CUSD board names new president and district makes honor roll

CUSD board names new president and district makes honor roll
Veronica Williams, left, was unanimously approved by the board to serve as the president of CUSD Board of Trustees. Claudine Jones was re-elected as vice president. Photo by Ellen Wright

CARLSBAD—The Carlsbad Unified School District Board of Trustees has a new president, Veronica Williams.

Board members unanimously approved her nomination Dec. 10 at the board meeting. Claudine Jones remains the vice president and Elisa Williamson was named the clerk of the board.

Former president Ann Tanner chose not to run again.

“I will be moving on to other life endeavors but am pleased with the consistent progress of the Carlsbad Unified School District,” Tanner said. “I am also pleased with the new board and their willingness to serve the 11,000 students of the district.  They will be wonderful.”

Newcomers Ray Pearson and Kathy Rallings were sworn in to serve a two and four year term respectively.

Pearson serves on the Proposition P Oversight Committee, which has overseen the allocation of almost $200 million in construction bonds, according to Bev de Nicola, communications consultant for the district.

“He has extensive community service and business experience, and is a member of the Rotary,” de Nicola said.

He also currently serves as the chair of the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation, a non-profit which services the community.

Rallings works as a health benefits specialist for public school districts, according to de Nicola.

All of the board members read a paragraph from the oath of office to remind them of their responsibility on the board.

Their first responsibility is to the welfare of the children in Carlsbad schools. They also promised to serve the voice of the people and taxpayers.

They recognized that the district is a major employer and they’re tasked with ensuring justice for all employees.

“I look forward to working with this thoughtful, capable board,” said Superintendent Suzette Lovely. “Each trustee brings unique experiences and a valuable perspective to their role, which will serve our students well.”

Lovely also had some news to share with the board. The national non-profit College Board named the Carlsbad Unified School District to the AP District Honor Roll for the second year in a row.

CUSD is the only district in San Diego County to make the list for two consecutive years.

This year, four districts in San Diego County were named to the list and 35 districts throughout the state made it.

“This is not just a testament to our wonderful high school teachers who do an amazing job, but to get this, it starts in our elementary schools as we create the foundation,” said Lovely.

In order to make the list, the high school district must increase participation in advanced placement exams by six percent, increase or maintain the amount of the percentage of exams taken by minority students and improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2014 scoring a three or higher to those in 2012.

“To improve six percent over the previous year is huge,” Lovely said.

To pass an AP exam, a student must score a three or higher. In doing so, they are eligible to receive college credit for the high-school course.

Former board president Tanner said 80 percent of students who took the tests scored a three or higher for two consecutive years.

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