All five candidates — Ketta Brown, Kelly Cornwell, Jeff Elghanayan, Betsy Jenkins and Theresa O'Hare — attended the panel.
In Brown's opening statement, she cited her years of service on various PTAs, boards and in the classroom. She described herself as a finance geek who is comfortable handling money.
Elghanayan spoke of his volunteering in computer classes, serving as a trustee for Children's Hospital of Orange County and his experience in New York in urban development.
O'Hare described the various volunteer positions she's held at the district, including leadership roles at SchoolPower and boosters organizations.
Jenkins listed board and district successes under her tenure, and what she's learned in her time on the board. She emphasized the experience she's gained.
Cornwell outlined the financial skills he could bring to the board, and his involvement on the CSP Youth Shelter board. He also told of his future plans for the district.
The first question asked of the group was to list the important criteria for the new district superintendent. Theresa Daem will leave the position at the end of the current school year.
Elghanayan said that experience, stature in the community, listening skills, the ability to assimilate quickly, visibility with transparence, and consensus building skills are necessary for the job.
O'Hare said she wanted to see proven leadership ability. "I don't think we need to experiment with on-the-job training," she said. She described the search process intricately, and described what will happen in the future.
Jenkins said the most important thing to her is broad experience in leading a school district. She also described two vital characteristics: "absolute passion and energy" toward the city's educational programs, and the ability to lead by consensus and heal factions.