Candidates for the Travis School District Board of Trustees had an opportunity this week to introduce themselves to voters during an online candidate forum organized by Travis School District parent Maria Figueroa.
Six candidates participated in the forum Tuesday, with two seats available.
Ivery Hood, the lone incumbent in Area 2, participated, along with Dave Amar, Christina Palmer and Manveer Sandhu, all of whom are running for two seats in Area 2.
Six candidates for three seats on the Travis Unified governing board fielded more than a half-dozen questions during a virtual candidate forum Tuesday night, the inquiries ranging from priorities, if elected, to the purpose of a public education, and with one candidate making some pointed criticisms of incumbent Ivery Hood.
Candidates attending the forum were Meghan Thompson, a district parent; and Renell Travis, an active-duty airman stationed at Travis Air Force Base, both vying for the Area 1 seat on the five-member board.
The others, besides Hood, were Dave Amar, a retired business executive; Christina Palmer, a local business owner; and Manveer Sandhu, an intelligence analyst and entrepreneur, all vying for the two seats to represent Area 2.
Judi Honeychurch did not face a challenger in her last election and will have no need to campaign this fall, either.
Judi Honeychurch“I look forward to the challenges of the future and working with the superintendent and the teachers and staff,” said Honeychurch, who will enter her third term on the Fairfield-Suisun School District board of trustees.
She is the only incumbent who does not have a challenger.
Clifford Gordon, owner of Gordon’s Music & Sound in downtown Fairfield, pulled and filed candidacy papers Thursday for the Trustee Area 1 seat held by Bethany Smith. Trustee Area 2 incumbent Joan Gaut will run against Leslie Unverferth, and Area 6 incumbent John Silva faces Ana Petero.
The four incumbents and two challengers for seats on the Fairfield-Suisun School District board of trustees have filed candidacy papers, the county Elections Office reported Monday evening.
This is the last week to file for anyone interested in running for a position on 10 school or two college district boards.
Fairfield-Suisun school incumbents Joan Gaut, in Trustee Area 2, and John Silva, in Trustee Area 6, each faces a challenger. Leslie Unverferth, a real estate agent, looks to unseat Gaut, while Ana Petero, a teacher, wants to replace Silva.
Incumbents Bethany Smith, in Trustee Area 1, and Judi Honeychurch, in Trustee Area 3, are thus far unchallenged.
Students in the Travis School District will start the new school year being “home-schooled” due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Throughout this unprecedented crisis,” Superintendent Pam Conklin said in a statement, “our guiding principle has been to deliver the most effective instruction possible while protecting the health of our students, staff and their families. I believe the board’s decision to initially open our 2020-21 school year with distance learning accomplishes this goal.”
The Board of Trustees made the decision Tuesday during a Zoom meeting.
Citing “the alarming increased virus activity in Solano County and statewide,” Travis Unified leaders on Tuesday OK’d a plan to use the distance-learning model when classes resume Aug. 13 for the district’s 5,400 students.
The decision, a choice among five proposed learning models being considered, came during a special governing board meeting Tuesday in the Travis Education Center on De Ronde Drive in Fairfield and mirror recent decisions by two of the largest school districts in California: Los Angeles and San Diego.
The return to distance, or all-online, learning, in effect from mid-March to the end of the 2019-20 academic year, was made based on guidance from Gov. Gavin Newsom, state and county public health advice and the widely publicized reports of a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in California, Annie Arthur, an administrative assistant to Superintendent Pamela Conklin, said in a press release Wednesday.
Travis School District trustees will discuss opening the schools in August when they meet at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Part of the discussion is “to determine in which stage schools will reopen, staff will use information about local Covid-19 activity rates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention) and other public health officials,” the agenda states.
The item follows a closed session during which the board will be updated on labor negotiations.
Travis School District trustees on Tuesday will review the state of the district’s various budget categories, some of which show tens of thousands of dollars in red ink and others that improved dramatically over the course of the academic year.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. All board members will attend via teleconference.
Trustees are expected to review the district’s third interim budget report, which shows end-of-the projections of various funds as of April 30. Those projections show increased reductions in various fund balances for the current year and for the next two years, the staff report states.
