By Jim Tortolano
When the “new” school boards serving the communities of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Westminster are sworn in this December, there will be a considerable leavening of fresh faces among the trustees. However, two of those new faces will be people who are already well-known for previous office-holding.
As a result of the Nov. 8 balloting, there will be five new board members seated across the five districts, with the
Garden Grove school system getting the biggest share of new trustees.
In the Garden Grove Unified School District, new board members will be Walter Muneton and Dina Nguyen. In this first year of by-district elections, Muneton ran unopposed for the District 3 seat, while Nguyen won in District 3, unseating long-time incumbent Linda Paulsen-Reed, who was first elected to the GGUSD post in 1996.
Muneton, a Garden Grove native and a graduate of Santiago High School, holds a B.A. degree in human services from Cal State Dominguez Hills and is working on a master’s degree in social work from Cal State Long Beach. He is believed to be the first Hispanic to serve on the GGUSD board.
Nguyen will be new to the board, but not to local public office. An attorney, she served two terms on the Garden Grove City Council and is currently on the board of directors of the Orange County Water District.
The Westminster School District board will get one new face in Frances Nguyen. She was born in Vietnam and came to America in 1975. A former president of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce, she holds degrees in computer information systems and international business.
Over in the Huntington Beach Union High School District, both incumbents – Michael
Simons and Susan Henry – were re-elected, but Norm Westfall will be a sort of a newcomer to the Ocean View School District board. He is a local business owner in Huntington Beach who has previously served six years on the OVSD panel.
New to the Huntington Beach City School District governing group will be Ann Sullivan. She is a retired elementary school principal from the HBCSD, finishing her career in 2014.