The Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education voted 4-0 on March 23 to appoint longtime school volunteer and PTA leader Diana Craighead to fill the District 5 seat on the five-member board.
Craighead has lived in District 5 for 19 years and has served on several school district committees, including the Budget Advisory Committee, Academic and Career Success Initiative Committee, Health Advisory Committee, and A through G College Entrance Requirements Committee. She has also served in several leadership roles for the PTA, including as president of the Long Beach Council PTA, the umbrella group for all PTAs in the school district.
The board seat became vacant on Jan. 25 when board member David Barton resigned due to health concerns. District 5 includes much of east Long Beach and Lakewood, including Millikan and Lakewood high schools.
Craighead has a daughter in 10th grade at Millikan High School and two sons who graduated from Wilson Classical High School, one in 2005 and the other in 2008.
The board filled the vacancy after an application, screening and interview process. The field of applicants for the vacant school board seat was narrowed from 27 to 22, and LBUSD posted online the applications of the remaining candidates. After the initial 27 applications were received, five applicants either withdrew or were disqualified because they did not live within the board district or were not registered to vote there. The remaining field of 22 candidates was eventually narrowed to three finalists who were interviewed publicly by the school board.
First-round interviews of the applicants were conducted by a committee that included a representative of support staff employees along with representatives of the school district’s management association and the Long Beach Council PTA. (The Teachers Association of Long Beach declined to participate.) This committee also conducted second-round interviews of six finalists before recommending the three top candidates to the school board.
Craighead will complete the remainder of the District 5 term, which will expire in July 2014. She was sworn into office during the school board meeting on March 27.