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CUHS' Dick Fragale elected to national school association

May 08, 2001|By LAURA MACKENZIE, Staff Writer

In his first time seeking a national office, Dick Fragale, Central Union High School District superintendent, was elected to the executive committee of the American Association of School Administrators.

"I feel very fortunate," said Fragale of his landslide win.

As a member of the national administrators' executive committee, Fragale's duties will include setting programs for administrators throughout the nation and dealing with the federal government.

Lee Hindman, a Central district trustee, said, "It's quite an honor to be there."

He said one quality Fragale will bring to the committee is "a perspective of the border communities."

Board President Jeanne Vogel said the district will benefit from Fragale's position on the national board.

"Whenever you can input your concerns it's helpful," Vogel said.

Hindman said Fragale "will have a chance to bring new ideas to the district."

Hindman added, "He is someone who will do everyone a good deed by being in it … he's not afraid to share his ideas."


Fragale said he expects to be a member of a subcommittee either dealing with small school districts or suburban school districts because of his experience in those areas.

The executive committee is the "voice of the administrators nationwide," said Fragale.

He said some concerns of administrators include full funding of special education, sufficient funding to cover mandates and the "constant testing programs that go on."

Fragale said concerns with testing stems from the fact that "the tests affect schools, but are not significant to the students.

"The high school exit exam, and the ACT and SAT have a lot of significance," he said.

Fragale said tests need to have "validity for the students."

He added, "They kind of get tested to death."

John Anderson, Imperial County superintendent of schools, called Fragale a "very well-rounded administrator," who "looks out for the common good."

Anderson added, "He has a very good sense of humor. He's a hard worker with high integrity."

Fragale is the first administrator from California to be elected to the committee since the 1980s. He joked there was an "ABC rule: All But California."

The election process started in late September when Fragale filed an application to run for election. He campaigned for three days at the national conference in February.

The nationwide election was staged throughout February and March.

Fragale said at first he didn't know he had won.

"I was in San Diego at meetings and in workshops," he said, "No one called to tell me I'd won."

He said when he learned of the results, "I was absolutely ecstatic."

The victory was sweetened by the fact it was Fragale's first time running for an elected position and he ran against two men who had previous experience in committees.

"They had name recognition," said Fragale.

He was installed into his three-year term Friday at a ceremony in San Diego.

Fragale said the position won't hinder his work as superintendent because it will only require about four meetings a year.

He thanked his staff and peers, who he said have been "very supportive."

Although he reveled in the sweet taste of election victory, Fragale said he has no plans of going into politics.

"I'll leave that to Norma," he laughed, referring to his wife, Norma Saikhon, who is county public administrator.

Staff Writer Laura MacKenzie can be reached at 337-3442.

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