La Verne & San Dimas Chambers to host BUSD Candidates Forum

The La Verne and San Dimas Chambers of Commerce will host a virtual forum for the nine candidates running for three open seats on the Bonita Unified School District Board of Education. The forum will be held online via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 6:00 p.m., and moderated by Dr. Kimberly White-Smith, professor of education and dean of University of La Verne’s LaFetra College of Education.
 
Questions must be submitted prior to the forum via email, please send to leah@lavernechamber.org.
 
Brief biographies of the candidates, as well as links to their campaign websites where available, follow.
 
Brittany Allison is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of La Verne College of Education and returned to continue her studies in the master’s program. She has been a high school teacher since 2010 at Western Christian High School in Upland. In 2015, she founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Social Justice Advocacy Project, Inc., where she serves as vice president and director of operations. She is married and has two children. Her campaign website can be found here www.brittanyforbusd.com
 
Krista Chakmak is a product of BUSD schools and was appointed in May 2020 to fill the unexpired term of a retiring board member. She and her husband have two sons attending Roynon Elementary. Her philanthropic projects include the nonprofit Save the Heartbeat Foundation and the city of La Verne’s Youth and Family Action Committee. She has held board positions in Roynon’s PTA for two years and has been a classroom volunteer. Her campaign website can be found here www.kristachakmak.com
 
Glenn Creiman is a 17-year member of the BUSD board and both his children are graduates of district schools. His involvement began when his oldest was in kindergarten as a classroom volunteer; he became a school site council member and eventually chairman. He was the first male PTA president in BUSD, a position he held for three years. He received the Golden Oak Award, the PTA’s highest award for service to children. His community involvement includes coaching San Dimas Little League, supporting arts programs, and fund raising for enrichment and athletic programs. His campaign website can be found here www.creiman4bonitausd.com
 
Crystal Jones-Bacon moved to San Dimas from South Carolina, where she worked for the United States Postal Service. She took part in the opening of the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center in Covina and in four years worked her way up to assistant store management of administration. She transitioned into a career in the property and casualty insurance sector and is a property general professional with Crawford & Co. She became involved in the San Dimas High School Athletic Bingo Boosters while her eldest daughter was a student and still serves as secretary on the San Dimas High School BTSA Board. Her campaign website can be found here www.votebaconforbusd.com
 
Afshin Kaivan-Mehr, DC, is owner of Foothill Family Chiropractic. His family resides in La Verne and his two children attend BUSD schools. He attended high school and university in Toronto, Canada, and graduated Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas. He is a former board member and member of the la Verne Chamber of Commerce and chaired the chamber’s Health and Wellness Expo Committee in 2014-15; serves as executive board member and safety director of AYSO San Dimas and La Verne; and is a former executive board member and treasurer for the California Chiropractic Association. His campaign website can be found here www.drmehr4bonita.com
 
Christopher Mattson is a San Dimas resident with children at Gladstone Elementary and San Dimas High School. He holds a master’s degree in theater, a master’s in education in student affairs, and a doctorate in educational leadership. He has worked at USC for many years, assisting students with disabilities, first-year undergrads, students on academic probation, and doctoral candidates. His experience includes committees for hiring, planning, and students of concern. He has received awards from the USC Division of Student Affairs for collaboration and assessment. His campaign website can be found here https://www.sites.google.com/view/christopher-erik-mattson/home/support
 
Joe Otto is the father of an Oak Mesa Elementary student and serves as chairman of the school site council. He is also historian of the Oak Mesa PTA. He is president of the family owned and operated My Dad’s Plumbing and Construction; his work experience includes director of training and development an director of marketing for Greenspire, a national residential savings program; director of field marketing for Oakley, an international fashion and apparel company; national fields operations manager of marketing and advertising at BDS Marketing LLC in Irvine, and retail sales supervisor for AT&T. His campaign website can be found here: www.joeottoforbonitaschoolboard.org
 
Greg Palatto and his wife, an elementary school teacher, are parents of students at Grace Miller Elementary and Ramona Middle School. He has been in education his entire career, first earning a degree at UCLAand working there as a behavior therapist and instruction aide for students with autism. He earned a master’s in educational psychology and counseling from California State University Northridge, with a credential in school psychology. He has been a school psychologist since 2001 and currently works at Charter Oak USD; he guest teaches school psychologist graduate students at the University of La Verne’s LaFetra College of Education. His campaign website can be found here www.Greg4Bonita.com/
 
Tommy Lee Randle has for 26 years been president of California Leading Edge Inc., which provides training, job creation and business consultants for returning military veterans and hard-to-employ personnel. Prior to that, he was a partnership coordinator for the Department of Commerce, developing, coordinating and managing the Partnership and Data Services Program for Southern California and Hawaii; and partnership coordinator for the US Census Bureau, helping to create a regional program and train specialists.