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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

Fallbrook Union Elementary School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Susan Liebes

Susan Liebes

6,342 votes (39.5%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • My first priority is to represent the students and parents of our school district.
  • I will work towards greater collaboration between FUESD and parents, and between FUESD and teachers/staff.
  • I will improve transparency in the decision making process.



Profession:Parent, PTSA Board member, and Community Volunteer
Fundraising Director, REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program (2003–2006)


San Juan College, Farmington, NM Associate Degree, Business Administration (2003)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA Bachelor of Science, Forestry & Wildlife (1998)
Mount Vernon High School, Virginia Diploma, High School (1994)

Community Activities

Volunteer, Fallbrook Land Conservancy (2011–current)
Chairman, Board of Directors, Fallbrook Land Conservancy (2018–current)
Executive Board member, Maie Ellis Elementary PTSA (2015–current)
Director, Fallbrook Land Conservancy (2016–2017)
Volunteer & Vice President (2014/15), La Paloma PTA (2012–2014)



As the mother of a child in the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, I believe that no one cares more about our children’s education than parents.  It is critical that parents are represented on the school board, which is why I am running for one of the three open seats in November.  I am a weekly classroom volunteer, member of the PTSA Executive Board, volunteer art teacher, on School Site Council, and Chair of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy Board of Directors.  

I have been a community volunteer since I first moved to Fallbrook with my husband in 2003.  When my oldest son (now 11) began elementary school I started giving my time in his classroom and with the PTA.  Soon I was on the Board of the PTA and now, six years later, I am the Treasurer and past-President of the PTSA at my child’s school.  I also volunteer in the classroom every week, and teach PTSA art lessons, as well as serving on the School Site Council, so I have seen school policy from many angles.  

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • San Diego County Democratic Party

Organizations (2)

  • Fallbrook Elementary Teachers' Association
  • Fallbrook CSEA, Chapter 307

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters North County San Diego (4)

What are the pressing problems of this school district, in your opinion, and what experience do you bring to the Board that will help address these problems?
Answer from Susan Liebes:

Our District has seen marked improvements since my husband and I moved to Fallbrook 15 years ago, but I believe the students of FUESD would benefit from greater transparency at the District level and better communication between District administration, parents, and teachers.  As a Board member I will promote transparency by asking questions of the FUESD leadership regarding programming, staffing, and other decisions. I will work to improve communication between FUESD and parents, and between administration and teachers, by increasing opportunities to engage parents and teachers in decision making. FUESD also needs to develop more programs that draw and keep families in the District. 

What is your view of charter schools?
Answer from Susan Liebes:

Quality charter schools offer choices for families and have a place in our educational system.  However, they should be held to the same standards as traditional public schools and serve the needs of all students equally, including students with special needs and English-language learners.

Should the district curb its school choice initiatives (for students who are not in charter schools), so that more students stay in their neighborhood schools? Why or why not?
Answer from Susan Liebes:

No.  School districts should strive to provide educational opportunities that draw students and families.  If quality programs are offered, parents will choose to keep thier child in neighborhood schools.  No parent wants to commute a long distance for a decent school.  They do so when they feel they are not being offered quality options.  Instituing policies that restrict choices does not foster loyalty.

Are there school discipline strategies or behavioral support programs that you find appealing alternatives to exclusionary or punitive discipline? If so, which ones, and why?
Answer from Susan Liebes:

Yes. Restorative justice and conflict resolution have been proven to be more effective than punitive discipline.  The key is to making sure that staff members are trained to actually use these programs in practice, not just in theory.  Most conflics between students occur during unstructured time on the playground, when they are being supervised by some of the lowest-paid, least-trained employess in FUESD.  These staff members are so important to our children's well-being on campus and need to be better trained and paid so we have quality supervisors.


Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I believe that education is one of the most effective investments our society can make to improve the standard of living of all citizens.  Quality public education not only benefits those who are in the educational system, but everyone in the community by producing qualified employees, literate parents of the next generation, and thoughtful citizens.  With 800 employees, Fallbrook Union Elementary School District is the largest employer in Fallbrook so it has an enormous influence on our town, not only on the students in its schools, but also the many people who depend on FUESD jobs for their livelihood and our local economy.  For this reason I would like to see many more residents of Fallbrook paying attention to the decisions FUESD makes regarding students, teachers, and staff.

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