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Kathryn Turner: Keeping an eye on district's future

October 18, 2002

Kathryn Turner was first sworn in to the Laguna Beach Unified

School District Board of Education the day before the Orange County

bankruptcy in 1994.

Since those uncertain days, she has helped "right the ship" as the

district itself faced financial collapse. She has been an integral

player in the growth of the Quest for Excellence Committee, which

continues to create an educational experience that supports the

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"whole child." Now she is eager to spend her third term focusing on

the quality of education, but not without keeping an eye on the full

slate of construction projects at schools.

"This will be the fun part," she said. "I feel we can now finish

that conversation and make a difference in the lives of youngsters."

Questions

1. Will the board continue to oversee the details of the ongoing

construction at the schools?

Absolutely.

2. How will the board ensure the district's financial health in an

uncertain economy?

By regularly monitoring property values and taxes, maintaining

healthy reserves, and allocating available resources judiciously.

3. Do you feel class size is an important issue at our elementary

schools?

Several years ago we reduced class sizes in grades K through three

to no more than 20 students per teacher. We have continued to

maintain those reductions. Should there be a drop in income and cuts

in expenditures become necessary, I would urge the school board to

make cuts in other areas before increasing class sizes in grades K

through three.

4. How will the board help create a more global curriculum that

will prepare students for the future?

I think we are beginning to do that now. Just one example: the

Project Based Learning effort, which allows students to learn

research, critical thinking, problem solving and group interaction

skills, while at the same time satisfying a variety of content

standards set by the state of California.

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