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School board to interview candidates

by Merrie Leininger

The Douglas County School District will hold interviews today for two trustees, from a field of candidates which has narrowed.

On Monday, Pete Ziebell, who had applied for the Area 7 seat now held by Randy Wallstrum, withdrew from consideration, saying Wallstrum was the best person for the position.

“In my letter of Nov. 13, 1998, I stated that I would love to be considered for the vacant position if, indeed, Randy chose not to run. I will stand by that statement and direct my full support toward Mr. Wallstrum at this time,” Ziebell wrote. “There is always another day.”

On Tuesday, Barbara Clark, who had applied for the Area 4 seat vacated by Diane McCoy last month, submitted a letter rescinding her application.

“Recent changes to my 1999 schedule will require me to travel out-of-state on at least seven occasions for a duration of five to seven days each trip,” she wrote.

n Interview questions. Meanwhile, the other applicants have turned in their answers to interview questions put forth by the district.

Wallstrum, who is re-applying for the Area 7 seat after deciding not to run for his third term, said he felt he fit into a niche on the board.

“I see my role as a trustee as one voice among seven who set policy and direction for the district – always with an awareness towards how decisions affect the classroom,” he wrote.

The two others who will be interviewed for the Area 7 seat are Willie Edwards, the state Tobacco Education and Information Officer for the Nevada Health Division, and Keith Roman, a former Douglas High School teacher and administrator.

Edwards, who is working on his doctorate in education, said one of the problems facing all school districts is a move away from more practical skills.

“Many districts have moved away from training students in practical skills such as the industrial arts and have concentrated on academic preparation,” he wrote. “In turn, this action has played a role in making school less relevant for a significant portion of the student population who have no desire to further their education beyond the high school level.”

Roman, who is now a substitute teacher, said, as a board member, he will hopefully be an inspiration to students.

“I feel that membership on this board is a sacred trust bestowed upon a trustee by the people of Douglas County. The purpose of this trust is to assure that their children will receive the very best education possible and when their kids graduate from high school, they will have the knowledge to become anything their ability will allow them to achieve,” Roman wrote.

Area 4 applicants include Douglas High School teacher Randy Green and State Farm Insurance Agent John Raker.

Green said as a member of the board, he wants to serve as an example to his government students and also be a part of the continuing improvement of the district.

“The role of a board member is to help develop and create an environment of learning in the school district. The creation and evolution of this learning environment should constantly be evaluated, understanding that the board of trustees should always seek continuous improvement,” Green wrote.

Raker wrote that, as a parent, and as a member of a family that emphasizes the importance of education, he wanted to be a part of the educational system in Douglas County.

“As a student of history, I understand the need for citizen participation in the democratic process. This is an opportunity for me to serve our community and at the same time become involved in the education process,” he wrote.

n Issue raised. School officials have said Green can’t be on the board of trustees because is a teacher. State law says “A member of any board of trustees shall not be financially interested in any contract made by the board of trustees of which he is a member.”

The law has not applied to Wallstrum, whose wife is a teacher within the district.

The interviews are scheduled at 4 p.m. at Carson Valley Middle School and are open to the public.

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