Ceres school board has 3 positions open

CERES -- Six candidates are seeking three seats on the Ceres Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Two of the six, Diane Sol and Yvette Nunes, are incumbents. Eric Ingwerson is an appointee to the board and also is a former planner and mayor.

The three challengers are Faye Lane, a retired secretary; Jim Kinard, a retired teacher; and Donald McKim, a retiree who worked for Procter & Gamble.

McKim, 56, who also ran for a school board seat two years ago, is seeking office "to focus on safety (on campuses) and developing math and science skills in students.

"I was part of the P&G hiring process, and of every 20 student applicants, only one could pass the math portion." His top priority would be to "develop math and science skills."

Kim said he believes his unique qualifications include "understanding the students. Most students and teachers will know who I am, especially (at) Sam Vaughn (elementary) and Mae Hensley (middle school).

"I'm retired and I have the time to spend."

Kinard said he is running "to make sure all of our children receive an outstanding education." His top priority would be "to see the content areas of science and social studies back in the classroom. No Child Left Behind (a federal mandate) emphasizes reading, writing and math. I'd like to see reading taught through the content of social studies and science."

Kinard, 63, said he believes his advantage as a candidate comes from "my background as an educator for 30 years. I had wide experience as a lead teacher, mentor and interim principal."

Lane said she is running "to influence the education of the students, (and) to listen, to work with the teachers, classified staff, administration and the school board in the direction that the students' education will be directed."

She said her most important priority would be "to be committed to the students of Ceres schools; to listen to them, making sure they received the best education that is possible."

Lane, 69, said that a long association with the area is her key advantage. "I have lived in Ceres since 1960. My husband came home from the service and we purchased the house that we raised our sons in and I continue to live there. My husband went to Ceres schools and graduated from Ceres High School. Our boys went to Ceres schools, as have their children, with two graduating from Ceres High School and two still in the school program.

"While employed for Ceres Unified School District, I served on many committees, including curriculum development, budget, advisory committee, insurance (and) safety issues."

Appointee Ingwerson said he is running because "I have been involved in the school district my whole life. I went to Ceres schools and my kids went through the schools. I served on committees to pass the high school bond issue in 2002-03 and I just want to stay involved. I think the district is on the right track."

His first priority would be to see "parents more involved in the education of their children." He also wants "to see better communication between the administration, teachers and staff."

Ingwerson, 53, said his advantage comes from his "knowledge of community. I've been a planner, councilman and mayor. My knowledge is an asset I can bring to the table."

Nunes, an incumbent, is seeking re-election. She wants "to keep Ceres Unified on the path that it's started on -- to keep building on improved test scores and keep our schools safe and clean."

Her top priority is "parent involvement with their children -- to (get them) involved in the child's life and school activities."

Nunes said her unique qualities are that "I always try to treat everyone equal and fairly. I'm not afraid to speak up for myself or others."

Nunes, 55, and Sol, 51, who are both farmers, were on the school board that embarked on the building program that brought the district a new high school and five new elementary campuses.

Sol said she is running again "for the students to have quality education and safe and clean schools."

Her top priority is to maintain the status quo. "To keep up with what we're doing now, to have a clean school, keep competitive salaries and to get the best education to the kids that we can."

Sol said experience is on her side. "I have gone through the master's in governance program with California School Boards Association."

Bee staff writer Roger W. Hoskins can be reached at rhoskins@modbee.com or 578-2311.