School board races heat up
With only eight days left until the start of early voting, the general election is right around the corner.
There are only two local countywide races in Douglas County, for School Board areas 3 and 5. The seats are being vacated by Cindy Trigg and Teri Jamin, who are both term-limited.
Voters are already filing absentee ballots and early voting begins Oct. 22 for the Nov. 8 General Election.
Larry Lippmann and Linda Gilkerson are seeking the Area 5 seat. Lippman was defeated in 2012 by Jamin.
The race for Area 3 between B. Keith Byer and Mike Kiger is a rematch of the primary, which Kiger won 3,249 votes to 2,115. The race eliminated a third candidate seeking the seat, Nicholas Shepack.
School board trustee is a nonpartisan race. Each trustee is elected at large to a four-year term.
Here is a capsule view of each candidate:
Residence: Gardnerville Ranchos (43-year Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley).
Experience in education: Taught math, chemistry and philosophy for 30 years, 23 at Douglas High, before retiring in 2012.
Current employment: Adjunct instructor at Western Nevada College
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a Masters from the University of New Hampshire. Both degrees are in Mathematics.
Comment: “I think I can make an important contribution. I come from the classroom and I believe it is important to have a voice on the board coming from the perspective of the classroom.”
On education: “In the years I’ve been teaching, I’ve seen one reform come after another … it’s like, ‘What are we reforming?’ To me, the most important aspect of a quality education is a teacher in the classroom doing their job. In the years I’ve been at Douglas High School, I’ve seen some teachers doing a fantastic job over and above what the bare minimum requirements are because they take their responsibilities seriously and they do a great job. You can design the most incredible curriculum and if you’re not going to have a qualified teacher doing a great job, not much is going to get done.”
Residence: Gardnerville Ranchos (24-year Carson Valley).
Experience in education: Has worked for DCSD off and on for 17 years as a substitute teacher and long-term sub and as a tutor.
Current employment: Tahoe Youth & Family Services as a mentor coordinator since 2015.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Education, State University of New York at Brockport.
Comment: “I have the passion for it. I’ve always worked with kids and I just feel I have the relationships with the community and the schools that I can take my skills to the next level and serve as a school board member. I feel that I can bring compassion, transparency and one of my strengths is being able to collaborate.”
“I’m very excited about this. It’s something I’ve thought about for a very, very long time. I connect well with young people and I connect well with adults, I do know a lot of people in the community and I think it’s the right time and the right thing for me to do.”
Platform: “Putting Kids First. I truly believe that when making decisions, if we ask ourselves is this what is best for our kids? Then we will be doing our job.”
AREA 3 — Lake Tahoe
Residence: Zephyr Cove (has lived at the Lake for more than 35 years).
Education: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo.
Current employment: Semi-retired general contractor, Stateline.
Experience in education: Taught 25 years in Douglas County, 12 at Whittell High School. Now retired.
Comment: “I have a passion for education. I enjoy it, I always have, so I actually think maybe I can accomplish something. I will go the distance for a student. I will not let a student be used or abused, it doesn’t matter who, what or how. That’s my passion, students come first. You’ll get a good representative of students; that’s what I care about. To me that’s our community. That’s everything. Students are our future. You stay young in education, so I said, ‘Why not?’ Let’s see what happens.’”
On being the board’s one representative from the Lake: “We’re all one district. They’ve always listened to what we (at the Lake) need; they’ve always been open to new things and innovations as far as I’m concerned.”
Residence: Glenbrook (seven-year resident)
Education: Texas A&M University – Mays Business School Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting.
Current employment: Certified Public Accountant
Experience in education: Has one child currently enrolled in a Douglas County school and another who graduated from George Whittell High School.
Comment: “Strong Schools make Strong Communities. I believe our school system should be best-in-class and prepare our children to be successful in life. The workforce our children will enter is much different than the one many of us entered. Technology has gone from a nice to have to a must regardless of the trade or profession. I have a child in DCSD.”
Top priorities: “Ensure a challenging curriculum that prepares our students for the best colleges and provides training for those who desire a career in the trades 2) Fulfill the Board’s role in providing financial oversight in the annual budgeting process and governance oversight in the preparation of the strategic plan. 3) Encourage community involvement.”