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Four locals poised to run for La Cañada school board

Race for three open seats may include two under 30 and two attorneys.

July 24, 2013|By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com

The La Cañada school board race is quickly taking shape as four candidates have so far said they will run for one of three open seats in the November election.

Two candidates are under the age of 30: Joe Layton, who ran for a seat on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council in March, and Karyn Riel, a former camp director at the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA. Both have started the paperwork with the county registrar's office to run for a seat on the board.

Dan Jeffries, a prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office, filed papers on Friday. David Sagal, an executive and attorney for Warner Bros. who has two children enrolled in the district, pulled papers to run for a seat on the board last week.

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Voters will elect three members to the five-person board on Nov. 5. Incumbents Scott Tracy and Susan Boyd have said they will not seek reelection, while board member Joel Peterson is undecided.

Layton said he decided to start his second campaign this year after community members nudged him to start a campaign. "I've kind of been inspired by how supportive the community has been and how receptive they've been."

Layton did not attend La Cañada schools. His family moved to the city in 2004, and he graduated from Loyola High School, followed by USC. But the 24-year-old said having two younger siblings currently enrolled in the La Cañada district, along with the fact that he was recently a student, would give him a unique perspective.

He also said having different generations on the board is key.

"I think it's good to have people more older and experienced as well as people who recently graduated from college," he said.

Layton said key issues of his campaign will include a push to bring the "Sagebrush" area, the westernmost part of the city, out of Glendale Unified School District and into the La Cañada district, and the Common Core curriculum standards.

Riel, 29, is a native of La Cañada and used to live in the Sagebrush area. She graduated from La Cañada High School and is currently studying for her doctorate in clinical psychology at Pepperdine University. Riel works as a counselor for a low-performing high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

She said a suicide on campus at La Cañada High in March "hit close to home" and made her consider running for a seat on the school board.

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