As an educational attorney and proud member of our community, I’m committed to making our schools exceptional. I’m running for school board because I believe in the value of public education. I want to work with teachers, parents and the community to ensure Tustin Unified School District students receive the world-class education they deserve. I promise that I will make every effort to prepare our students for the workforce of the ever-changing global economy and have the tools to be ready for college.
My education, background and years of experience as an education attorney representing teachers, students and teacher unions have given me the tools to advocate on behalf of educators, students and families. As a successful business owner, I understand the realities of working with a budget, and will ensure that TUSD spends our taxpayer money wisely.
If elected, I’ll diligently work toward retaining and recruiting highly qualified teachers, developing and supporting academic initiatives that will prepare our children. As your trustee, I will work to ensure our taxpayer dollars are spent directly in the class-room, reduce class sizes, provide for special needs students and expand after-school programs. I respectfully ask for your vote come November.
Karen Twaddell, Ed. D., is currently a candidate for the Tustin Unified School District Board of Education. Karen is a retired educator/administrator, with a background in special education. Karen has been both a teacher and an administrator, both at school sites and at the district level. Karen has a doctorate in educational psychology from University of the Pacific, Stockton, as well as a Master’s degree in special education from California State Stanislaus, Turlock. Karen also currently tutors in Tustin and Irvine, working with students from several different schools and grade levels.
Karen hopes to become a member of the Tustin school board and work with the other members to strengthen and support the students and staff of Tustin.
Elected to TUSD board in 2004, 12 years of service.
Served as president two times, vice president two times.
James Laird is a native of Tustin. He attended Tustin Unified schools and graduated from Foothill High School in 1983, Harvard University in 1987 and University of the Pacific, McGeorge Law School in 1991.
He is an Orange County assistant district attorney with 25 years of service to public safety prosecuting a wide array of cases from misdemeanors to homicide. Laird currently supervises over 20 attorneys in the office’s Gang Unit.
During the school year, he serves as a volunteer fifth-grade class instructor in an effective anti-gang program called GRIP (Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership).
James and his wife Susan have three daughters, Sarah, Emma and Caroline, who have attended TUSD schools.
Elected in 1996, 20 years of service. Served as president four times, vice president three times.
Married for 24 years. One son – graduate of Foothill High School, currently attending college.
Tustin business owner for the past 20 years.
Serves on Coastline Regional Occupational Program, 16 years of service. Served on California School Boards Association’s Delegate Assembly – a state-level position working on educational policies for 14 years.
Career and Technical Education Committee – 16 years.
“Every 15 Minutes” – anti-drinking and driving program for high school students – 14 years of service.
Joint School Board/City Council Liason Team; Strategic Planning Committee; High School Planning Committee; Future Middle and High School Planning Committee; GATE and Special Education Committees; Safe and Drug Free Schools Committee.
Elected in 1996, 20 years of service.
Served as president four times, vice president five times.
Business owner – lived in and managed businesses across Orange County since 1979.
Children attended Tustin Unified schools from first to 12th grade, graduated from Foothill High and the Claremont Colleges.
Holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Manhattanville College and Master’s degree in business from Columbia University.
Served as president of Orange County School Boards Association and the California Association of Suburban School Districts.
Appointed to the Nominating Committee on School District. Reorganization and elected to California School Board Association’s (CSBA) Delegate Assembly and the boards of Pacific Chorale and Pomona College. Served as Vice President of Orange County Associates for 20 years, managing commercial and industrial real estate.
TUSD board candidate Elias Teferi did not respond to the Sentry’s invitation to submit campaign information.