May the Best Qualified Win



As a long time Laguna Beach resident with a daughter in Laguna Beach High School and a son in sixth grade, I have followed the school board election with interest. Our schools deserve the best people for the job. This year’s election presents a big opportunity. We get to elect three board members experienced enough to be educational leaders for years to come, leaders we will entrust to do the best for our kids, wisely spend our tax dollars, and support our property values. Four people are running for the three spots.

I read with interest the recent article in the Indy on candidate Annette Gibson, who hails from Crystal Cove in Newport Coast (“Candidate Vows to Keep Education Creative Not Common”). I appreciate Ms. Gibson’s desire to serve the community, but the persons with the best qualifications should get the nod.

Ms. Gibson comes up empty in experience that would make a good school board member. She has no professional experience that would help. She has no volunteer experience that would help. Ms. Gibson never has had one of her children in Laguna’s schools, or any public school, for that matter. Looking beyond experience, Ms. Gibson does not appear to have any record demonstrating an interest in our community or its schools.

Ms. Gibson warns of an oppressive school environment under the new Common Core teaching program, where some teachers fear for their jobs. She claims the schools are forcing our kids “into a work-force mentality instead of encouraging individualized talents and skills.”

As a parent, I do not see any of that. Laguna’s schools are rich with individual opportunity, widely ranging from the sciences, to the arts, to engaging sports programs and excellent programs for those with special needs. As a voter, I am looking for demonstrated leadership, not scare tactics. The tactic seeks to distract voters from Ms. Gibson’s lack of qualifications to lead our schools.

I hope the voters take notice and, instead, vote for the other candidates, all of who are more deserving. Luckily, this includes Carol Normandin, who is rich with passion for the job, who has directly relevant professional experience that can be used to find and hire great people for our schools, and who has tirelessly raised money for our schools for the better part of a decade.


Tom Walsh, Laguna Beach

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  1. I fully agree with Mr. Walsh’s comments. I attended the candidate forum where all the Laguna Beach school board candidates appeared and had to answer wide ranging questions. Ms. Annette Gibson was the least prepared, the least knowledgeable, least experienced, least leadership-ready, most angry, and the least poised. Her experience amounts to working as a nurse long ago and since then she has had ZERO involvement in the Laguna Beach community, living in Crystal Cove for years with no job whatsoever.

    Why is she running? Her focus clearly is to bring an outside partisan political agenda into our district. We do not need tea party issues taking over the school board’s business when it should focus on issues important to our kids, not making headlines to support outside interests. Of course, all her proposed experimentation on with the Laguna Beach school curriculum will impact my kids, but not hers, who attend private schools outside the district.


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