Voter’s Edge California
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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
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November 8, 2016 — Elección General de California

Fullerton Joint Union High School DistrictCandidato para Síndico, Area de Síndico 2

Photo de Barbara R. Kilponen

Barbara R. Kilponen

5,182 votos (36.7%)
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Mis 3 prioridades principales

  • Continue to provide coursework and guildance for each student and family to obtain a competitve entrance into the workforce, military and/or higher education.
  • Oversee bond projects to their conclusion underbudget and ahead of schedule for the benefit of the communities we serve.
  • Continue to attract top educational talent and provide innovative programs will provide meaningful careers in the 21st century.



Profesión:Incumbent Trustee, Fullerton Joint Union High School District
Governing Board Member, Fullerton Joint Union High School District — Cargo elegido (1988–current)
Member, Committee of Credentials, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (Sacramento) — Cargo designado (2008–2014)


Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) Bachelor of Arts , art history (1963)

Actividades comunitarias

Member, North Orange County Chamber of Commerce Legal Alliance (2012–current)
Member, Orange County Committee on School District Organization (2016–current)
Member, Past Presidents' Council, Philharmonic Society of Orange County (1995–current)
Founding Member,, California State University of Fullerton, College of Education, Leadership Council (2003–2016)
Co-Founder, Women's Investment Club (1997–2004)


After graduation from Northwestern University I worked for a stock brokerage firm in Chicago and subsequently General Foods in White Plains, New York.  I moved to Fullerton with my husband and children in 1972, our children attending Fullerton schools from K-12.  I spent years in PTA becoming president of my children's elementary, junior high and high schools.  I also was president of the Fullerton PTA Council.  During that time I attended six years of elementary and high school district board meetings to update the PTA's in which I was involved.  It was then that I first ran for the high school district board of trustees.  I still regularly attend both the monthly Fullerton and La Habra PTA Council meetings to remain available to parents for questions and information about our schools.

During this time I volunteered in a number of local and county organizations focused on children's arts enrichment as well as needs.  Among them have been the Philharmonic Society of Orange County providing a wealth of musical enrichment for students K-12, Muckenthaler Center, National Charity League, Meals on Wheels, and Needlework Guild which provides clothing for needy students anonymously.  In addition, I was appointed to an ad hoc committee by the Fullerton City Council four years to interview potential candidates for city commissions which were undergoing restructuring during that time.

As a result of my time in the Leadership Council at Cal State Fullerton's College of Education, I was nominated and subsequently appointed to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing on the Committee of Credentials.  For six years from 2008-2014 I worked one week monthly year round on a panel of educators to evaluate and recommend penalties for malfeasance in the educational community from classroom teacher to superintendent.  Over the six years, I evaluated roughly 10,000 cases (out of over 300,000 credential holders) which has brought the district a greater understanding of the importance of the role educators must model in the communities they work for.

Among the activities I have enjoyed over the years have been/are knitting, pilates, single shell rowing in the ocean, and all the gardening in my yard. I always look forward to spending time with my children, going to the theater, and in pleasure reading.


Preguntas y Respuestas

Preguntas de League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (1)

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?
Respuesta de Barbara R. Kilponen:

It is important to understand the local control funding formula is a precise system for spending, and while it has been available and will be for a few more years, it is not an ongoing financial resource for districts.  The funds are to ensure that the changes to instruction to increase student success happen in a methodical manner.  While it might seem all right to increase faculty salaries to improve student learning results, salaries are ongoing expenses.  In our district salaries amount to about 82% of the budget.  Our district budget has been adjusted to address the state's focused segments of the student population requiring additional financial resources.  Substance of coursework will not change.

This district recognizes teachers are the most important element in a student's success.  Ongoing teacher learning strategies are provided with exceptional trainers with some funds from the local control funding.  Textbook quality is just as important for student success, and subject specific textbooks are being evaluated and purchased after thorough review.  Because testing is done on computers, it is essential that all students have a strong working ability on computers.  To reinforce this ability, the district has assumed the cost for each student to have a computer specifically filled with appropriate applications and without access to inappropriate information.  Some of the cost has been underwritten by the local control funding.

