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Newport Beach

Volume 6, Issue 8  |  January 26, 2021

School Notes

Board of Education meeting tonight

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education meets this evening, January 12, at 6 p.m. Here’s the Zoom video link to attend.

Some of the highlights of the agenda include a viewing of the District’s Wellness video, the ratifying of an agreement with the Anti-Defamation League for Peer Leadership Trainings, a Memorandum of Understanding with Waymakers for their Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, and an approval of an agreement with the California School Boards Association for a Board of Education Governance Workshop.

The complete NMUSD agenda can be seen here.

Future Board of Education Meeting Dates

The Board of Education meets regularly at 6 p.m.. Below are the Board Meeting dates for 2020-2021:

January 26 (Study Session)

February 9

February 23 (Study Session)

March 9

March 30

April 27

May 18

June 15

June 29

Visit the Board of Education Webpage for more information.

Meet the NMUSD Board of Education

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education has seven elected members, who serve as the governing body of the District. 

School board members are locally elected public officials entrusted with governing a community’s public schools. The role of the school board is to ensure that school districts are responsive to the values, beliefs and priorities of their communities. Board members are elected by the public to work for the educational interest of all District students.

Karen Yelsey, President


Trustee Karen Yelsey represents Area 4, which includes Andersen, Harbor View, Lincoln and Newport Coast elementary schools. She has served on the board since 2006 and is serving her fourth term as president. She is looking forward to building a strong governance team. 

Yelsey is a parent of three NMUSD graduates, and has long-term involvement in our schools, serving as president of the Corona del Mar High School Parent Teach Association (PTA), Lincoln Elementary Parent Faculty Organization (PFO), and serving on many school and districtwide committees.

Her business experience includes more than 15 years in senior marketing positions at Fortune 500 companies, and program coordinator for Presidential Classroom for Young Americans in Washington, D.C. 

As a resident of Newport Beach for more than 40 years, Yelsey and her husband of 42 years enjoy spending time with their children and three grandchildren, who also attend/attended NMUSD schools. Outside of work, she enjoys cycling, Pilates and hiking.

Michelle Barto, Vice President


Trustee Michelle Barto represents Area 5, which includes Newport Harbor High School, Ensign Intermediate School and Newport Elementary. Barto has served on the Board since 2018.

Barto is a mother of four NMUSD students. She currently serves on the board of Coastline ROP, Harbor Council PTA, Newport Heights PTA and Pretend City Children’s Museum. She is involved in many other community organizations and nonprofits and enjoys giving back alongside her family. 

She lives in Newport Beach with her husband and children. She is an entrepreneur and web developer, who owns and operates a digital marketing and strategy firm. In her free time, she enjoys getting outdoors with her family, running and reading.

Some of her priorities on the board include advocating for district-wide student achievement, mental health and support, and career and technical education.

Charlene Metoyer, Clerk


Trustee Charlene Metoyer represents Area 2, which includes College Park, Davis Magnet, Paularino and Sonora elementary schools, as well as Costa Mesa Middle/High School.

Metoyer is a parent of four NMUSD graduates, was an active member of both a PFO and a PTA, culminating as president of both. She was an elementary and a middle school teacher as well as a science/math coordinator for the district, prior to becoming principal of multiple NMUSD schools. She has since retired but continues to take an active role in the district as a board member since 2014.

As a member of the Newport-Mesa community since 1976, she has been proud to see the district maintain excellence while meeting the challenges facing public education. Some of her current priorities include managing the district through the current COVID crisis and maintaining support for fine arts.

Ashley Andersen, Board member


Trustee Ashley Andersen represents Area 7, which includes Pomona, Rea, Victoria, Whittier and Wilson elementary schools. Andersen has served on the board since 2018. She is a lifelong Westside Costa Mesa resident who attended Wilson Elementary, Estancia High School and graduated a year early from Monte Vista High School. 

Andersen is a credentialed teacher with a Master’s in Education with a focus on Digital Teaching and Learning. She is passionate about reading and literacy development in elementary students. She has worked for several years as a nonprofit consultant, with a focus on asset-based community development and educational equity. She also is involved with the district’s efforts around human relations, mental health and the community alliance. 

Her top priorities on the board include closing the opportunity gap, increasing literacy rates, and reimagining elementary schools as neighborhood hubs that engage and care for the school community. 

Leah Ersoylu, Board member


Trustee Leah Ersoylu, Ph.D., represents Area 1, which includes Early College and Estancia High School, TeWinkle Intermediate School, and Adams, California and Killybrooke elementary schools. Ersoylu was elected in 2020.

Ersoylu has served as a member of the district’s Human Relations Task Force, Wellness Committee and English Learner Advisory Committee. She volunteers regularly, having served on several Costa Mesa commissions and currently serves as a member of both the Community Health Initiative of Orange County (CHIOC), as well as the Costa Mesa Early Childhood Education Committee. 

She is president of Ersoylu Consulting, has authored several academic publications and taught courses on civic engagement, public policy and nonprofit management. She obtained a Bachelors’ Degree in Resource Economics from the University of New Hampshire and a Ph.D. in political science, with a focus on public policy, from University of California, Irvine.

Her top three priorities are educational equity across the district, creating meaningful pathways for parent engagement, and identifying innovative ways to achieve school safety & positive campus cultures. 

Carol Crane, Board member 


Trustee Carol Crane represents Area 3, which includes Back Bay/Monte Vista High School, Corona del Mar Middle/High School and Eastbluff Elementary. Crane was elected in 2020.

Crane is a retired educator and community volunteer who advocates for student causes, community engagement and fiscal responsibility.

She has served in numerous leadership positions in the PTA and on three sports foundations. As a member of the NMUSD Citizens Oversight Committee on School Bond Measure F, she reviewed district expenditures to ensure compliance. Currently, she serves on the district’s Human Relations Task Force.

She and her husband, a Newport Harbor High School graduate, live in Newport Beach and have three children that attended NMUSD schools.

Some of her priorities on the board include supporting all students on issues relating to the quality of their education and emotional health; engaging stakeholders; and ensuring sound financial planning.

Krista Weigand, Board member


Trustee Krista Weigand represents Area 6, which includes Harper Preschool, Kaiser, Mariners, Newport Heights and Woodland elementary schools. Weigand was elected in 2020.

Weigand was born and raised in Orange County and has called Newport Beach home for nearly 20 years. She is a product of public schools and the daughter of a middle school teacher. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and currently serves as a National Account Manager for a Fortune 500 company. She has five-year-old twins who attend Mariners Elementary.

Some of her priorities on the board include keeping students safe; promoting a well-balanced education, including quality curriculum, access to the latest technology and limited class size; and increased opportunities for art, music and vocational education.

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