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DECISION 96

Meet the Candidates : Ojai Unified Board of Education

In all, there are more than 130 candidates running in key races in Ventura County this year. On the following pages, you will find capsule summaries of their backgrounds and their positions on key issues.

November 03, 1996

Three candidates are running for two school board seats in the Nov. 5 election. Incumbents Tim Peddicord and Karen McBride are being challenged by Ojai resident John G. Hartnett. Among the key issues in the campaign are class-size reduction, promoting cultural diversity and dropout prevention.

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John G. Hartnett

Age: 54

Occupation: Lawyer.

Education: Undergraduate degree in engineering from Princeton University, master's in applied mathematics from Caltech and a law degree from Harvard University.

Background: Hartnett, an eight-year Ojai resident, is a member of Ojai Valley Restoration Church. He has played guitar for the praise band at Ojai's Spring of Life Ministry Church.

Issues: Hartnett's top priority is to ensure that the dropout rate for high school students remains low. To keep students interested in education, he plans to have motivational speakers visit Ojai schools, and provide youngsters with more activities such as sports and music programs.

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Karen A. McBride

Age: 55

Occupation: School board member, homemaker

Education: Bachelor's degree in history, with a minor in sociology from the University of Utah

Background: McBride, who has served on the board for four years, spent more than 21 years as a parent volunteer at Ojai public schools. She has been involved with the 4-H Club and Boy Scouts. All four of her children graduated from Ojai schools and attend college.

Issues: McBride supports building new facilities to ease crowded classrooms and to replace old school buildings. She is hoping for the passage of a school bond measure to provide money for school construction. McBride said she considers racial tension in the district to be relatively minor but favors helping the community understand the importance of racial diversity.

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Tim Peddicord

Age: 45

Occupation: School board member, junior high school science teacher.

Education: Bachelor's degree in political science from UC Santa Barbara; bachelor's degree and two years of graduate studies in zoology from Cal State Long Beach.

Background: Peddicord, who has been on the board for four years, has taught science to gifted children for seven years. He helps organize trash collection outings at Ormond Beach for the California Coastal Cleanup program.

Issues: Peddicord plans to lobby the governor's office to extend class-size reduction to the upper elementary grades so all classes have no more than 30 students. Other key issues include getting parents more involved in their children's education and creating conflict-resolution groups to ease the racial tension that he said occasionally crops up among the student body.

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