This district has had parent/community/staff imput in every step of the funding process and reports through a variety of media including local, regional newspapers, student newspapers, websites at every school and the district website as well.  Principals and the superintendent report regularly at parent meetings such as PTA, school site councils, etc.  There are additional oversight committees districtwide which require up-to-date information.  School board meetings offer opportunities for citizens to ask questions.  Union leaders and members have regular updates as well.  Meetings with principals or other senior management are always available for individuals interested in understanding more about the funding.  Board members are also accessible for questions and can facilitate meetings with appropriate personnel. 

While the concepts for outcomes have been outlined and some testing has been piloted, refinements seem to take more time than was estimated for districts to have the testing and resulting scores from the testing agencies.  The easist measure would be rising test scores by students. Until testing can be validated, coursework with more problem solving and critical thinking are being assessed by subject area tests quarterly and at the semester. Meanwhile, students college bound have SAT and Advanced Placement scores measurable for academic excellence. With increasing numbers of students taking advanced courses, especially those with possible college credit, student effort is visible.  The best measure of student outcomes has always been that students want to attend high school (this district has one of the highest attendance rates in the county), graduate, and go on to succeed in the next chapters of their lives. 


Creencias poliza

Filosofía política

Before I run for re-election, I ask myself whether I have the physical and mental stamina I know it takes to be in a 24/7 public servant position.  Meetings are held day and night year round and even on Saturdays and Sundays.  The material to read, analyze and develop wide reaching decisions has grown from a few reports aeach week to sometimes boxes of reports.  Having prior knowledge is particularly useful to fill in gaps for new and current employees as decisions are made.  In addition, I believe continued zeal for public education is essential.  While other types of educational processes are important to individual family decisions, the diversity of students and faculty, the extent of coursework and extra-curricular activities as well as the superior talent of teaching staff is not comparable in any other setting than public education.  Students are ready to enter their adult years with a broad understanding of the society in which we live and work. The communities here in North Orange County are very fortunate that in Fullerton we have five colleges and universities upon which to draw for educational partnerships. faculty talent, and research.  Students have many ways to become familiar with campuses, programs, and faculty over their four year high school experience. 

I have always been an individual who says what I can do, and then I do it.  I am dependable, honest, with integrity and a committed work ethic at every level of effort.  I take the responsibility of Trustee with dedication to every student's success. 

These are not easy times.  The world is in turmoil militarily, politically, environmently, and socially.  The reason this school district stands out and has been successful over the years is because of the strength of a stable, common sense board of trustees, the hiring of the highest quality management, and talented faculty and support staff. 

The Disttrict has preserved programs without staff layoffs because of strong fiscal measures that have provided reserve funding during stressful financial periods.  The District's students and staff have been rewarded with the passage of two bonds that have made repairs, remodeled and built new facilities, and increased safety throughout school campuses. The 2002 bond has been accomplished under budget and ahead of schedule, and the District looks forward to the same outcome for current bond projects.  But, beyond that, residents in our cities have seen reductions in interest payments over the years when interest rates fell below the rate we were paying.  Rather than using the savings for District needs, the Board has reduced tax payments to home owners as a thank you for their commitment to our schools. 

It has been my privilege to be a board trustee of the Fullerton Joint Union High School District.  I would like to continue to build on the success the district has worked so hard to achieve.  Your vote will make that happen. 

Documentos sobre determinadas posturas

Continuing Efforts to Provide Facilities, Skills, Career Opportunities, and Access to Advanced Learning


Having five colleges and universities within the Fullerton Joint Union High School District boundaries means there are multiple opportunities for partnerships to advance student learning and staff development strategies.  The expectations from our highly educated population has supported two bonds since 2000 to provide top quality classroom space and physical plant improvements to ensure a competitive edge for students in college acceptance, the military and the workforce.

