Two new trustees were sworn in Monday night, along with two re-elected trustees, as a contentious election in the Capistrano Unified School District was put to rest.
Newcomer Amy Hanacek and trustees John Alpay and Gary Pritchard took time to thank their supporters.
“It was a long, difficult campaign,” said Alpay, who was elected as board president. He credited his re-election to the “a lot of support by a lot of good people. … I sincerely appreciate what you all did for me, and it’s a true honor to be back on the dais.”
One parent later took Alpay to task for his role in purchasing an internet domain name that deceptively took visitors looking for one group to an opposing group’s webpage where it solicited donations.
“How could you stoop that low? Your behavior in this race was reprehensible,” said Melissa Alsop. “We’re not going to forget the underhanded behavior. This was unethical.”
A number of parents associated with Oxford Preparatory Academy also spoke during the open comments portion of the agenda, with some tying the election to the recent allegations that teachers at the new charter school helped students cheat on standardized testing.
“For me the gloves are off. I am disgusted that this district would fabricate a cheating allegation ironically during an election,” said parent Kim Price.
Both OPA and the school district conducted separate investigations into the charges, and both found the allegations lacking.
“I expect you to publicly exonerate and apologize to the public and students of Oxford Prep,” Price said.
Later in the evening, Trustee Anna Bryson said the initial report of the cheating allegations, which were first published in a blog, most likely came from a school board member.
“It would have to come from a trustee. We don’t know why,” she said. “It was not done at the request of anyone. We regret it very much.”
In other matters, the board:
- Heard the year’s first financial report that showed the district will have slightly more money, about $1.4 million this year, because of Prop. 30 but will still need to cut $31 million off of next year’s budget
- Set a timeline to come up with next year’s budget, which will include a board subcommittee
- Gave the green light to staff to develop a , to possibly open by September 2015