By Jason KUROSU
Alex Keledjian, a Pasadena City College student and recent La Cañada High School graduate, is running for PCC’s board of trustees after stints on youth and education councils such as the La Cañada Flintridge Youth Council and the La Cañada Unified School District board of education as a student board member.
With current PCC board member Geoffrey Baum deciding to not seek re-election, an open seat is available for Area 1. The board of trustees seats seven members representing seven areas, much like electoral districts, with Area 1 including La Cañada as well as portions of Pasadena and Altadena. The other current candidate is Ross Selvidge, 66, who served on the Rose Bowl Stadium Operating Company, City Charter Reform Task Force and the City Hall Renovation Task Force, among other municipal commissions. Keledjian and Selvidge remain the only running candidates, though more may emerge before the August 9 deadline for candidate nominations.
Keledjian said that as he arrived at PCC, he noticed that “there was a deep disruption in governance between the board of trustees and the student body.”
“PCC is in desperate need of new leadership,” said Keledjian.
He said his greatest concern was how little incoming students are prepared after high school, noting that many new PCC students are better trained for passing high school exit exams than they are for college life.
“Being prepared to leave high school and being prepared for college are two extremely different things,” he said.
Keledjian proposes that new tests be crafted and administered to students from eighth grade until graduation, which would test on material that would better prepare students for higher education. Keledjian also wants to implement more classes in high schools within the Pasadena Area Community College District, which would give both high school and college credit to attending students and provide experience with a college-level curriculum.
Keledjian has received support and endorsement from numerous political figures, including Supervisor Michael Antonovich, former Pasadena Mayor William Paparian and former Governor George Deukmejian, as well as members of the education community.
Keledjian will be hosting a campaign kickoff on June 23 at the Kobeissi Properties Lounge, 711 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada. Election Day is Nov. 5.