As a founding member of Cal State Fullerton's College of Education Leadership Council, I have had a first hand exposure to the future of education for students of all ages.  As a district we have had the talents of faculty for staff development from the College, have hired graduates from the highly commended ranks of teachers, and have had partnerships with the University in engineering, for example.  Our high school students have the opportunity to have college faculty teaching on our campuses from Fullerton College and Cal St Fullerton, among others, with the ability to receive college credit at no expense and a leg up on admission. 

Our first bond in 2002 built an additional classroom on each of our six comprehensive campuses located in Fullerton, La Habra, and Buena Park.  In addition, science classrooms were updated with state of the art equipment, etc.  Restrooms were remodeled. Saved costs from energy efficiency in lighting, air/heating, and utilities have meant redirected financial resources for enhanced student programming.  The 2014 bond has reinforced our communities commitment support for safety by providing cameras on campuses, and effective door locks on all doors.  Improved quality of tracks and stadiums to CIF requirements , replacing swimming pools to CIF standards, and other athletic facility improvements will finally allow the district to be competitive with other high schools throughout Orange County. 

Regardless of the goals students/families have after graduation, students will have to have extensive knowledge of computer technology as integral in their high school education.    To be sure that every student has access to a common computer with acceptable programs and protections, the district is providing low-cost quality computers for the four years of high school with accommodating broadband technology.  The district is not on the cutting edge of this process, but as experience has shown, waiting provides better knowledge and fewer mistakes in undertaking this life changing experience.

There is a wide range of possible career opportunities to take advantage of beyond the academics the District known for. To mention a few:  Forensics, Contruction, Engineering, JROTC, Medical/Paramedics, Performing Arts, Auto Shop, Agriculture, Advanced Computer Studies/Coding, and Hospitality/Culinary.  Each of these sequential programs provide students with additional knowledge and skills to be a step ahead of peers for college, the military and/or the workforce after graduation. Students in our special education programs increasingly by virtue of individual training are being hired by retail stores such as Walmart, hospitals, and restaurants which not only develops confidence but also a self-sufficiency beyond society's expectations.

Students are choosing with encouragement from parents and school guidance to take more advanced coursework which after national Advanced Placement testing may provide enough credits to reduce college years to three rather than the usual four.  Each of our six comprehensive high schools have been nationally in the top 1,000 out of over 26,000 high schools for over four years. 

The high school of today looks much more like a college campus.  Graffiti-free and safe, the district has over 2,000 students from out of the district in our schools which permits even more varied coursework available to students.  Attendance is one of the highest in the county and drop-out rate is one of the lowest.  This is a educational community with tradition, excellence and pride. 

The Role of School Board Trustees and How My Background Supports My Candidacy


The Fullerton Joint Union High School District has provided a successful history of educational excellence for the communities we serve.  In addition, the stability of the school board that has been at the basis of the continued success is even more important in the turmoil we see around us whether locally, nationally or globally.

It is critical to understand the role of Trustees as you make your decision to vote for members of the Fullerton Joint Union High School District.

School board members serve a district best by:

  • Hiring and evaluating the Superintendent who, in turn, is responsible for the hiring and performance of all district personnel, the finances, facilities, and State requirements for curriculum, student behavior standards, etc.
  • Developing with the Superintendent goals, objectives and vision for the District.  Priorities are set yearly with measurable outcomes expected.
  • Being dedicated to each and every student's well being during his/her educational experience.
  • Maintaining zeal for public education, as well as giving the energy and time for absorbing the great quantities of information and attending meetings necessary for making sound decisions.
  • Being good stewards of taxpayers' funding.

I have made my Trustee's position my only job.  Meetings come up daily and even on the weekends as a Board Member. I am well known and respected in the community for saying what I can do and then doing what I say. I believe I well reflect our communities' commitment to excellence, fiscal conservancy, and values.  This position takes mental as well as physical stamina, and can be a full time job with the volume of reading and prior knowledge expected.

