[KHTS] – Saugus School Board members picked David Powell from a field of 16 applicants to fill a vacant board seat Friday.
Powell replaces Stephen Winkler, who was booted from the board because he didn’t live in the district.
There were sixteen 12-minute candidate interviews in which the prospective candidates were asked eight questions on topics such as the Common Core Standards Initiative and the Local Control Funding Formula, as well as how the prospective board member would handle an upset parent.
A father of four children, including one enrolled in the Saugus Union School District, Powell is the director of the Master’s of Public Policy and Administration program at California Lutheran University.
“He not only attends board meetings, I think he would be a unifying force for our parents,” said board member Rose Koscielny.
The board members made their selections based on a matrix they scored based on the answers to the eight questions, said board President Paul De La Cerda.
The board members revealed who they voted for after each round, and discussed their decisions.
An official with the state’s District Attorney’s Office validated the district’s concerns about Winkler in February by granting the district to proceed with a quo warranto proceeding, a legal process by which a governing body can remove an elected official.
The board then sought legal action against Winkler in Los Angeles County Superior Court, which was granted in June.
The Saugus Union School District was best served by the appointment process over the election, primarily due to the cost of an election, De La Cerda said. However, he still felt it allowed for the best candidate to have a chance at the job.
“(Cost) is primarily the main reason, but the appointment process, if it’s run correctly like this, you get to find a candidate who’s repsonsible and can fill the duties until the next election occurs,” he said. “In a year and a half, the public is going to be able to decide the next two candidates.”
Powell will be sworn in at special meeting Aug. 5, De La Cerda said.
Profile: David Powell (Source: California Lutheran University)
David Powell, Ph.D., comes to the MPPA Program from California State University, Long Beach where he served as Director of both the on-campus and MPA – Distance Learning Programs. Prior to arriving at Cal State, Dr. Powell also taught public administration and political science at Florida Gulf Coast University and Eastern Illinois University.
He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Miami in 1996 and also holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Ohio University and undergraduate degrees in Political Science and History from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.
Dr. Powell’s research on student learning assessment and Internet taxation has appeared in a variety of journals including The Journal of Public Affairs Education, Publius, The Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, California Politics and Policy and State Tax Notes. He is a former member of the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) for the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) and has served as a liaison and consultant for MPA programs nationwide.
Dr. Powell currently lives in Santa Clarita with his wife and four children.