High school board candidates look to fill vacant seats

ENCINITAS — At least two new faces will join the San Dieguito Union High School District board of trustees after the November election.
Six candidates are competing for three spots on
the five-member board. One incumbent, Barbara Groth, is hoping to retain her seat, while trustees Linda Friedman and Dee Rich decided not to seek re-election.
The top three vote-getters will serve four-year terms on the board, which oversees approximately 12,300 students in 10 schools located between southern Carlsbad and Carmel Valley.
The candidates vary in professional backgrounds and motivations to serve on the board. Former teachers, administrators, parents, politicians and business owners round out the playing field.
Three of the candidates have formed a so-called “ticket.” Groth, Amy Herman and Rick Shea are running together with a shared website and signage. The others — Andy Brown, John Salazar and Sandra Timmons — are running separately.
Brown, 46, said his four years on the Cardiff School District board of trustees is experience that will be useful in the role of guiding the much larger high school district.
Brown’s family owns an Encinitas nursery where he works. The father of three children, one attends La Costa Canyon High School, said the challenges of managing a school district are similar regardless of the size. With his community relationships and school board experience, he said he is prepared for the new post.
Groth is betting her 16 years on local school boards will continue to benefit the high school district board. Before becoming a San Dieguito trustee in 1998, she served a four-year term on the Rancho Santa Fe School District board. Her two children graduated from Torrey Pines High School.
Groth, 57, is a San Dieguito High School graduate who works as an office manager for her husband’s medical practice.
Herman has served on numerous San Dieguito school committees, as her two children are graduates of schools in the district.
Herman said she would work cooperatively with the board, district staff and the community to maintain the academic programs students and parents have come to expect from the district. She said she is also committed to maintaining art and other enrichment classes in the schools.
Herman, 50, owns Herman Design and Construction with her husband.
John Salazar, a retired marketing executive said he has the business acumen to deal with the issues facing the district.
Salazar, 51 sold his La Mesa-based business after 25 years and decided to get a teaching degree.
He became a substitute teacher, but said he would rather be a board member than a teacher. He said his experience in the classroom, however brief, coupled with his parent’s eye view would benefit the district. His daughter is a junior at Torrey Pines High School.
Shea said his experience as a teacher, school administrator and city councilman is proven leadership that will serve the public education system well.
Shea, 65, a retired administrator with the San Diego County Office of Education also served as an Encinitas council member from 1986 to 1990.
While Sandra Timmons is confident in the direction the district is moving, she said her motivation to serve on the board comes from a desire to continue the momentum.
The 58-year-old retired video producer has a daughter who is a student at San Dieguito Academy.

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