Three seats open in current school board election; one incumbent has filed

After a nearly 6-week summer break in school board meetings, it may seem like not much is happening in the Claremont Unified School District. CUSD, however, is gearing up for the November 5, 2013 election.

Three local school board seats are currently open, that of board president Mary Caenepeel, board vice president Steven Llanusa and board member Jeff Stark. Of the 3—who have a deadline of Friday, August 9 to file—only Mr. Llanusa, who has served on the Claremont school board since 2005, had declared his candidacy as of press time.

Ms. Caenepeel, who has also served on the board since 2005, said Thursday that she was “still debating” whether or not to run. Mr. Stark, who joined the board in 2009, was out of town and couldn’t be reached for comment.

Three non-incumbent candidates from the local community have declared their intention to run, according to information available on the website They include Nancy Treser-Osgood, Joseph Salas and Paul A. Steffen.

Ms. Treser-Osgood is the director of alumni relations at Pomona College. Among other commitments, Mr. Salas has served on Claremont’s Traffic & Transportation Commission. Mr. Steffen is the owner of Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty as well as Wheeler Steffen Property Management.

The COURIER has not yet spoken with Ms. Treser-Osgood, Mr. Salas or Mr. Steffen regarding their candidacies. Mr. Llanusa notes that his platform is available on the website He said he is hoping to add another facet of his platform in the near future: his dedication to use some of the state money returning to local schools to restore some of the many cuts that have been made in Claremont schools over the last few years. Chief among these, he told the COURIER, is the restoration of $300,000 in cuts to district transportation, resulting in the loss of busing to numerous sporting events and field trips.

Mr. Llanusa said he welcomes the opportunity to run for his office against a slate of qualified candidates.

“Having to run every 4 years helps prevent complacency among any elected officials,” he said. “It gives you a chance to share which of your goals you have accomplished, those you still need to accomplish and what else you would like to address.”

More on the school board election and the various candidates will be included in future editions of the COURIER.

—Sarah Torribio


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