Carlsbad candidates compete for positions on board of trustees


Victoria Smith

Potential board member K. Rallings makes her speech to inform voters why they should vote for her. There were six other candidates there.

Kitty Knorr, Writer

On Oct 2. Pacific Rim Elementary School housed a forum for the Carlsbad Unified School District Board of Trustees. The Women’s League of Voters hosted the event and Anne Onstede facilitated the floor. Candidates running in the 2014 election gave platform speeches and answered the crowd’s questions.

Veronica Williams, Kathy Rallings, Gil Soto, Sage Naumann, Maria Rosino-Maracco and Claudine Jones are competing for three positions on the board, each having a four year term. Ray Pearson and Jenae Torgersen are competing for one spot, and a two year term. The candidates spoke openly about their opinions and positions on several issues, including class size, Common Core and California’s Proposition 2.

“Carlsbad schools have been successful because the district and the schools have worked hard and collaboratively,” Williams said. “They have remained focused on the needs of our students. I am proud of what we have accomplished in the last four years but we are not finished.”

Williams is running for reelection along with Jones. The women’s platforms focus on looking towards the future, for both the CUSD board as well as the children’s education.

“The last 13 months being on the School board, there are many challenging issues that were facing in the school district,” Jones said. “I want to develop strong critical thinking and prepare kids for the careers of tomorrow.”

Other candidates, including Soto, focused on the importance of family life and how Carlsbad should focus on providing the best inside the classrooms.

“Each school site has an abundance of great teachers and we need to continue to support them,” Soto said.

Rallings supported the notion that teachers need to be more valued, and advocated for an increase in teacher involvement in the CUSD board decision-making process.

“I am a voice for teachers, I am a voice for taxpayers and I am a voice for parents, and of course all of those support our students,” Rallings said. “And we need to honor teachers and allow them to be at the table with us.”

Many candidates argued that the Board of Trustees needs to make changes financially as well as politically.

”I feel a change on this board is necessary,” Rosino-Maracco said. “You deserve transparency and need to be able to know how your money is being spent and we need to look at our students’ education in the community as a whole.”

The youngest candidate, Naumman, suggested that he would be a good fit for the board because he understands the students’ perspective.

“Our class sizes are still too high, something needs to be done and unfortunately I don’t think our current board has done enough,” Naumann said.

Ray Pearson was the only absent candidate, but his running mate, Torgersen, publicized her experience and passion for campaigning.

“I am committed to always have the best interest of the students in mind,” Torgersen said. “Overseeing the school board takes a passion and interest in working with others to accomplish the district’s goals.”

Carlsbad, every vote counts. The Women’s League of Voters can help you become a Smart Voter. The last day to register to vote is Oct 20 and elections take place on Nov 4.