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Meet the Area 2 Candidates for Trustee on the Capistrano Unified School District’s Board

Davis and Parham are eager to serve on the school board. Here’s why.

Candidates for trustee on the board of the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD), have filed their applications and qualified for the ballot for elections on Nov. 8.

The board decides on issues affecting school curriculum, book choices, charter schools and health mandates among other things. A majority vote of just four board members of the seven member panel, can potentially decide the direction of the approximately 54,000 students of the Capistrano School District.

Area 2, which covers Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza and parts of San Juan Capistrano, is a special election to replace Pamela Braunstein. The winning candidate will serve until Dec. 13, 2024.

The two candidates hoping to represent Area 2 are: Kira Davis and Michael Parham.

Kira Davis and her husband of twenty-three years live in Ladera Ranch with their two children. Davis is running because she believes as a parent, “Our children deserve a voice that represents them, and we need a voice that represents us.” Davis hopes that her presence on the board would reflect the diversity of the population that is Orange County.

Davis has already taken action on issues that are important to her. In July when parents were concerned about whether the district would return to mask mandates, she requested that the board take up the issue of a mask choice resolution at the next planned board meeting. She was also “active in the push back of California’s enhanced new sexual education provisions.”

Davis has worked as a podcaster, journalist and non-profit executive but puts her role as wife and mother as “her greatest job.”

If given the chance to be a trustee, Davis would like to bring reform, transparency and responsiveness to the district’s culture, enrich the educational experience for all students and stand against mandates and closures. “I pledge to listen to and represent all parents.” Davis says.  “I will be your voice on our school board. Parents and students first!”

Michael Parham lives in Rancho Mission Viejo with his wife and two minor children. He also has two other children in college. Michael graduated with an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. He holds various Financial Industry Regulatory Authority licences having spent several years in global banking and auditing.

Parham wants to be trustee because he would like to see the district improve its interaction and communication with parents, and build credibility with the public.

Parham has board  experience having successfully served on the Irvine Unified School District Board for three consecutive terms (2004-2016). He was elected twice as President of the IUSD board. During his time there IUSD received the District Leadership Award at the Green California Schools Summit & Exposition (2009). 

Should Parham win the board seat for Area 2, he would work to build credibility and thereby find ways of funding school facilities. “The idea of passing a bond is not realistic, given the lack of credibility. That’s something I fought hard for and worked for in Irvine, and I know I can do that here. It’s going to take years. It’s a necessary thing. These facilities are somewhat dilapidated.”  Parham wants to see students be better prepared through education for future jobs that would require knowledge in technological data, coding and analysis. For this reason, he advocates for teachers to teach for the future and focus less on teaching for tests.

Parham believes “ that parental rights must be at the forefront of key decisions, and that each child deserves an equal opportunity to succeed.”

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