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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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Carmel Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Lisa F. Talley "Dean"

Lisa F. Talley "Dean"

Real Estate Agent
2,965 votes (16.88%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • We must put students' interests above all others, and prioritize academic excellence on all campuses. Ensuring that CUSD offers an enriching and rigorous academic program and provides the very best teachers available is my top priority.
  • We must strive to manage our resources wisely, making them as productive as possible to go as far as possible. Thus, one of my top priorities is fiscal accountability; ensuring that district monies are being managed and spent effectively.
  • I am committed to transparency in process and open and respectful communication to all stakeholders: parents, students, administrators, teachers, and the community. I will focus on improving stakeholder ease of access to the board and its activities.



Profession:Broker associate and former practicing attorney.
Broker Associate, Carmel Realty Company, Self-employed (2011–current)
Broker Associate, Coldwell Banker, Self-employed (2007–2011)
Broker Associate, Alain Pinel Realtors, self-employed (2005–2007)
Of Counsel, DLA Piper (and predecessor by merger, Steinhart & Falconer LLP) (1997–2005)
Associate, Milling Benson Woodward LLP (1996–1997)

Community Activities

Board Member, CUSD Music Boosters (2016–current)


I am a California native, born in Fresno, and have been married to my husband, Jon Dean, for 20 years. Prior to moving to the Monterey Peninsula, we lived and worked in San Francisco. As a child, I attended Fresno public schools, graduating from Bullard High School. I received my B.A. from UC Santa Barbara (Law & Society) and then attended Santa Clara University School of Law, graduating in 1991. Following graduation, I went into private practice for about three years, working in the areas of civil litigation and corporate/business law.  Some exposure to tax law led me back to school, this time to Georgetown, where I received an LL.M. in tax. From 1995 to 2004, I practiced tax law in San Francisco (and a short stint in New Orleans). In 2005, Jon’s career in dentistry led us to the Monterey Peninsula, and ultimately, Carmel. 

When we arrived, our kids were quite young and it seemed a change in my career was in order.  After some time off, I decided to embark upon a new career in real estate sales, hopeful that many of the skills used in law would be transferable— negotiating, reviewing/drafting contracts and transacting deals. After 13 years, I still very much enjoy my career in real estate and our beautiful community. I am self-employed and built my business from the ground up, not having lived in this community before.  I have enjoyed success in my business largely because of my work ethnic, honesty and integrity, legal background, loyal commitment to clients, problem solving skills and collaborative approach. These are the same skills I would bring to the table as CUSD board trustee if elected.

From the time our kids started River School, I became actively involved in the school community. Over the years my involvement has included: volunteering in the classroom when the kids were in elementary (math tables, reading with children, writing assistance); two-year member of the River School Site Council (which tackled important homework initiatives); co-founder/originator of the “TUF” fundraising campaign (at River); co-founder of the Carmel Home Tour to benefit Carmel schools; acting as room mom; chaperoning overnight field trips for River, CMS and CHS;  River School PTA board member; volunteer on the CMS Serve-a-Thon; FOCUS supporter; member of the CUSD Health & Wellness Committee; and current board member of the CUSD Music Boosters.  On multiple occasions I have attended CUSD board meetings and advocated on behalf of students when important issues have arisen.  Committing some of my time to CUSD over the past several years is something I have been, and remain, passionate about. I am a proud supporter of public education and want to pay forward some of the privileges I now enjoy as result of my own education. 


Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Karen Sharp, former member of Carmel-by-the-Sea City Council
  • Ken White, former mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea and former CUSD Board member and past chair
  • Howard Given, former member of CUSD Board of Trustees and principal, Cypress Path Capital

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


As a product of public schools and being the first in my family to graduate from college, I have experienced first-hand how critically important public education is in improving and changing lives. First and foremost, we must put students' interests above all others, and prioritize academic excellence on all campuses.  Ensuring that CUSD offers an enriching and rigorous academic program that emphasizes critical thinking and provides the very best teachers available to all students (whether on track for a four-year university, a vocational/trade program or other) is my top priority. I support maximizing the opportunities our students have to participate in competitive sports; music and the arts; math, science and writing competitions; robotics, mock trial and more. I support solidifying and strengthening CUSD’s alliances with college admissions offices across the country and internationally to increase opportunities for graduates and help them get to where they want to go. If elected, I will be proactive in searching for opportunities to incorporate best practices into our district to achieve this priority.

While we are extremely fortunate in this district to have a generous level of funding as a result of high property values and taxpaying citizens, we simply cannot afford to take it for granted. Education is an expensive endeavor and furthermore, we may not always enjoy the level of funding we have today.  If elected, fiscal responsibility will be high on my priority list. We must strive to manage our resources wisely, making them as productive as possible to go as far as possible, for all students.  One of my top priorities for CUSD is to ensure that district monies are being managed and spent effectively.  Finally, if elected to the board, I will be committed to transparency in process and open and respectful communication to all stakeholders, including parents, students, administrators and teachers, as well as members of the community at large. I would like to improve the ease of access stakeholders have to the CUSD board and board activities so that we may all work together to achieve our goals.

I hope you will support my candidacy, recognizing my sincere commitment to Carmel schools over the years.  Like you, I care deeply about ensuring that children of our community are provided an outstanding public education. CUSD has the financial means to support all our students in realizing their dreams and my goal is to be fiscally responsible to maintain the focus on positive student outcomes while maintaining our reputation as one of the top public schools in country. This requires hard work, dedication and strong leadership. It would be my privilege to serve this community as trustee of the Carmel Unified School Board.  

Candidate Contact Info

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