Posted by Steven Levin on September 10, 2015 at 5:15 PM
There has been a flurry of charter school activity in Orange County recently, with elected officials taking sides on efforts to open new, high quality charter schools.
We took a moment to speak with Linda Lindholm, who represents District 5 on the Orange County Board of Education. CCSA Advocates supported Lindholm, a longtime resident of Laguna Niguel, when she ran for the Board in June 2014.
Lindholm graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree and later earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. She began her career in physical medicine and rehabilitation. As a university instructor teaching evaluation and rehabilitation techniques in physical medicine, she worked with patients and students with special needs.
In 1989, Lindholm moved with her family to Laguna Niguel, where she became actively involved in the community. She was first elected to the Laguna Niguel City Council in 1996 and has served four terms as the city’s mayor.
As a Board Trustee, Lindholm’s primary focus has been to ensure that taxpayer dollars directed toward education are spent in the classroom and not on administrative bureaucracy. She believes every child deserves the opportunity to succeed and that every parent has the right to choose the type of learning environment that fits their child’s unique needs.
District 5 encompasses the areas of Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Joaquin Hills, San Juan Capistrano, portions of Lake Forest and portions of Costa Mesa.
What made you decide to run for County Board of Education?
I believe all children deserve the opportunity to have a great education regardless of where they live or their economic situation. Education is the key to a child’s ability to succeed and to follow their dreams.
How are charter schools operating in Orange County? Any success stories?
New high quality public charter schools are being welcomed into Orange County by dedicated parents and teachers who want to work alongside traditional public schools. Each school becomes a part of the fabric of the community, understanding the unique needs of the children from the neighborhoods they serve. One public charter school, Oxford Prep Academy, has exceptional API scores, the statewide school rating standard used until last year. With their high degree of success, they are seeking to start a second school in the coming year.
Prior to entering the political sphere, you worked with patients and students with special needs. How has that affected your decision-making style?
My past background included working in hospitals, school districts, and clinics in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation as a Registered Occupational Therapist. I believe my work experience helps me understand many of the challenges that children and young students face who may also have physical disabilities. One of my goals as a board trustee is to ensure that every child has the same opportunities as their able-bodied classmates.
What role does technology have in the classroom? What is the OC BOE doing to ensure that students are properly trained for the workplace in the 21st century?
Technology is everywhere and our schools need the resources to keep pace in the 21st century. Our students need outstanding and inspiring teachers who understand the needs of the ever-changing international advances in computer technology, science, and engineering.
What do you enjoy most/find most rewarding about the job?
What inspires me the most are the children who tell me how excited they are to learn and what a difference the charter school is making in their lives.