I have been entrusted with your confidence as a member of the Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees and have been president four times.  Last year as president, I led the recruitment and hiring of our current superintendent, Scott Scambray.

I have earned recognition from a variety of organizations, nationally as well as locally, as I have worked to enhance the communities we serve:

  • Speaker at State and National School Board Conferences
  • "Educator of the Year,"  Fullerton Chamber of Commercej
  • "Outstanding Friend of Education," Phi Delta Kappa, Cal State Fullerton
  • "Above & Beyond" Award, Fullerton School District
  • Orange County "Woman of the Year," Newport Junior League
  • National "Outstanding Alumni Leader," Northwestern University
  • 5 PTA Honorary/Continuing Service Awards

As your school board member I:

  • Initiated a study that resulted the four-year AVID program in four of our schools.  This program offers students along with parental support the opportunity for additional tutoring, classwork, college visits, application help, acceptance into advanced classes for college.  Designed especially for students who would be the first in the family to attend college, though all are invited.  Hundreds of students have benifitted from this opporunity already.
  • Located our current District Headquarters site when Beechwood Elementary School had to be reopened. 
  • Initiated an analysis of our District construction debt rate which was then reduced, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in interest payments.  Since then similar analyses have been done to the same savings on subsequent debt rates.
  • Co-chaired our District task force: "Moral and Civic Values" which are posted in every classroom.
  • Designed and installed a number of landscapes for the elementary and various high school sites at no cost to taxpayers.

I continue to participate regularly in a number of organizations as well as attend a myriad of community activities to remain accessible to our communities:

  • North Orange County Chamber of Commerce Legal Alliance
  • Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Past Presidents' Council
  • Northwestern Alumni Association (Admissions)
  • Needlework Guild of America
  • Fullerton and La Habra PTA Council meetings
  • Recently retired from Cal State Fullerton's College of Education Leadership Council after 13 years

I continue to be energized by the direction of our district.  Currently:

  • All six of our district's comprehensive high schools are in the top 1% of our nation's high schools - that is, top 1,000 out of over 26,000 high schools
  • The district has one of the highest attendance rates in the county
  • The district has one of the lowest drop-out rates in the county
  • The Engineering classroom building at Sunny Hills and the two alternative high school programs housed adjacent to Troy High School were each built without Bond funding.
  • This district was the first in the county (along with our four component elementary districts to begin school in early August so as to maximize instructional time before state, national, and international testing in the spring of each year.  Now, more and more districts in Orange County are following FJUHSD' lead.
  • The District still has more days of educational class time for students than mandated by State law.
Again, my only job is being your School Board member and it will be Job #1 with your vote on November 8.  

Frequently Asked Questions with Answers


There are many questions asked about 21st Century high school education.  The following FAQ's will bring you some highlights of the changes that have taken place since 2000.

What is IB (International Baccalaureate) about?  This is a two year program which is preceded by two years of preparation coursework for students interested in a more rigorous curriculum.  It is available on four campuses (out of six) and in addition to advanced coursework, it requires considerable community service, Theory of Knowledge, and an in-depth thesis approved by the instructor.  With international testing and passing scores, the student can earn college credit.

Why are extracurricular activities important?  Extracurricular activities bring a myriad of positive habits into the maturity of students.  Teamwork, maintenance of good grades, additional skills which might set student apart in college/military/work applications, as well as making friends, developing leadership and poise in presentations and/or performances.  The more attached students are to extracurricular activities, the less inclined they are to negative influences and generally they have better grades.  More than a few students come to school to participate in sports, band, choir, debate, agriculture, etc., and find that it makes sense to work harder to continue their talents in college, etc.

What are Parent Institutes?  Because high school for students is more complicated (and for parents too!), Parent Institutes are offered free of charge by talented staff to work with groups of parents over a period of weeks to learn the in's and out's of high school life from attendance procedures, staying in contact with teachers, the use of computers in the classroom and from home, behavior standards, and so on.  Translators are available and generally younger child care. 

