Election 2002: Rider seeks fourth term

Judy Rider loves to see children who attended her preschool grow
up and graduate from San Benito High School. That’s one reason why
she’s running for her fourth term on the high school district’s
Board of Trustees.
Judy Rider loves to see children who attended her preschool grow up and graduate from San Benito High School. That’s one reason why she’s running for her fourth term on the high school district’s Board of Trustees.

“Sometimes I wonder why (I’m running again), but it’s because I want to be supportive of the new superintendent when he is hired,” she said.

Rider is seeking re-election for one of three open seats against incumbents Ken Kovanda and Sylvia Sims DeLay, and challengers Stefani Fowler, Jan Joseph and Bill Tiffany on Tuesday.

The current Board is in the process of hiring a new superintendent, who is expected to start in January. Rider said the new superintendent will need people with experience to support him or her in the new position. She also feels her experience is a valued asset to the board.

“Because I’ve been there and know what’s going on, and we’re a good group of people (the current board), and I kind of feel bad that the teachers don’t agree with that, some of them,” she said. “I know there’s other teachers who do.”

The San Benito High School Teachers’ Association did not endorse Rider or any of the incumbents and has been critical of the current Board, citing a lack of communication.

“The teachers come to board members when they have to give reports, but they don’t come all the time,” Rider said. “If they have a question, they should call. I personally listen.”

Rider said the most important issue for the Board is the new SBHS freshman campus, for which the school has been putting money aside. The construction schedule has not been established for the campus, which will help to reduce class size when completed.

“I want to continue keeping the campus beautiful and safe and making it a great place for children to learn and staff to work in, keeping the environment trusting and happy,” Rider said. “I don’t think it’s been as bad as it’s been sounding lately.”

The budget for the school is another problem Trustees will have to deal with in the coming years, Rider said.

“We’re trying to stay within our budget,” she said. “We’re trying to keep ourselves solvent without having to cut programs. We want to keep the (Future Farmers of America) program moving.”

But despite the criticism, Rider is eager to serve on the Board again.

“I’ve put in 12 long years and sometimes very unthankful years. Like right now I feel like people aren’t appreciating us,” she said. “But I’m willing to put in another four years for obligation to the children and the community because I love what I do. I think I’m a caring, honest person and if people want to vote for me, that’s great.”

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