Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Will Fritz
Staff Writer 

FUESD seeks candidates for open school board seat


Last updated 9/23/2020 at 2:02am

The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District is soliciting applications to fill the governing board seat vacated by former board member Patty De Jong, who announced in August that she was stepping down.

FUESD’s board voted 3-0, with Lisa Masten absent, Thursday, Sept. 17, to fill De Jong’s seat for the remainder of her term – which was set to end in 2022 – through an appointment process.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30, Singh said.

Board members Caron Lieber and Susan Liebes will serve on a provisional appointment committee to review applications for legal eligibility. Applicants must be over the age of 18 and reside within the district’s boundaries. The district will also ask applicants questions regarding their goals for FUESD.

Eligible candidates will be interviewed by the board at its regular meeting Monday, Oct. 12, and a selection is expected to be made that night, Singh said.

De Jong represented FUESD’s Trustee Area 1, which stretches from the northern end of Fallbrook, excluding De Luz, through the southern half of U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to the Pacific Ocean. Singh said it was in the community’s best interest to prioritize candidates from that trustee area, but that the board may appoint an at-large member from another area within FUESD’s boundaries should qualified applicants from Trustee Area 1 not be available.

There will be a 30-day period after the board makes its appointment during which community members can file a petition to throw De Jong’s former seat to a special election. For the petition to be successful, 1.5% of the registered voters in Trustee Area 1 would have to provide their signatures.

Singh said the district was posting notices to make the public aware of the open board seat online, as well as in Village News and three other public places within the community.

De Jong, who served on the board for 24 years, announced her resignation, which she characterized as a retirement, at the board’s Aug. 17 meeting.

“I turned 65 this year, which is the age at which a lot of people retire, and I cannot retire from my regular job – I don’t want to. But I can retire from this job,” De Jong said at the meeting.

Prospective candidates for the open board seat can apply at

Will Fritz can be reached by email at [email protected]


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