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By Julian Peeples

“RUNNING FOR SCHOOL BOARD requires good public speaking skills, empathy, thick skin, the ability to multitask and being well-organized (among many other skills),” says special education teacher and school board hopeful Telly Tse. “This is why educators are naturally great candidates for this very important position!”

Tse is running for Glendale Unified School District Board of Education, Trustee Area A, in the March 5 Primary Election — one of 2,000 school board seats that voters will decide on statewide in 2024. A Beverly Hills Education Association member as well as former member of the CTA and NEA Board of Directors, Tse says he developed strong ties with educators in Glendale through his union work and involvement as a coach in youth soccer and softball. While Tse has previously considered running, he says the time is right for his leadership and experience.

“My hope for my own children and every child that attends Glendale Unified schools is that they graduate from our district with high academic achievement and strong social skills, and as independent and critical thinkers ready to be productive members of our democracy,” says Tse, who is endorsed by Glendale Teachers Association. “We can make this happen by prioritizing racial and social justice, investing in our educators and staff, and implementing stronger and wide-ranging communication in our district.”

Special education teacher and CTA Board of Directors member Angela Normand is seeking reelection in March to the Alameda County Board of Education, Area 2. In the classroom, as a union leader and as an elected official, Normand has remained laser-focused on supporting the well-being of students — especially those who are most vulnerable.

“My Marine Corps training taught me that there is no higher calling than to give back to our communities,” says Normand, a member of Brentwood Teachers Association. “I am committed to ensuring that schools serve the whole needs of students, with safe and supportive classrooms and school campuses. This is more than a goal; this is a practice.”

Normand is one of more than 50 CTA members and staff who currently serve on school boards across California, bringing educators’ voices to local policy-making discussions and advocating for safe and supportive learning conditions for every student. Last December, these educators/elected officials held their own caucus at the California School Boards Association annual meeting for the second time. At a time when educators and communities are rising together to fight extremists elected to school boards, like in Chino Valley, Orange, Rocklin and Temecula, more and more educators are stepping up to defend their schools and communities as trustees.

“We are uniquely positioned to identify and work on policies that protect students, teachers and staff, to ensure that all students have opportunities to reach their full potential,” says Normand, who is endorsed by numerous Alameda County teachers’ associations. “We advocate for the students who cannot advocate for themselves — specifically, those who are historically underserved and overlooked.”

In Los Angeles, near-20-year educator Karla Griego is looking to become the first-ever special education teacher on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Endorsed by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) for District 5, Griego is also the community schools coordinator at McAlister High School, an options school for pregnant and parenting minors.

“My priorities for LA Unified include supporting the whole child through providing more mental health supports, supporting our LGBTQ+ students, and creating enriching curriculum and career pathways,” Griego says. “We need to promote equity, accountability and transparency for LAUSD and charter schools. I want to ensure that the voices of our families and communities are heard.”

Griego agrees that educators are uniquely positioned to lead communities as school board members.

“We have a pulse on the issues and deep knowledge on how to resolve them,” says Griego, a UTLA member. “We bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise in solving problems while centering students’ holistic needs.”

Normand is ready to continue leading in Alameda County to ensure that all students have the support they need and deserve.

“I am a special education teacher — and many students from marginalized communities find their way to my classroom. While many students have educational difficulties, many more are simply trying to learn and thrive in a traumatizing space, or heal from traumatizing circumstances, in a system not designed to see and prioritize their needs,” Normand says.

“This is why I am such an advocate for trauma-informed and culturally competent wraparound services at school sites, known colloquially as community schools. We cannot lesson plan our way out of the needs of many of our students, and I am committed to building villages that can support them.”


Karla Griego

United Teachers Los Angeles
Candidate for Los Angeles Unified School Board, District 5

Why are you running for school board?

I have been inspired by my daughter, my students, their families and my colleagues who day in and day out are fighting to bring more resources to our schools, hold the district and superintendent accountable, and navigate the bureaucracy at school sites and at the district level. I want to continue this work at the school board: holding the district accountable; supporting the whole child and expanding community schools and LAUSD’s Black Student Achievement Plan.

Why is it so important to have educators as school board members?

We educators have been making history in public education: through our collective power when we strike; our organizing with students, families, community organizations and caregivers; and our yearning to create the schools our students deserve — green, healthy, collaborative and enriching. Schools that center and address the assets and needs of the whole child, so we are ready and equipped to lead our districts — with our unions and movements.

What would you say to educators considering running for school board?

Our experiences in the classroom and in education leadership prepare us well for service to our communities on school or county boards. We bring a deep understanding that is unmatched of how education funding should be focused on ensuring schools receive the resources and personnel needed for safe, supportive and nurturing high-quality learning environments. As educators, we deserve to have a seat at every table where decisions are being made about our students, jobs and working conditions.

Angela Normand

Brentwood Teachers Association
Candidate for Alameda County Board of Education,
Area 2 |

Why are you running for reelection?

I’ve dedicated my entire educational career to advocating for the needs of children the system overlooks: students who have special needs, have been expelled, are trapped in the court system, or are young parents. I’ll continue to fight to ensure every school provides mental health services, counseling, and safe/secure classrooms and campuses, and I will continue to demand responsible management of our local schools to prioritize classroom learning and the recruitment and retention of amazing teachers.

Why is it so important to have educators as school board members?

Educators know the needs and assets of our schools and students because we are doing the work on the ground. We are also
constantly battling and navigating the bureaucracy to better support our students, bring in resources, protect their rights, and work with families to create stronger school communities.

What would you say to educators considering running for school board?

I recently came across a quote that said, “If you run you stand the chance of losing, but if you don’t run you have already lost.” We are the subject matter experts on any and every school or county board by the nature of our profession. We all do what we do to make a difference, and there is no greater difference to be made than to serve our community in this manner.

Telly Tse

Beverly Hills Education Association
Candidate for Glendale Unified School Board,
Area A |

Why are you running for school board?

When the incumbent decided not to run for reelection, I decided this would be the right time to run for school board and ensure that our school district continues to be a safe and welcoming place for all our children and families.

Why is it so important to have educators as school board members?

School board members make decisions that impact our students, teachers and staff. Educators understand better than anyone
else the impact of such decisions and direction at the ground level. They understand what works and what will truly benefit
our kids.

What would you say to educators considering running for school board?

If you are an educator and you are considering running for school board in November or beyond, your campaign has already begun. What has been gratifying for me as a candidate for school board is seeing the support from families of children I have coached over the years, educators I’ve supported, organizations I have been involved with, and fellow parents I’ve gotten to know through various committees and projects. If you haven’t already, be involved in school and community organizations whether it is your school PTA, local political club, or youth sports group. When the time comes to run for school board, you will be more known and more informed.


Central Committee Candidates


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