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Introducing Area 4 Candidates for Trustee on the Capistrano Unified School District Board

What do candidates bring to the table and how do they hope to bring positive change to Capistrano’s school district?

Elections for Area 4 Trustee for the Capistrano Unified School District Board will take place on Nov. 8, 2022. Candidates wanting to fill the position have signed their Declaration of Candidacy and started their local campaigns.

Area 4 encompasses portions of Laguna Niguel and Dana Point.

The three candidates vying for trustee position are James Glantz, Darin Patel and Gary Pritchard. Martha McNicholas, current President of the board and Area 4 representative will see her term end in Dec. 2022. She will not be seeking re-election.

James (Jim) Glantz holds a Masters in Education from UCLA and a Doctorate in Organizational Development. He was the Vice President of a multi-billion dollar company and a former teacher before launching his own business.

Glantz is running for trustee of Area 4 because he’d like to bring a parents first perspective to the board and diminish the influence of special interests.  “Running a business is wonderful. At the same time, one of the greatest feelings is to “give to/serve the community.” Last year, it struck me that with my background in education and business, I’d be suited to contribute to the CUSD School Board. This administrative path provides a new way for me to help students to be successful, both academically and in life.”

Glantz is against mandated vaccines for students, and “does not believe in expelling students that can’t get, or won’t get, vaccinated.”

When it comes to education, Glantz supports the widest possible educational choices for Capistrano students. Glantz “believes parents, not bureaucrats, should decide what type of education or school best fits their child.” He supports expanding choices through charter schools, vocational schools, career classes, STEM and college preparatory programs, whatever avenue helps students graduate and succeed in the workforce.

The content of education is also important to Glantz so transparency is crucial. He believes parents and students should have more say in educational policy. He does not support the teaching of CRT. Glantz also believes sex education should be age appropriate and parents should be informed on the content being introduced in the classroom.

Darin Patel is a software developer who has gotten all his education from within the Capistrano Unified School District. Additionally, members of his family are still being educated in the district. “I have a vested interest in providing a safe learning environment and quality education for all students.”

Patel is running for trustee as he believes he can be fiscally responsible to Capistrano taxpayers while still advocating for their needs. As Area 4 representative he’d be the voice for parents and students, a change that is needed, he notes. 

Patel says “I hope to expand learning opportunities and access to counsellors for students in their college and technical studies.” 

Gary Pritchard is a resident of Laguna Niguel with children attending public schools in the district. He is a college dean, career educator, accomplished musician and former Capistrano School Board trustee.

Pritchard believes new leadership is needed to keep schools well maintained through prudent use of tax dollars and thereby ensure property values and communities are strong. “ I want our schools to be the best in Orange County with a bright future available for every student,” he said.

Pritchard sees parent involvement as a key to strong schools. “I understand the concerns of parents, frustrated with the direction of our school board.”

With previous experience on the CUSD board of trustees, Pritchard hopes to bring some of that educational innovation and excellence in representing Area 4. “During my tenure on the Capistrano Unified School Board, we created Capistrano’s first Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) program to help provide innovative career paths for graduates.”

Pritchard supports arts education in public schools, and has the backing of local teachers unions. 

“If elected again I will promote fiscal responsibility, stand up to Sacramento bureaucrats, and cut wasteful spending.”

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