BEVERLY HILLS—The Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) has made changes to its school board’s members, who were recently elected on November 3, the Superintendent Office told Canyon News.
The school board has a total of five members, and a total of three seats were up for grabs. Candidates in the running included former Beverly Hills High School Principal Carter Paysinger, Lewis Hall, Noah Margo, Mel Spitz and Isabel Hacker.
Each member released a statement promising to implement changes. This year’s election could have been historic with the potential for the first African-American candidate to be elected to the board in the city’s 102-year history.
All 10 precincts participated in reporting their votes, along with counted mail votes, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/Country Clerk’s Office.
Paysinger, who graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1974 became a longtime teacher and coach between the years of 1990 and 2008. On January 27, 2015 his announcement to retire was initiated after it became evident that he would not be retained. If elected to office, he pledged to “work tirelessly to restore an education-first atmosphere where teachers teach and students learn and avoid the current school board’s petty squabbles that rob students and teachers of motivation, pride and focus.”
Paysinger was vying for the third seat on the board against Noah Margo. He received a total of 1,279 votes, while Margo, who called to improve the quality of teaching, tightening fiscal controls and returning control to administrators, received a total of 1,365 votes.
The leading board member elected to Beverly Hills School Board was Isabel Hacker, dubbed as the “outsider” with a total of 1,625 votes. Having worked in many PTA dealings, Hacker is a property manager and member of Hawthorne’s School Site Council. In a statement released prior to her win, she emphasized that she was the only candidate not to have served on the board or become employed by a school district.
Runner up Mel Spitz, a board member form 1970-79, highlighted his financial training as president of Bedline Manufacturing Company, a division of a Fortune 500 entity associated with Legget & Platt.
His pledge to “provide leadership to end destructive micromanagement, eliminate wasteful expenditures, fund improvements to the educational program and restore fiscal stability” led him to second place with a total of 1,561 votes.
Lewis Hall had a total of 773 votes and hoped to “take politics out of the boardroom.”
Paysinger, who is allegedly the victim of a “malicious campaign of discrimination and retaliation” filed a 32-page federal civil rights report in July 2014 with claims that the Beverly Hills Unified School District denied job opportunities to him and his family, along with harassment and attacks in the media.
Paysinger won a settlement of $685,000 and has inspired the book, “Where a Man Stands.” The New York Times lists the book as one of the top-20 selling sports books for November 2014.