Glendale PTA asked nine candidates running for three seats on the Board of Education to respond to two questions: What do you see as the immediate challenge to the Glendale school district, and what is the solution to that problem? Should we proceed with the addition to Glendale High School?

JEANNE BENTLEY

Professional: Teacher and counselor for 23 years. Currently a career specialist at Crescenta Valley High School.

Personal: Says age is irrelevant. Married, two children, four grandchildren. Lifelong resident of Glendale.

Challenge: Growth, diversity and changing sociological and educational needs of student population.

Solution: More school and community volunteer groups, apprenticeships and business partnerships, parent education, closer relationship with law enforcement, health and other agencies.

High School: Favors expansion.

DEBORAH DENTLER

Professional: Attorney. Teaches part time at Glendale Community College and Glendale College of Law.

Personal: 40, married, two children. Glendale resident for four years.

Challenge: Declining public confidence in quality and safety of schools, which prompts some parents to turn to private education.

Solution: Bring together parents, senior citizens and business community. Expand volunteerism, attract private money, open board meetings to allow more meaningful public participation.

High School: Favors expansion.

LOUISE FOOTE

Professional: Educator for 32 years. Teaches in Sherman Oaks. Has been a California School Improvement Coordinator since 1975.

Personal: 55, married, four children. Glendale resident for 31 years.

Challenge: Securing a stable budget to provide adequate programs and safe schools.

Solution: Conservative spending. Favors dropping bilingual program, using less expensive but high-quality vendors.

High School: Favors expansion.

JOHN A. (AL) FORTHMANN IV

Professional: Middle school principal in South Bay. Spent 28 years in Glendale School District.

Personal: 57, married, eight children. Glendale resident for 40 years.

Challenge: Keeping budget cuts away from teachers and children.

Solution: Strong vision and teamwork. Creating a two-, three- and five-year plan for developing a solid budget.

High School: Favors expansion.

BRENDA HAMER

Professional: Civil litigation attorney.

Personal: 47, single. Glendale resident for five years.

Challenge: Erosion of public confidence in school system. Need to reverse trend of people looking at private education.

Solution: Massive educational and outreach effort to inform public, parents and community about some of the positive things going on in the classroom.

High School: Favors expansion.

SID JURMAN

Professional: Small-business owner for past 12 years. Has 24 years of teaching experience.

Personal: 52, single. Glendale resident for 17 years.

Challenge: Securing funding for the district.

Solution: Set priorities, build consensus, form partnerships. Look at existing budget for waste and duplication, go after grants and trusts. Ask City Council to cut district's utility rates.

High School: Favors expansion.

CAROL MELTON

Professional: Business owner, produces and distributes educational videos. Former teacher.

Personal: 46, married, one son, three stepchildren. Glendale resident for seven years.

Challenge: Improving safety, discipline and academic achievement in schools. Dealing with cultural diversity.

Solution: End "institutional dishonesty," which erodes faith and trust in public schools. Improve English classes, work on meeting needs of different cultures.

High School: Opposes expansion.

LYNDA ROCAMORA

Professional: Business owner. Worked in allied health and occupational therapy fields.

Personal: 43, married, two children. Glendale resident for 18 years.

Challenge: Providing best possible education despite budget constraints.

Solution: Review every department for cost-effectiveness.

High School: Favors expansion.

JANE WHITAKER

Professional: Member of Glendale School Board for past 12 years. First vice president of First District California State PTA.

Personal: 63, married, two children. Glendale resident for 23 years.

Challenge: Budget constraints are the biggest problem.

Solution: School district must monitor itself more carefully. Do a line-item analysis of the budget. Allow concerned citizens to take part in budget process.

High School: Favors expansion if district can afford it.

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