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News-Press endorsement for Glendale Unified school board: Krikorian, Wagner and Walters

March 22, 2013

There are seven candidates vying for the three open seats on the Glendale Unified School District Governing Board, a healthy field during a pivotal year. The board will be tasked with continuing capital improvements allowed by the $270-million bond approved in 2011, ensuring the district is on track with its Common Core State Standards, and getting teachers’ buy-in during turbulent budgetary times. These and other concerns call for deep institutional knowledge and steady hands.

We endorse the incumbents: Greg Krikorian, Joylene Wagner and Christine Walters.

Krikorian has been on the board since 2001. His failed bid last fall for the 43rd Assembly District seat and his decision not to seek a seat on the City Council this year is to the advantage of the Glendale school system. During his tenure on the school board, two dozen of the GUSD’s 30 campuses have achieved California distinguished schools status. Krikorian has also pushed for safety measures, fiscal responsibility and strategic planning.

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The soft-spoken Wagner is hoping to be elected to her third term on the board. She is beloved by many in the school community and is recognized as a tireless advocate for students, while also keeping a sharp eye on the budget. She recognizes that teaching is a challenging work, and deserves a chance to help shore up the oft-fractured relationship between the Glendale Teachers Association and the board.

Walters joined the school board in 2009 and has proven herself to be a valuable member of the board. Currently serving as its president, she has helped the district move forward despite reduced state funding. Her leadership facilitated the district’s application for the Race to the Top grant last year, which might have brought the district $40 million. Though the application was stymied by the GTA’s refusal to sign off, the attempt shows Walters’ forward thinking.

We believe Krikorian, Wagner and Walters are the best choices to guide Glendale schools in the coming four years.

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