Range of candidates seek Hollister trustee appointment

Trustees unanimously endorsed Superintendent Gary McIntire's plans for Calaveras School at this week's meeting.

Hollister School District board members will select a new trustee from a group including a homemaker, mother, attorney, retired school district administrator and field investigator.
Former Board President Ben Flores resigned recently after moving outside district boundaries, which is an automatic disqualifier for the position. These five candidates are vying to take his place and serve out the rest of the term, ending in late 2016.
Angela Camua-Julian is a homemaker who has lived in the district boundaries for 20 years and has at least one child attending Marguerite Maze Middle School. She is the current president of the campus’ Parent-Teacher- Student- Organization. She called the district’s number of high-caliber teachers its strength while criticizing the district’s inability to get rid of low-performing personnel.
Brianna Tavares is a mother who has lived in the district for nine years and has at least one child at Ladd Lane School. She is a current member of the Measure M Oversight Committee. Tavares praised parent involvement, smaller class sizes, transparency, technology upgrades and alternative teaching techniques as some of the district’s pluses. Needing improvement, she cited the district’s discipline practices; special education and disability programs; and state standard scores.
Cindy Cordova is a retired Hollister School District administrator and has resided in the area for 32 years. A trustee of the Hazel Hawkins Foundation Board, Cordova chaired the group’s scholarship committee this year. She cited the district’s staff, as well as the students and their families, as its greatest strength. Cordova said providing educational opportunities that ensure all students achieve high standards must be a primary focus.
George Barton, a self-employed attorney-at-law, has resided in the district for 12 years. His daughter attends Cerra Vista School. Barton is a former member of the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce. He has been a volunteer for the YMCA and the Hollister Art League.Barton praised the district for being able to function as well as it does despite “difficult financial environmental concerns” but added some classrooms need air conditioning.
James Baldwin is a field investigator for a repossession agency and has children attending Ladd Lane School and Rancho San Justo Middle School. He is a board member for the Sunnyslope Christian Center and Men of Integrity. Baldwin praised the district for its committed people. He also asked if the district was doing enough now to prepare for the population growth projected in the next five years.
The board’s selection of a new trustee is a public process. The existing four trustees will interview all qualifying candidates in public session. Potential trustees had to fill out an application by Oct. 12.
Qualified candidates must be at least age 18; registered voters; living within the district boundaries; and not disqualified from serving for such reasons as being convicted of a felony.
A successfully appointed candidate will serve in the seat until the next regular election. The board will continue to conduct business with four members until a fifth is selected.

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