New CUSD Trustees Sue Palazzo & Ken Maddox to be sworn in July 1st

Capistrano Unified School District CUSD, RECALL update:

Mark your calendars to attend the 6 p.m. swearing-in ceremony of Sue Palazzo and Ken Maddox tomorrow evening at the Taj Mahal CUSD admin. building off Interstate-5. Address: CUSD Administration Building 33122 Valle Road San Juan Capistrano, CA

Location: Education Center Board Room.

Sue Palazzo will be the sworn in as the new Area #2 Trustee replacing RECALLED Trustee Marlene Draper. Ken Maddox will also be sworn in to become the new Trustee for Area #5 replacing RECALLED Trustee Shiela Benecke.


For those not familiar with this huge school district here are some facts and figures.

“Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) is the second largest school district in Orange County, California, the 12th largest in California and the 85th largest in the United States. The district currently has 51,512 students. The school district serves the following cities:

Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and the unincorporated south County communities of Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores and Wagon Wheel.

The CUSD runs 38 elementary schools (plus 1 closed), 10 middle schools, 6 high schools and 2 alternative education programs.

CUSD encompasses 195 square miles and has 40 California Distinguished Schools and 11 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The district has a graduation rate of 96.5%, much higher than California’s average of 85.1%, and employees 4,432 employees, making it the largest employer in South Orange County.”

“In recent years, CUSD has faced controversy, included two efforts to recall school board members. In one RECALL issue “the board spent $38,000,000.00 on a new district office, nicknamed by some locals as the “Taj Mahal”.

The Capistrano Unified School District has a seven-member Board of Trustees, with each trustee representing one of seven geographic areas within the school district. Each trustee is elected at large and serves a four-year term of office.

Trustees are:

Mike Darnold, Area 1
Sue Palazzo, Area 2
Dr. Duane E. Stiff, Area 3
Anna Bryson, Area 4
Ken Maddox, Area 5
Ellen Addonizio, Area 6
Larry Christensen, Area 7

The Board of Trustees is the policymaking body for the school district. It is charged with providing a quality educational program for students in grades kindergarten through 12 in accordance with the California Constitution, the laws of the state, adopted Board policies, and the desires of the community.

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