Jurupa Valley woman gets chance for public service — on school board

Karen Bradford always thought she would seek public office at some point.

The right time didn’t come until recently, when there was an open seat on the Jurupa school board.

Bradford, 63, was appointed Aug. 14 as one of five trustees to the Jurupa Unified School District board. She’ll replace Donna Johnston, who resigned last month after announcing she was moving out of Riverside County.

Bradford will serve the rest of Johnston’s term, which ends in December 2018. She was the only applicant for the Trustee Area 3 seat, which includes the Mira Loma area of Jurupa Valley.

“I’m at a point in my life where I’m contemplating my mortality and thinking about what I want to do to be a responsible citizen,” said Bradford, a freelance writer who worked in public relations for many years.

Superintendent Elliott Duchon said he’s not concerned that no one else applied.

“The most important thing is to have somebody good,” Duchon said. “I think she’ll be great.”

Bradford is “extremely intelligent, well educated” and “has a strong commitment to the school district and believes deeply in public education,” Duchon said.

Bradford, who has lived in the district 37 years, said she wants all students to graduate from high school and have the skills to earn a living, “whether it’s through higher education, vocational training or an apprenticeship.”

She’s watched Jurupa school board meetings and likes what she has seen.

“It seems to be a harmonious group that is looking for the common good of the students and their families,” she said.

Bradford said she hasn’t decided whether to run for a full, four-year, term in the next election for the seat in November 2018.

“I want to see what it’s like and if I’m making the contribution that I want to make as a trustee,” she said. “I think this is a good test drive.”


Name: Karen Bradford

Age: 63

Residence: Mira Loma area of Jurupa Valley

Occupation: Freelance writer

Family: Husband, Clint; two adult sons; five grandchildren

Priorities: To ensure all students graduate with the skills to make a living, to strengthen vocational education programs

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