Experience in education and being a parent are factors that all
five candidates for the Hollister School District Board of Trustees
– and with a passion.
Experience in education and being a parent are factors that all five candidates for the Hollister School District Board of Trustees possess – and with a passion.
The five are pursuing three seats on the board. All three incumbents – Dee Brown, Alice Flores and Harry Samuelson – are running. Each term lasts four years.
While the incumbents want to finish some projects they started and work with new Superintendent Judith Barranti, newcomers Eugenia Sanchez and Ron Stubblefield want to see the district turn toward more of an education-based curriculum.
‘I like to be busy’
Dee Brown is 57 and still running. She is a local real estate broker, assistant professor at Chapman University in Monterey and finishing up her first term on the HSD Board of Trustees.
“Let’s just say I like to keep busy,” she said.
Over the 35 years Brown has been in education, she has served as a teacher, consultant, city official and principal.
Brown is looking forward to working with Barranti. She also wants to build bridges between parents, the school board and the school staff. Brown said she believes parents and board members have to be partners – parents should be involved in what happens at their children’s schools and board members should represent the people who elect them, which can mean looking at different viewpoints that aren’t their own.
‘Proactive, not reactive’
Alice Flores is also looking forward to supporting the new superintendent. Flores has been a teacher and now works with teachers helping them pass exams within the state. She has served three terms on the board and has a son who was a student at every school in the district.
As a board member, Flores helped get the district’s school wired to the Internet.
“Students need computer schools to be more employable and have more choices,” she said.
While she said she thinks there’s always a need to spend more on education, Flores also believes that money is not always the answer and that parents and the public play an important role in education.
Ups and downs
Through his 12 years as a board member with the district, Harry Samuelson said he’s been “through a lot of ups and downs.” He’s seen three new schools built as well as a drastic growth in the district itself since he moved to Hollister in 1962.
The retired teacher decided to run a fourth time because he wants to see some projects to the end, including finding land to build another middle school, improving and expanding the Gifted And Talented Education program, and finding more special education, math and science teachers for the district.
Even though Samuelson is 74, he said he feels age is not a factor.
“(Education has) been my whole lifetime. I feel like I can still give a lot to the school district and community,” he said.
Putting children first
Eugenia Sanchez decided to run for the board because she has two children in the district.
“As a parent, I want the best programs and teachers for my children and for all children,” she said.
Sanchez is president of the District English Language Advisory Committee, which helps children learn English. She said she believe parents need to be involved at different levels. She said she feels she would be an asset to the board because she brings a parent’s point of view. Sanchez said she has also attended board meetings for the past three years.
As a board member, Sanchez said she would promote more parent involvement and create a better cycle of communication.
Emphasis on education
Ron Stubblefield is retiring in December and hopes to spend some of his spare time as a HSD board member.
Although the United Parcel Service driver admits he has no technical experience in education or serving on a board, he is a parent of three children and has attended several of the district’s board meetings to give input.
Stubblefield said he wants to see the board turn in a direction like that which he believes the state has lately – focusing more on education and curriculum as opposed to just passing students through the system.
“I’d like to see everybody learn,” he said. “All students should get the help they need. Schools should challenge every one of them.”
-Board meetings are held every third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the district office, 2690 Cienega Road.