Sweetwater school district moves forward with new leadership - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Sweetwater school district moves forward with new leadership

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CHULA VISTA (CBS 8) - The Sweetwater Union High School District is turning over a new leaf.

The district has been scarred by corruption with board members indicted and a superintendent sentenced to seven  months in jail and three years probation for a pay-to-play contract scandal.

Now the community is working to move forward with new SUHSD leadership.

Wednesday night, a crowd of about 100 parents, teachers, retired educators and empty nesters joined the discussion for the second forum on new leadership in SUHSD in the second community forum about new board members.

Five seats are up for grabs, four were are empty from the scandal and the president of the board will not be running again.

“The more informed we are as parents in choosing the new school board and knowing what we want I think that will be critical in getting those people,” said parent Baltazaro Perez.

The Chula Vista mayor says the crowd Wednesday night was three times larger than the previous forum.

“The way of the success of a city is built is built on the success of its schools,” said Mayor Cheryl Cox.

People at the meeting raised their hands high asking questions and giving their thoughts on who should be the next board trustee.

“I am very concerned on where the kids fit into this,” said a retired teacher.

Another woman wanted someone who is knowledgeable about the district, “I want those candidates to know everything about this district and about students and why they are sitting there."

However, one parent who is also a district employee, says it’s more about the type of leadership.

“Am I person of character, am I person of integrity, am I a person who works hard and is dedicated and caring? That is someone as a board member who I would be looking for,” said Joe Posapio.

He also works in special services and says he and four other employees have created a program that boosts moral in the district and wants it to expand, “It’s about changing the conversation.”

Changing the conversation from the past scheme where four of the five trustees pleaded guilty.

In the spring teachers threatened to strike and also rallied on the lines at school board meetings.

“We are saying that has past and we are saying what is that you as residents are willing to do to rebuild confidence in the Sweetwater Union High School District?” said Cox.

Some parents admit they were embarrassed to tell other people their kids were in the SUHSD but say hope with a clean slate they can build back that pride.

“You want to be proud that you are in the school district and hopefully we are heading in the right direction,” said Perez.

This will be the first year to vote for a trustee in district boundaries rather than as a whole.

August 8 is the deadline to file as a candidate for trustee in the November election.

Currently four trustees have been appointed from the San Diego County Board of Education.

They removed former Superintendent Ed Brand and appointed Tim Glover who also came from the county board of education.

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