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School board hopefuls running for all open seats as deadline nears

by Mick Rhodes | editor@claremont-courier.com

Claremont Unified School District Board of Education President Steven Llanusa has a race on his hands.

Aaron Peterson will challenge Llanusa in trustee area 4 in the upcoming November 8 general election.

“My name is Aaron Peterson, my wife Caitlin and I have three children attending Condit elementary,” Peterson wrote in an August 9 email to the COURIER. “With much of their educational future ahead of them I am looking to be involved and help shape what that education will look like which is why I am running for school board. I hope to accomplish a balance of ideas and opinions so that we can benefit all students and families.”

The boundaries for trustee area 4, where Peterson and Llanusa are set to square off, run north from Foothill Blvd., are bracketed by Indian Hill Blvd. and Towne Ave., branch west at the 210 Freeway to Williams Ave., east roughly at Thompson Creek Trail to Mills Ave., then continue north into the Claremont Wilderness Park foothills.

Former COURIER editor Kathryn Dunn is running unopposed (as of noon Thursday) in trustee area 1. It runs from Arrow Hwy. to the south, zigzags north to Foothill Blvd., and is roughly bounded by Carnegie Ave. to the west and Claremont Blvd. on the east.

Richard O’Neill filed his papers with the county August 10, and will run in trustee area 3, perhaps unopposed.

O’Neill was the lone candidate to have pulled or filed papers to run in trustee area 3 as of noon Thursday. The area’s western boundary is the oddly shaped southwestern portion located in Pomona roughly at Fulton Rd. to the west, and Harrison Ave. to the south, Bonita and Mountain avenues to the east, Foothill Blvd. and Cambridge Ave. to the northeast, and Williams Ave. and the 210 Freeway to the northwest.

Former COURIER editor Kathryn Dunn is running for CUSD Board of Education in trustee area 1.

Dunn’s candidate statement reads, in part:

“As a journalist for more than 25 years, my interest in serving on the CUSD school board is motivated by my deep commitment to better engagement between leaders and residents of Claremont. My work as editor of the Claremont COURIER newspaper demonstrates my dedication to our community and underscores my commitment to transparency and accountability in government. As a board member I will strive to reach consensus when possible and to take an even-handed approach when the time comes for tough decisions.”

The honorary co-chairs of Dunn’s campaign are Krista Carson Elhai and Jack Mills. Her treasurer is Julia Zuker Brunzell. Stakeholders can email kathryndunn91711@gmail.com for more information.

Watch for COURIER profiles of all the candidates in the coming weeks.

Candidates who wish to run for any of the three open trustee areas must turn in their papers to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorders Office no later than Friday, August 12.

Information on how to file to run for the school board race is available at CUSD’s website, by calling (562) 462-2919, or via email to ecu@rrcc.lacounty.gov. Candidates for school board must be registered voters and reside within the boundaries of their trustee area.

To see who may have pulled papers to run in this or any other county election, go to www.lavote.gov/Apps/CandidateList/Index?id=4300.

Current CUSD board members Bob Fass and Kathy Archer represent trustee areas 2 and 5. Those trustee areas will not be up for grabs until November 2024.

The school district began discussions to move to trustee area elections way back in 2018. After a series of board meetings and public comment on the numerous proposed trustee maps, the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization approved the board’s choice on March 30, making the move official.

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