My Turn: Why you should run for the TTUSD board
July 29, 2010
I am writing this column to encourage local registered voters to seriously consider becoming a candidate for local public office. The Office of Elections for Placer County is recognized as an excellent resource for potential candidates. The county publishes a Candidate Guidelines booklet designed to provide answers to common questions and give a timeline of local filing requirements. These filing dates started July 12, and they end Aug. 6.
Hopefully, many of you will volunteer to be a candidate with the wide variety of local offices that will have positions open this November. Local board positions include Fire Protection District, Hospital District, Public Utility District, Sanitary District, Water District, Airport District, Placer County Board of Education, Sierra College Board and three trustee positions for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.
Why do something like this? Speaking from personal experience as a trustee for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (1999-2006 and April to November, 2010), I have found serving on a school board to be a real opportunity to help guide the future direction of K-12 education in this area. It is like a part-time job of about 10-15 hours a week. You (for TTUSD) do not receive a salary, but the district pays the health insurance for the board member and dependents. You will spend time preparing for meetings. If educational issues are your passion it will be extremely interesting to you most of the time.
Tahoe Truckee schools are in a dynamic period of positive change with an impressive staff. It has taken some difficult events to get the district to a point where the local schools are poised to significantly improve. This area has many bright, energetic parents and community members with a real concern for our local schools. Why not try to become a member of the local school board? You will have an influence on the future.
Candidates have the Placer County Elections for support. School board members can rely on the California School Boards Association (new member workshops) and the fine staff of the Tahoe Truckee schools. You do not need to be an educational expert, but you do need patience, good common sense, and a strong interest in improving the local schools.
Please think about public service as a volunteer commitment. The most helpful website to get you started is http://www.placerelections.com.
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Pat Gibbons-Johnson is the Area 1 trustee on the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board of Trustees.