The Castaic Union School District elected Laura Pearson as its new president and Stacy Dobbs as its new clerk during its annual organizational meeting Thursday.
This marks the third time Pearson, first elected to the board in 2005, will serve as the president of the CUSD Governing Board. She also served as clerk last year and the two years before she was named president.
“It’s a great honor, it’s a big job for a volunteer position. I know we’re elected officials but we do not make more than $200 a month,” Pearson said. “To be honored not only by the other board members, but also our community… as I’m helping us through some really tough times. I’m hoping, by the end of my term, that financially we are doing so much better and we can give raises to our teachers.”
As a board, Pearson said the overall goal is to continue to move forward as the district recovers from its financial problems and works to attract more children to the district by making positive changes.
“I think that we do some great things in Castaic and our goal is to get those things out there in the public,” Pearson said. “We have a Teacher of the Year for California in Castaic and we just recently received a $100,000 grant. We will be working on our video production and will be spending money to upgrade that program.”
She said the board also is working to re-implement programs that were taken away during financially difficult years and to give teachers more freedom in the classroom.
“We’re trying to get our teachers a little more freedom to teach how they see fit, all at the same time following the guidelines and state standards of what needs to be taught,” Pearson said.
In addition to her position on the board, Pearson has work within the school district and the community as president of the PTA and PTSA.
“A lot of time and effort go into it,” Pearson said of her role on the Governing Board. “Over a 12-year period I have not been paid a lot but I love what I do.”
This is the first time Dobbs, first elected in 2015, will serve as clerk of the Castaic Governing Board.
She said she was both honored and excited to work in this position and serve under Pearson, the board’s new president.
“I’m honored to have been chosen by my fellow board members to be clerk so I’m going to continue to support the board’s vision and goals,” Dobbs said. “I have full confidence in President Pearson serving as our president. She definitely has the experience and the dedication to lead as president. I’m excited to serve under her and help her out as she needs.”
Dobbs noted that she is also hoping to continue to support district staff and ensure student success in the district.
“I hope to continue our goals of improvement, expanding programs and working to see where we can improve things for our students and ensure their success,” Dobbs said. “Our district theme for the school year is ‘Make Hope Happen’ and there’s been a lot of exciting things happening in Castaic this year so people are hopeful as a district and as a community.”
She also noted how grateful she was to work on a board that maintains a positive working relationship, despite any disagreements or differing votes.
“The thing that’s great about our board and governing team is that we all get along… I think that’s important and that’s how our community is too. We all have that family feel and we all look out for each other and stay connected,” Dobbs said. “It’s been nice to have that, it’s helped us to work effectively as a school board to maintain those positive relations.”
Outside of her position on the Governing Board, Dobbs works part-time in an accounting office.
In the past, she volunteered in CUSD classrooms and served on the PTA Board and on the School Site Council.
She also served on the Strategic Planning Committee where she collaborated with others to develop the new vision, mission statements and core values of the district.
Dobbs has also held leadership positions in church as a children’s organization president, youth camp director and counselor in the women’s and youth auxiliaries.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_