Back on the board
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Oct 25, 2012 | 2276 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Since no one decided to challenge three sitting trustees of the Tracy Unified School District in the Nov. 6 election, the three incumbents were reappointed during a Tuesday, Oct. 23, board meeting.

Returned to the board by a vote of 6-0 — with one absent vote due to the trustee Gregg Crandall not being at the meeting — were incumbents Jill Costa, Walter Gouveia and James Vaughn.

Costa, Gouveia and Vaughn were allowed to vote for the motion.

According to district spokeswoman Jessica Cardoza, the reappointment was merely a formality that was authorized by the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office.

Candidate Filing Supervisor Bassem Nakhla said the procedure is for school district elections only, and takes place when the number of candidates who file is the same or less than as the number of seats that are vacant.

When that occurs, he said the registrar sends the governing board notification, and the board members are appointed in lieu of an election.

Currently board president, Costa has been a Tracy Unified trustee since August 2010, when she was appointed to fill trustee Tom Hawkins’ seat after his retirement. Her appointment for Hawkins expired in November 2010, when she was officially elected to the office. She said she was ready to run again this year.

“(We were) all ready to have people running against us, and nobody ran against us,” she said. “I was prepared for an election, but nobody ran against me.”

Costa said she plans to remain on the board until her granddaughter, who is in eight grade, graduates high school.

“Overall, I think it’s interesting and a worthwhile thing to do,” Costa said.

Gouveia has been a Tracy Unified trustee since 2008, when he was elected. He said he still has “passion and knowledge” to offer local education.

“I feel like I’m still in the process of helping as much as I can as a board member to get out of this (fiscal) dilemma that we’re in in education,” he said, referring to state budget cuts. “We have to be the advocates for children and staff in education. We’ve got to be consistent in doing that.”

Gouveia has spent nearly four decades in education. Prior to retirement, he served as a school guidance counselor for all grade levels, as well as taught at the college level.

“I love this city,” he said. “I love the youngsters in this city. Both my wife and I have commitments to work for the betterment of people that surround us in this community.”

The third trustee to be appointed Tuesday was Vaughn, who has been on the Tracy Unified board since he was first elected in 2004.

“Officially, I really didn’t know how long I would serve, but the community in Tracy is so easy to work with,” Vaughn said. “We collaborate really well, as far as the trustees working as a conduit between the district and the community. It makes it easy for me to want to run again when you have citizens that are supportive of what we want to do and the district.”

At a glance

• WHAT: Tracy Unified School District School Board

• WHEN: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23

• WHERE: District Education Center Board Room, 1875 W. Lowell Ave.

• DETAILS: President Jill Costa, Vice President Greg Silva and board members Walter Gouveia, Ted Guzman, Bill Swenson and James Vaughn were present. Trustee Gregg Crandall was absent.

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