Active PTA member is one of five vying for a vacant spot on Glendale school board
La Canada Valley Sun
By Kelly Corrigan
October 1, 2014
A resident of the Sagebrush area of La Cañada Flintridge is one of five candidates looking to be appointed to the Glendale school board this week following school board member Mary Boger’s resignation due to illness.
Of the 16 who applied for the appointed position, school board members whittled that number to five to interview during a public meeting on Oct. 8.
Among those five finalists is La Cañadan Sandy Russell, who recently oversaw the PTA groups in Glendale as the district’s PTA Council president from 2012 through the end of the last academic year, and participated on the Local Control Accountability Plan committee. She is currently the PTA president at Rosemont Middle School, where her son attends, and she believes her recent experience has led her to be “up to speed” with the district’s issues.
“I would like to think I could be of service and of help to the board with as little of training as possible,” she said. “Hopefully they’ll feel I would be an asset and help them in the short term.”
In recent months, the Glendale school board has been discussing whether to transfer the area to La Cañada. Under a proposal being floated, La Cañada Unified would pay Glendale Unified a yet-unspecified amount of money to make up for the funding hit GUSD has said it would have to absorb for the loss of the students.
Russell said that as a board member she would not be ready to make a “rash decision” on the issue.
“I would require adequate time to hear from people, their concerns, go over extensively the financial plan being suggested, and take the time necessary to process and make an educated and thoughtful decision based on what is the best decision for [Glendale Unified] and our families,” she said.
The others who will be interviewed for Boger’s seat are Kevin Cordova-Brookey, Todd Hunt, Elizabeth Manasserian and Jason Nyhan.
Cordova-Brookey is an actor and parent of three children. When his ninth-grade daughter was in the second grade, he said, he learned his involvement in Glendale schools “was about everyone’s kids” and not just his.
Being involved in the PTA, “led to greater understanding of what’s going on in our schools,” he said. Like Russell, he has been a part of the district’s LCAP committee.
Hunt, a senior vice president of a software company, is the father of four children who graduated from Crescenta Valley High School. He ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the school board in 2007 and 2011. For the past three years, he’s served as chairman of the school district’s $270-million Measure S bond facilities advisory committee.
“I received a great education [and] my kids all received a great education. There’s a real desire for me that future generations of students in our district get the same opportunity that we had and make sure that they are getting a good education,” he said.
Manasserian, who ran unsuccessfully in 2007, is a commercial real estate broker who served as president of the Glendale Council PTA from 2010 to 2012, although her involvement in the PTA stems from the late 1990s while her two children attended Glendale schools.
She has served as president of Glendale Healthy Kids, belongs to the Glendale Noon Rotary Club and is a former member of the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women.
“I’ve had a passion for public education and children and youth,” she said. “I feel that I can offer my services to the board for the children of Glendale.”
Nyhan could not be reached for this story.
In regards to the Sagebrush issue, Hunt stated that he would look for what’s fair to Glendale Unified, should the territory transfer occur.
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