Three Area 5 candidates run for school board

Three seats on the SDUHSD Board of Trustees are up for grabs on Nov. 8. After more than a year of controversies surrounding the board, including the termination of former superintendent Dr. Cheryl James-Ward, some view this election as a fresh start for the board, as three out of the five board seats are available.

“I think board members should always keep in mind that they’re doing their work for students,” TPHS Student Board Representative Julia Liu (12) said.

Two candidates are on the ballot for Area 1 to represent southern Carlsbad and northern Encinitas. The current Area 1 representative, Board President Maureen Muir, is not running for re-election. Three candidates are running to fill the Area 3 spot left vacant after former Trustee Melisse Mossy resigned in April. Area 3 encompasses Solana Beach and Old Del Mar.

On the Area 5 ballot, three candidates are running to represent Carmel Valley and Pacific Highlands Ranch, an area including TPHS. Julie Bronstein, the current Area 5 trustee, is on the ballot with Georgia Ringler and Phan Anderson, who are both parents of students in the district.

Julie Bronstein

Bronstein, who joined the board in a special election last November after the resignation of former Trustee Kristin Gibson in March 2021, is a San Diego local and a parent of two high-school students in the district.

“We live in an incredible community with truly wonderful schools,” Bronstein said. “I’m thankful for the education my children have received, and I’m proud of the progress we’ve been making in the district.”

She wants to translate this love for the SDUHSD community into district policies. For example, Bronstein has been an advocate for an additional counselor at each of the district high schools. This supplementary resource on campus would provide students with more support as they navigate college and future career pathways, she said.

“I think we can do a better job ensuring that all students feel welcome on our campuses,” Bronstein said.

If elected, Bronstein said that she will continue prioritizing student needs.

“If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected to the school board, I promise to work hard every day on behalf of our students and to always bring a positive and collaborative approach to solving the problems facing our district,” Bronstein said.

In addition, Bronstein, who previously served as the Vice President of Development on the Canyon Crest Academy Foundation board, said she will continue to closely watch over the budget and ensure that it is being “invested in classroom instruction.”

She also hopes to advocate for more parental involvement, better college-readiness resources, greater access to student mental health resources and an expansion of extracurricular opportunities.

“I believe that every child should feel welcome and protected in school and that our schools should celebrate diversity,” Brostein said.

Phan Anderson

Anderson is a software engineer, SDUHSD parent and Carmel Valley resident of 16 years.

Anderson declined a request to comment.

“I will bring my experience overcoming social and economic barriers, my critical thinking and problem-solving skills and my common sense to our school district,” Anderson said on her website.

If elected, she plans to focus on maintaining high standards in education and building respect for one another. Anderson felt compelled to run after community backlash surrounding James-Ward’s comments about Asian-American student achievement last April, according to her website. Anderson, if elected, wants the board to return to prioritizing the “quality of education” for students rather than “administrative goals,” according to her website.

“I stand for excellence in education and will be a strong independent voice for families, students, and the community,” Anderson said on her website.

Georgia Ringler

Ringler declined to comment and asked the Falconer to not be included in this story.

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