Travis School District trustees will take part in a special meeting Tuesday to consider requesting the county to transfer more than $4.75 million in advance payments to cover cash shortages caused by delays in receiving funds from the state.
The funds will primarily be used to cover payroll and vendors.
However, the trustees are expected to attend the meeting only by calling in, which includes a closed session prior to the public meeting during which the board could appoint a new chief business officer.
Travis School District trustees will consider adding 10 courses to the Vanden High curriculum when they meet Tuesday in the Travis Education Center.
The courses are Advanced Drama; Advanced Placement Environmental Science; Astronomy (semester); Fitness and Conditioning (semester or year); Forensic Science (semester); Genre Studies (semester); Intermediate Drama; Keyboarding and Word Processing (semester); Physics, Engineering and Technology; and Weight Training (semester or year).
The Parent Involvement Policy for Golden West Middle School is also on the agenda.
The Travis School District governing board honored a number of high-achieving students Tuesday and also recognized several long-serving teachers and staff members.
Vanden High School valedictorians Victoria Melton, Jane Frances-Uche and Alvin Vo, and salutatorians Jennea Bajala, Alana Silva Cacdac, Justin Milolajcik and Samantha Vanpelt, were recognized by the board for their academic achievements.
The board also recognized teachers and staff members who reached various service milestones.
The second interim budget report is one of the items to be considered by the Travis Unified School District trustees when they meet Tuesday.
A presentation by Travis Elementary students about their Coding Class with Linkbots and a report on the second interim budget also is scheduled.
The board meets at 6 p.m. in the Travis Education Center, 2775 De Ronde Road, in Fairfield. The open session follows a 5 p.m. closed session that includes a performance evaluation of Superintendent Pam Conklin.
Travis School District trustees will recognize the classified and certificated employees of the year when they meet Tuesday.
Connie Nichols, a Food Service worker at Vanden High School, was selected as the Classified School Employee of the Year, while Melanie Green, a teacher at Cambridge Elementary School, was selected as Certificated Employee of the Year.
They will represent the Travis district at the Solano County Educators of the Year Ceremony that’s scheduled March 30.
An employee with the Solano County Office of Education has been appointed to fill the Travis Unified governing board seat vacated by the September death of Angela Weinzinger, it has been announced.
Russ Barrington, a fiscal analyst in the Special Education Local Planning Area at SCOE offices in Fairfield, will be sworn in during the Dec. 11 trustees’ meeting. He will fufill Weinzinger’s term, through December 2020, as if elected.
Appointed by unanimous vote during the trustees’ Nov. 13 meeting, he immediately afterward took a seat on the board and participated in his first meeting as a representative for the district’s Area 2.
Barrington was one of three applicants interviewed for the position. The others were former Foxboro Elementary Principal Lisa Eckhoff and former governing board member John Dickerson, who submitted his resignation effective minutes prior to the meeting in order to be considered for the position. His term was set to end in December.
The Travis School District’s governing board members unanimously appointed Russ Barrington to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Angela Weinzinger in September, the district reports.
Barrington was one of three applicants. The others were former Foxboro Elementary principal Lisa Eckhoff and former board member John Dickerson. Dickerson submitted his resignation effective minutes prior to the meeting in order to be considered. His term was set to end next month.
More than 2,000 votes Barrington received in last week’s election was the deciding factor as the remaining two board members, and presiding Solano County Board of Education Trustee Michelle Coleman, cast their votes.
Three applicants for the Trustee Area 2 vacancy will be interviewed Tuesday by the Travis School District board, which is then scheduled to make the appointment.
John Dickerson, Lisa Eckhoff and Russel Barrington are the finalists for the position that came open with the death Sept. 26 of Angela Weinzinger. The trustee area covers the district boundaries except for Travis Air Force Base.
The term runs through November 2020. The winning applicant will be sworn onto the board at 6 p.m. Dec. 11.
The Latest on results of Solano County elections as the polls close on Election Day and vote counts continue. County elections officials report the next update to the vote count will come at the end of the workday Wednesday.
Fairfield Mayor Harry Price maintains a commanding lead in his race for re-election based on the latest Election Day results posted by the Solano County Elections Office.
Price has 61.3 percent of the vote with all of the city’s 35 precincts reporting at 1:15 a.m. Wednesday. Challenger Aneta Wise has 37.88 percent.