Bingham leaves CUSD board; district seeks interim board member

by Kathryn Dunn |

Board member Beth Bingham stepped down from the Claremont Unified School District board of education at last Thursday’s meeting because she has moved out of the area for work.

Ms. Bingham was first elected to the school board in 2007, but decided to not re-run in 2011 to devote more time to her husband, who was facing health issues.

She ushered CUSD through some tough years—revolving superintendents and 2009 budget cuts brought down after the state of California declared a fiscal emergency were among the biggest challenges—and was part of the team who guided the district from vulnerability to stability. 

But the retired Presbyterian minister’s focus was always about being of service.

“It’s about the children and serving their best interest,” Ms. Bingham said in a 2008 interview with the COURIER. “Being a board member, the questions I ask myself when faced with an issue are ‘Who am I serving? Who are we responsible for?’ And everything works from there. We realize that there are children who don’t have a voice and parents that are not involved, but they still need to be represented. We’re still responsible to those children and their well being is a sacred trust.”

Ms. Bingham’s election to the school board wasn’t her first interaction with the Claremont public schools. In 2004, she led a citizen’s budget advisory committee to recommend priorities for reductions and to find ways of increasing revenue.

When the 2015 school board election was cancelled after no one filed to run against Hilary LaConte and the late Sam Mowbray, who at that time decided to step down when his term expired, Ms. Bingham was asked to come back. She has served on the board since that time.

Her departure will leave a vacant seat and the district is seeking applicants to serve the remainder of her term through November 2020. Claremont residents interested in serving as a provisional appointee should call (909) 398-0691 or visit



The Claremont Unified School District is seeking applicants to serve on the board as a provisional appointee from April 16 to November 2020. Once completed, the application must be hand-delivered on or before 3 p.m. on Friday, April 3 to the CUSD Superintendent’s Office, 170 W. San Jose Ave., Claremont.

All applications become part of public record and, if a request is made for viewing, will be made available for public inspection under the Public Records Act (Govt. Code 6250 et seq.) To be elected or appointed to a governing board of a school district, the state of California requires that you must be 18 years of age or older, be a citizen of the state and a resident of the school district, be a registered voter and not previously disqualified by the constitution or laws of the state from holding a civil office.

Employees the school district may not be sworn into office as an elected or appointed member unless and he or she resigns as an employee. If the employee does not resign, employment will automatically terminate upon being sworn into office, the school district announced in its notice of vacancy.

After reviewing the applications and verifying eligibility for board membership, on Monday, April 6, the superintendent’s office will post a list of individuals who have submitted a completed application and meet the qualifications for provisional appointment to the board. Qualified candidates will be directly notified and invited to the interview during an open session at the district office at 4 p.m. on April 7.

If selected, tuberculosis testing (TB) as well as a background check, including fingerprints, with the Department of Justice and FBI, will be conducted prior to taking the Oath of Office. The school district expects the successful candidate to take his or her seat on the board on Thursday, April 16.

Applications from residents within the school district boundaries who are interested in serving as a provisional appointee on the board may contact the superintendent’s office to request a candidate application packet. For information, contact the superintendent’s office at (909) 398-0691 or visit



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