Competition develops for school board positions
August 25, 2008
Competition is starting to unfold for the three school board positions up for re-election in November, and the teachers union is gearing up to campaign for the challengers seeking to take over two incumbents’ seats.
The Tahoe Truckee Education Association has activated its Political Action Committee and has chosen to support two candidates who say they strive to communicate and empower the teachers, said Ed Hilton, committee chair and a sixth grade math and science teacher at Alder Creek Middle School.
The committee selected 16-year Truckee resident Kirsten Livak who will vie for the Area 2 position, and 24-year district resident Lisa Mohun who will compete for the Area 4 position, Hilton said.
“Both these candidates really care about having the teacher’s voice heard and about making changes on the board in a positive way,” Hilton said.
The committee, or Citizens for Better Education, will endorse both campaigns by canvassing, collecting donations and providing candidate information to school district parents and the community, Hilton said.
In her candidate statement, Livak said she holds a masters degree in social work from the University of Nevada Reno and specializes in mental health services for children.
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Livak is also employed by as a lead evaluator for the United Advocates for Children and Families, holds expertise in special education and is fluent in Spanish, she said.
“The best investment we can make is in our teachers, by retaining our existing professionals and by attracting qualified staff to replace those who are departing,” Livak said.
Mohun is a registered nurse at Tahoe Forest Hospital, has worked regularly as a volunteer in the classroom, served on the Parent Teacher Association, and is on the Parent Teacher Collaboration Council at Alder Creek Middle School.
“Cooperation and communication are key to success in the classroom, Mohun said. “Teachers are the professionals in the classroom and need to be recognized as such.”
Livak will compete against Area 2 incumbent Monty Folsom and Mohun will vie for Nancy Gisko’s Area four seat.
Folsom said he will be developing his campaign game plan with several former members of the school board, but has not decided his exact strategy against teacher-endorsed candidates.
“The teachers are endorsing two candidates that are unfamiliar with the operations of the school board,” Folsom said. “My priority is primarily student achievement and educating the whole child.”
Kristy Olk’s board position is also up for re-election, but she will likely be appointed to another four-year term since the contest lacks an opposing candidate, Hilton said.
For more information on the candidates or to join the Citizens for Better Education committee, contact Ed Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.