CITIZENS' OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Four Appointed to Bond Oversight Committee
Four individuals were recently appointed by the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education to the Measure K Citizens’ Oversight Committee to serve as the community’s representatives.
They join three current members and replace those whose two-year terms have expired. The three continuing members are Heather Morrison, Dede Rossi, and Maria Williams-Slaughter.
The committee is charged with reviewing Measure K expenditures and informing the public of their findings, including through an annual report to the Board of Education.
New member Dean Chow, representing the community-at-large, is a finance director at the Mar Vista Family Center, a social services agency. A Torrance native, he graduated from Cal State Long Beach before earning a master’s degree in public administration from Walden University.
He is a Long Beach City Human Relations Commissioner and has lived in Long Beach for a dozen years. He and his wife, Debbie, a nursing director at Long Beach City College, have three children. Twins Julie and Melanie will be juniors at Polytechnic High School, and Emily attends LBCC.
Formerly a finance and grants manager at the Long Beach Community Foundation, Chow said he is eager to use his knowledge of local issues and his background in finance to better understand how Measure K funds are spent.
“We need to be good stewards of public funds to ensure that we meet our community’s needs,” he said.
New member Rosi Pedersen, representing senior citizens, is a retired administrator for Reid Continuation High School and the Long Beach School for Adults. She now serves as a consultant to the Molina Foundation, developing literacy and health literacy programs for children.
As a former elementary, middle and high school English as a Second Language teacher who also ran the mentor teacher program for the district, Pedersen was an early proponent of career technical education. Her vision has become a reality as the new McBride High School, a model career technical small school, is set to open this fall.
Pedersen currently serves on the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Executive Board, a federally funded youth and adult job training program. She is also active in the Assistance League, mentoring high school students and providing scholarships for women returning to community college. In addition, she serves as a Los Angeles County Office of Education leadership coach for new school principals.
Pedersen is a graduate of Cal State Long Beach and earned her administrative and master’s degrees from Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Dominguez Hills. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Curt, a retired lawyer and former chief of staff for County Supervisor Don Knabe.
The couple has two adult daughters.
New member Kris Thornton represents the business community on the committee. He is a client relations coordinator at American Lending, Inc., a Long Beach-based mortgage company.
A long-time volunteer in City Council District 7, he organizes special events, parades, block parties and an annual snow day.
The father of four adult children and Danielle, who will be a sixth grader at Hill Classical Middle School this fall, Thornton said he has been pro-LBUSD for years and is happy to see that the district “has come a long way in the last 10-15 years.”
He has lived in Long Beach for 37 years and is a graduate of Polytechnic High School and LBCC. Thornton is a member of the East Anaheim Business Alliance and several other business groups.
New member Julie Jackson represents parents who have children enrolled in the district. She and her husband, Lance, are parents of Gigi, an incoming freshman at Wilson Classical High School.
A graduate of Millikan High School, LBCC and CSULB, Jackson is the general manager of G&M Oil, a privately held company that operates 150 Chevron/Extra Mile gas stations in Southern California. She has 23 years of experience in business operations, finance and management.
She served two previous terms on the committee from 2009 to 2012.
“As a resident and parent in Long Beach, I want to do my part to ensure that the funds entrusted to the school district for school improvements are spent in an efficient and effective manner,” said Jackson. “The people of Long Beach deserve no less.”
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