By Mary O’KEEFE
La Crescenta resident Todd Hunt announced on Monday that he will be seeking a seat on the Glendale Unified School District board of education on the April 5, 2011 ballot. The terms of GUSD board members Mary Boger and Nayiri Nahabedian are up for re-election in 2011.
At a time when education leaders are facing some of the most difficult decisions in recent history Hunt said he is ready for the challenge.
“That is the very reason I want [to run],” Hunt said who is married and has four children. “My kids are still in school. I am a graduate from the Glendale district. I am committed to the schools and I think that is the type of person you need for the board.”
Hunt added that he is aware of the state’s educational budget troubles and said it was important to have a voice in Sacramento. He added that he understands the balancing act that the district has had to deal with between the ever-changing budget and keeping the cuts away from the classroom. He feels his background will benefit the board.
“In this financial environment you need someone with real business experience,” he said. Hunt is the senior vice president of a software development company. In that capacity he deals with budgets, negotiates contracts and works through personnel issues.
“I think those are important skills to have,” he added.
In recent years the district and teachers have had a contentious relationship. After a long, and at times emotional, negotiation a contract was finally agreed upon, but Hunt said that negotiations are never really over. He hopes to keep a line of communication open.
There is often a misconception between Crescenta Valley and Glendale schools. Many Crescenta Valley schools are in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County in La Crescenta, such as Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School, however they are still under the GUSD leadership. There have been feelings of separation, but Hunt feels his history can benefit the entire district.
“I was born and raised in downtown Glendale. I went to Hoover and still have roots and connections there. I have a history in Glendale and a history in La Crescenta – I think that is a little unique. Hopefully I can bridge some of the gaps,” he said.
Applications are being accepted by the Glendale City Clerk’s office for Jan. 6-27. Those elected to the school board serve a four-year term and receive minimal compensation.