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School board race sees new and familiar faces

William Landsiedel and Jan Vickers are both hoping to keep their seats. Tammy Keces and Dee Perry are challenging for the two spots.

September 20, 2012|By Joanna Clay

Laguna Beach residents will make the choice Nov. 6 whether to keep familiar faces on the five-member Laguna Beach Unified school board or vote in favor of two newcomers.

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The incumbents

William Landsiedel and Jan Vickers are both hoping to keep their seats. Landsiedel has been with the board for four years and served a six-month term in 2006.

"Everything is going great. I haven't heard a compelling need to change," Landsiedel, 62, said. "When you look at this record, from my perspective, it doesn't make any sense to change."

Landsiedel pointed to district successes such as an increased Academic Performance Index score. He said the district can't announce the current scores yet, but that it will show a significant increase from years prior.

He added the district is one of the only financially sound ones in the county, which means it's not facing the same issues as nearby districts — such as furloughs, program cuts and increased class sizes.

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He used his daughter as an example, whose geometry class at Thurston Middle School was divided into two classes of 18 — which isn't atypical in the district, he said.

Landsiedel said he's proud of the increased Advanced Placement participation, which occurred after he spearheaded changes to AP admittance. Instead of testing in, the district approved allowing any child to take AP classes who had an interest.

Now, Laguna Beach High School has an 89% pass rate for AP exams.

He said his top issues are consistency on the board, financial stability, a balanced budget and the Common Core Standards.

Landsiedel said he's familiar with both of the new candidates, Tammy Keces and Dee Perry, and said he thinks they're one-issue candidates. He said he knows Keces personally but hasn't heard an argument of why he or Vickers should not return.

Landsiedel, an attorney, owns a private law firm and has more than 30 years of management experience as assistant chief counsel for the State Compensation Insurance Fund, the largest workers' compensation carrier in the U.S. He has a California teaching credential and has taught business law at Long Beach City College and constitutional law at Pacific Coast University, both for more than 10 years.

He earned his bachelor's degree from Cal State Long Beach and juris doctor from Western State University College of Law. His children attend Laguna Beach schools.

Vickers had her first term in 1981 and if reelected, it would be her fourth term on the board. She's served on the board a total of 22 years.

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