Normandin’s Command of Issues Earns a Supporter

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Editor,

I attended the recent Laguna Beach School Board candidate forum and was pleased by the many questions that were asked of the panel.

Clearly Carol Normandin and Ketta Brown were the most prepared and knowledgeable on all the issues. Normandin especially spoke with professionalism, knowledge, poise, leadership, compassion, and authority. To me, this shows that she had already taken the time to go deep on the issues, had talked to numerous stakeholders, had drawn reasonable conclusions, and had years of volunteer and solid professional experience relevant to what we need on the school board to make our schools better.

To me, this is the same as a job interview. I want to hire the smartest, most dedicated, most communicative and passionate person who actually has worked with and led a team.  Carol Normandin gets this nod, as well as Ketta Brown and Dee Perry, albeit to a lesser extent.

In my opinion, no answer of Annette Gibson in the forum came close to demonstrating any capability to represent me and my kids on the school board. This much is crystal clear to me.  When asked about teaching computer coding in the schools, Gibson gave an answer about how kids shouldn’t read books on iPads and should instead read paper books. That left me wondering if she even knows what coding is and why it should be taught. She either doesn’t know, or chose to instead give an answer revealing an agenda against use of technology by our students.

When asked about qualifications, I heard only that Gibson was educated as a nurse and had gone to only one Laguna Beach School Board meeting.  Beyond mere opinion, she spoke of nothing at all that gave me confidence in her having any skills or experience bearing on important educational issues.  I did not hear Gibson talk about any other professional accomplishment, or any iota of past involvement in the Laguna Beach community. The other candidates have plenty. Gibson has strong views on Common Core, but in my opinion, this is a radical and divisive partisan political agenda from outside of our district; that is no justification for my vote, and indeed, is the opposite, a sound reason to avoid giving my vote to Gibson.

I don’t support control of our schools by anyone who is unqualified and has an outside political agenda.

Keith Newburry, Laguna Beach

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