Gustafson appointed as new school board member
Years of volunteering for Tahoe-Truckee schools became a springboard to the school board for Tahoe City resident Cindy Gustafson.She was appointed Tuesday by the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board of Trustees to replace John Wojcik, who resigned his position as trustee for Area 5 due to a career promotion.”The main reason is to try to make the district the best it can be,” said Gustafson of her interest in the school board.Involvement with educational issues at North Tahoe is not new to Gustafson.She has served on the the Excellence in Education Foundation since 1991, including two years as president, the Rideout School Site Council from 1997-99; the Measure R Bond Campaign and Oversight committees in 1998-99 and the district’s Fiscal Review Committee in 1998-99.She also served on the panel that selected Superintendent Pat Gemma when he was hired in summer 1998.”When John announced his resignation, some people approached me, saying ‘we need someone who can come up to speed quickly’,” Gustafson said.Her involvement with the Excellence in Education Foundation has given her a knowledge of the district’s academic programs; the Measure R experience provides a foundation of what the bond will accomplish and the Fiscal Review Committee has been an integral lesson in the district’s budget and finances.The new school board member can also view the school district from a parent’s perspective; her son, Erik, attends North Tahoe Middle School.”I’ve learned a lot working with the school district about the types of programs we’re offering. We’ve got a great system it’s incredible,” Gustafson said.One improvement she would like to achieve is to help the district promote itself to the community and to the parents. She said the community doesn’t realize how much more Tahoe Truckee Unified School District offers compared with other districts its size.”I want people to know if they have concerns they can call me,” she said.She feels that the district “is well on its way” to solving the fiscal crisis that it has been struggling with for over a year.Gustafson has not limited her community service to education issues.Currently the director of community development for the Tahoe City Public Utility District, Gustafson has served on the Tahoe City Advisory Council, the Placer County Transportation Commission, the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association.Moving to North Tahoe in 1984, Gustafson held positions as the field representative for former Placer County Superintendent Mike Fluty and with Perini Land & Development in Olympic Valley.She is not sure how long she will serve on the TTUSD Board of Trustees.”My intent is to help for a year,” she said.If she decides to serve longer, Gustafson will have to run in the November 2000 election for the seat.Wojcik left the school board one year before his term expired.She is compassionate, however, about public service and the need to offer help to local government entities.”We start to see government as something separate, but it’s formed to meet the needs of the people,” she said.
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