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Five people running for Denair schools seats

Five candidates are seeking three seats on the Denair Unified School District board of trustees this November.

The candidates include three incumbents, Denise Hurd, Carolyn Brown and Timothy Ellis. The two challengers are Travis Lake and Kelley Day.

Lake is a social work administrator who cites family as the main reason he is running. "I have a new daughter, a month old, and she will be going to Denair schools, and I have four siblings that are still attending," said Lake. "I want to start having positive impact on the school district."

His most important priority if elected is "bringing (Denair) up to par with all of the other districts."

"The pay in Denair is lower for teachers, and the electives at the secondary level are lagging."

Lake, who did not list his age, cites family and youthful energy as his particular advantages. "I'm new at this," he said.

"I'm young, driven and motivated. My daughter and siblings are a real motivating factor."

Kelley Day, a teacher, is challenging for a seat because she wants "to work for the kids of Denair, to help promote programs that will raise our achievement." If elected, Day will make "curriculum collaboration between the schools, elementary, middle and high school" her top priority.

Day, 44, believes her dual views as parent and teacher make her uniquely qualified. "I have children at each level of the schools and I'm a teacher. I have a perspective on what schools should do for all the children."

Incumbent Brown is running again "to make a positive difference in the lives of the students by making opportunities available and (make sure) educational needs (are) met."

If re-elected, Brown's top priority would be "to improve student achievement and plan for continued growth while keeping the district financially sound."

Brown, 61, is a driving instructor. She believes her record sets her apart. "Experience and diligence," she said. "I enjoy doing what's best for the students."

Incumbent Timothy Ellis is running again because, "We have a lot of work left to do in Denair."

His top priority if returned to the board is to see the image of the high school enhanced. "I want to see the community's perception of the high school improve. We're not seen as a community that sends students on to top universities, but we are."

Ellis, 48, believes he has a unique perspective and access that make him a good candidate. "I'm a board member and I'm a teacher. I'm also part of the union in Keyes. I see a lot of information from the teacher union perspective and from the California School Board perspective. No one else sees all the information that I do."

Incumbent Hurd said she decided to run again because, "I believe we're doing a good job and we have work to do. The federal rules and funding keep changing and you have to be aware and keep up."

Her priority is cooperation on the board. "We're community citizens. Only as a board can we effect change. I want us to maintain a safe environment, expand curriculum offering and enhance rigorous teaching and learning throughout the district."

Hurd, 42, said her view on technology puts her in a good position among the candidates. "I'm a technology consultant. I embrace technology as a way to enhance learning, and my background helps that. I love to read and hold a book in my hand. I have a passion for reading, not just for knowledge but for pleasure. I hope we can pass that passion on to the children of the district."