This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California
Orange County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Judith A. "Judy" Ahrens

Candidate for
Board Member; Westminster School District

This information is provided by the candidate

My passion for helping children to achieve academically has led me to be a candidate for the Westminster School Board in the November 5th elections. For years I have observed questionable federal programs taking classroom time away from proven methods of teaching basics such as reading, writing, spelling, and history. I have been attending school board meetings for several years to express my concerns and to recommend improvements. The trustees in turn defend the status quo. The poor scores of Westminster students in the recent standardized tests were the final straw, and convinced me that I should be on the school board myself to be better able to make a difference for our children.

As I helped the children with their homework in my extended day care business, I personally saw the trend of school's moving away from the teaching of basic academic skills. I have observed the frustrations from children (and parents) with poor results associated with "collaborative learning" methods, which basically is group learning. I have seen classroom learning time being eaten away by increasing numbers of fund-raising assemblies and in-service training days. Each year I have seen more of the children being below grade level in their ability to spell, read, add, subtract, and multiply. Then I have noticed their parents paying for tutors and external learning programs such as Kumon, The Phonics Game, Sylvan, and others to help their children "catch-up" in the skills they needed to succeed. I have seen very little emphasis, much less education, concerning patriotic holidays and American ideals.

I served on my school's Site Council in hopes of learning how and why these decisions were being made. I concluded that many times the Site Council was expected to "rubber stamp" decisions that had already been made by the school and district officials. As I attended school board meetings regularly, I hoped to become more informed about state and federal grants, school funding, and the textbook selection process. I was frustrated that opportunities for parental involvement in these matters were scheduled for the convenience of the school officials, not for wide participation by working parents.

The idea of being a candidate for the school board grew I knew I could be more effective as a trustee than as a concerned citizen speaking to the board for the few minutes granted to each speaker at each meeting, without feedback from the incumbent board members.

When friends and supporters urged me to become their representative on the school board, I seriously reviewed my qualifications and previous experiences that would enable me to be an effective school board trustee.

As a former active PTA leader, I chaired our school's talent shows and served as chairperson of the S.T.A.R. reading program for several years.

I taught several Youth Leadership Programs in our school's classrooms and tutored students in my Extended Day Care as I saw the need.

Before I started my family, I obtained an AA degree from Cerritos College and eventually was the Executive Secretary to the President of a multi-million dollar engineering firm. I served in leadership positions at my church, volunteered in numerous city, county, state, and school board election campaigns, and serve as a Neighborhood Watch Block Leader.

Because of my interest in education issues, I regularly speak at school board meetings and speak at local hearings conducted by County and State Boards of Education. Even though I will continue in these activities, I concluded I could accomplish much more as a member of the school board.


THIRD on the ballot, FIRST in public education!

Next Page: Political Philosophy

Candidate Page || Feedback to Candidate || This Contest
November 2002 Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter

The League of Women Voters does not support or oppose any candidate or political party.
Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 14, 2002 12:10
Smart Voter   <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund