Clark hosts GUSD School Board candidate debate


Nicholas Doom

Student panelists and GUSD School Board candidates at the school board candidate debate.

On March 8, Clark Magnet High School hosted the Glendale Unified School District School Board Candidate Debate, in which the five School Board candidates for the April 7 election sat before an audience of students and took turns answering questions from student-panelists.

The event was organized by AP US Government teacher Nick Doom for his government students so they could get a chance to ask school board candidates questions that concerned them. “In every debate, the candidates hear from the adults,” Doom said. “No one hears from the actual students that they’re supposed to supervise once elected.”

Doom invited the candidates and assigned three of his students to be student panelists who would ask the questions. Two other students served as moderator and time keeper.

The moderator of the debate was senior Alen Shirvanyan, who introduced the candidates and helped move the flow of the debate along with senior Elise Mariano, who was the timekeeper of the event. The candidates included Kevin Cordova-Brookey, Jennifer Freemon, Todd Hunt, Vahik Satoorian, and incumbent Nayiri Nahabedian, who sat before the three student panelists, seniors Mary Agajanian, John Mardirosian and Annie Vo.

Vo asked the candidates what they thought was the biggest non-budgetary issue facing the district and how they intend to solve the issue. “It was difficult because most of the issues are budget related,” Vo said. The candidates’ responses ranged from community involvement and better policy-making to improving communication within the district, and at the conclusion of the event, Vo said that her favorite candidate was Freemon.

“I liked Freemon because she’s had the opportunity to see the district from both sides,” Vo said. “She’s been both a teacher and a parent, and has seen the schools from both points of view.”

With the election day coming up on April 7, Doom has also assigned students to volunteer for a political campaign, with the GUSD School Board Candidate Debate serving as an introduction to the candidates and their campaigns.