Mark, who is an active community member, most recently ran for City Council in March, his first bid for a public seat. As a resident with a son in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, he wants residents to make an informed decision and cast a ballot on Nov. 5.
"Unlike when you run for City Council, I do not believe there are enough organized forums to hear from all the school board candidates under one roof," he wrote Patch. "I think it takes a forum with a mixed bag of citizens and all candidates so we are hearing pros and cons, unlike a meet and greet that's simply intended for a candidate's fundraising purposes. After all, this board oversees the long-term and short-term direction of the most important industry in our community, our kids."
Mark says the evening is intended for residents to meet the candidates "front and center, ask the tough questions, check out the body language, etc. Hear their vision for the future of our schools, and decide for yourself if they deserve your vote. This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with these candidates in a very casual atmosphere and network on the issues with other parents."
He notes that the local public schools are one of the city's "key industries that draw people to our city" due to "a quality, locally managed, parent-driven public school system."
Here is candidate info, as provided by Mark.
Jennifer has been a leader in our schools for 10 years and has children at every level of the system (Mira Costa, MBMS and Meadows). She is a former PTA President, MBEF Executive Board member and lead the district's political advocacy team. She has been advocating for our students for 6 years in Sacramento and knows the intricacies of state and federal education policies. She also has a strong background in Human Resources strategy and training and development, skills that are critical in the district where over 80% of the budget is comprised of human resources. Jennifer's focus in the coming years is to ensure that our children learn to think critically, collaborate and communicate. She is focused on supporting our teachers with proper training and tools to successfully integrate the new Common Core Curriculum. She also intends to maintain responsible and transparent budgeting, but she does not want to lose sight of innovation and forward progress in our district.
Christine Cronin Hurst
I have a deep personal passion for education as exhibited by my years of volunteer service in our schools, on several PTA executive boards and the Ed Foundation board.
I now seek to play a more important role as a member of the school board where I can use my 22 years of financial experience to move our district forward for the betterment of the entire community.
I am the candidate with the best experience and financial background to provide the proper oversight of district funds and responsibly manage our tax dollars.
As a grateful resident of Manhattan Beach for 16 years with two children currently attending Manhattan Beach Unified schools, I am committed to improving the high quality of education we have achieved and to fairly represent all students, parents and teachers in that process.
Paralusz has served Manhattan Beach in various positions for the past seven years, is a proven community leader and brings strong public decision-making experience to the board. In addition to her legal know-how (she's an attorney for Northrop), Paralusz has also been on the Measure BB Oversight committee monitoring the construction project at Mira Costa High School -- Phase 1 was delivered on time and on budget. Her child will start kindergarten next fall, so she'll bring a fresh eye to the district and its policies.
Ellen Rosenberg (Rosenberg will not be at the meeting yet will have materials there for you to take with you)
Rosenberg is a current member of the MBUSD board who has been part of the successful 10+ year effort to restore the financial health of the district. With her years as president of the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation prior to being on the board, she knows the district's budget inside and out.