Do students have to volunteer for military service if they take JROTC? No. There are JROTC four year programs at five of the district's high schools.  These programs are popular with students because of the leadership opportunities and skills developed such as marching in parades and Pledge of Allegiance ceremonies, various military competitions locally, regionally and even nationally.  Several branches of the military are represented with uniforms provided the students.  Students come away with a strong work ethic, pride, self discipline, and a greater sense of patriotism.

How can my student attend a UC college taking agriculture courses?  Since agriculture is the leading industry in the state and there is extensive course work at the college level, it was decided that the UC's would approve coursework at the high school level.  After coursework was adjusted, students have found that four years of high school agriculture brings a career opportunity into focus and a step up into college work as compared to students who first tackle agriculture in college.

Are there post graduate scholarship opportunities for students outside of academics?  Yes.  With time well spent in extracurricular activities and good grades, students have benefitted from sports, of course, but also speech and debate, performing arts, instrumental and vocal music, and computer technology among others.  Taking a number of Advanced Placement Classes and International Baccalaureate coursework and passing the testing is like getting a scholarship in that if enough credits are earned, students may begin college as the sophomore level, thus eliminating the freshman year's costs.

What is AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)? The District provides resources that may include additional staffing, specialized curriculum, and equipment designed to increase the number of students qualified for admission to college.  The program is offered at most of the district schools as a supplement to a student's curriculum.  There is an interview and contract commitment with which students and parents agree beginning as soon as freshman year. Daily tutoring, trips to visit colleges and mentoring all build confidence as students pursue advanced coursework and apply to colleges of choice.

What is ROP? The Regional Occupational Program has been an integral part of high school curriculum, providing skilled professionals in a variety of possible career fields for students to try.  Teachers in these classes are paid in part by the school district and part of other state funding.  Besides JROTC, course work in culinary arts, the new construction academy, medical arts, auto shop, and engineering are offered to students. 

What is the most important measurement for student success?  Attendance.  While that may sound like a strange choice, it really is not.  Education cannot take placw without the student seated the classroom every day, every week in the year.  If the course placement is correct with counseling and parental guidance, at least one teacher/course/extra-curricular activity will tempt even a reluctant student to come to school daily.  Then to maintain participation in sports, for instance, students must have a 2 point grade average with excellent attendance and citizenship.  Students will reach for the goals they set for themselves.  This district has about a 97% average daily attendance.  There are some absences due to illness, but it one of the best attendance rates in the county, if not the best.  The habit of strong daily attendance on time has benefits for society as well.  The military and workplace have expectations of on time daily attendance.  Doctors appointments, catching an airplane, filing income tax all have expectations of attention to time and date. 

Do you think it is more important to have unique programs and/or teaching methods in schools today or a greater consistency is preferable?  There is a purpose for both.  The uniqueness in schools/courses/teaching methods offered are what attracts students to the classroom/extra-curricular activities associated with the school.  The consistency of information provided/expected in say, AP Biology, among several teachers needs to happen so that the student who has to change classrooms at the semester will be at the same place in the book or sequence of understanding the material.  Teachers need to be accountable to the testing process for the student's mastery.  Teachers will always provide uniqueness in the classroom by virtue of their past experiences and education.  That's often why students single out teachers who have most influenced their time in high school or brought focus to their educational/career choices.

When can I take a tour of my local high school?  The doors are opened at any time during the school day for tours with staff administrators.  Campuses will seem more like college campuses than the high school of yesteryear. Opportunities to visit at Open Houses in January each year are encouraged to "get the feel" of the schools after hours when trying to decide which school a prospective student would like to attend. 

Which leads to "What is Open Enrollment?"  Students may enroll at any of the district's six high schools during a period of set days in January each year.  There will be testing for special programs at various schools which, if passed, will also allow a student to enroll at a school different than the home school.  These dates for open enrollment and testing are available by phone call or checking the individual school/district website. 

High schools today are exciting places to be educationally, and as students and parents participate in the many opportunities offered them, there will be success and long time friendships formed.




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