Voters will elect 23 people to seats on school boards throughout San Luis Obispo County in November.
School boards vary in size from five to seven members. All seats are for four-year terms unless otherwise noted. Elected trustees must be residents of the school district they serve. School board members are responsible for setting district policy, balancing the district’s budget, negotiating contracts with employee unions and approving curriculum, among other duties.
Here is a look at confirmed candidates who are running and incumbents not seeking re-election:
Atascadero Unified School District
Voters will elect candidates to four of the seven seats on the school board.
Incumbents Donn Clickard, George Dodge and Tami Gunther are seeking re-election. School board member Joel Twisselman is not. Also running are Ray Buban, an income tax adviser; Bret Heinemann, a businessman/writer; and Gordon West, a retired drywall contractor.
Atascadero voters will also decide on a school improvement bond for up to $117 million that is intended to replace a 1976 override bond set to expire next school year.
The bond would fund school renovation projects, such as repairing and replacing roofs and renovating classrooms; expand vocational education programs and facilities; and upgrade classroom computers and technology.
If the bond is approved, Atascadero property owners will be taxed $59 per $100,000 of assessed value of their property annually.
Cayucos Elementary School District
Voters will elect three candidates to the five-person school board.
Eric Jacobsen, who was appointed to the board in February, is running uncontested to serve the remaining two years of the seat he has filled.
Six candidates are running for the three additional seats. Incumbents Cathy Launchbaugh, Ginger Ortiz and Ronald Wilson are seeking re-election. Also running are Dan Parks Chivens, a contractor; Michael Foster, a retired accountant; and Kerry Friend, a college chemistry lecturer.
Coast Unified School District
Voters will elect candidates to two of the five seats on the school board.
Incumbents Dianne Brooke and Delbert Clegg are seeking re-election. In addition, Lee Chamberlain, a business owner/parent, and Gretchen Ross, a parent, are running for the post.
Two of five seats on the board of trustees are up for re-election, but voters will only elect one candidate.
Incumbent Patrick Mullen is running uncontested and will keep his seat on the board. Incumbent Marie Kiersch, who represents District Area 4, which includes Oceano, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande and portions of southern San Luis Obispo, is not seeking re-election.
Two candidates, Charlotte Alexander, a nonprofit executive director, and Peter Sysak, a retired Cuesta College police chief, are running for the seat.
Lucia Mar Unified School District
Four of seven seats are up, but voters will only select three candidates.
Lucia Mar trustees are elected from four areas, depending on where the board members live, but are voted on by South County residents at large. The school district is the largest in the county, with about 10,700 students.
Tiffany Alcantara, a small-business owner, is running uncontested for the Nipomo seat, replacing incumbent Paul Teixeira, who along with Arroyo Grande attorney Mike Zimmerman, is in the November runoff for the county Board of Supervisors.
Longtime board member Georgie O’Connor is not running for re-election, ending her nearly five decades of service on the board. Incumbent David Foster recently resigned from the school board.
Two seats are open in the Arroyo Grande trustee area; incumbent Colleen Martin, retired teacher Mark Millis and real estate agent Cathy Springford have all qualified to run. In the Oceano trustee area, Oceano Community Services District director Vern Dahl and Adelina “Nina” Grabiel are seeking election. One seat is up for election in that area.
Paso Robles Public Schools
Voters will elect candidates to three of the seven seats on the school board.
Incumbents Jeanne Dugger, Jay Packer and Joe Quiroz are seeking new terms. Additional candidates include Field Gibson, a risk manager; Katrina Griffin, a children’s ministry director; and Robert Welty, a retired sales representative.
Pleasant Valley Joint Union Elementary School District
Two candidates — Shelly Borden and Christina Smith-Reid — will fill two of three seats available on the five-member school board. The board will appoint someone to the third vacated seat. The three incumbents not seeking re-election are William Hinrichs, Ben Work and William Ernst.
San Luis Coastal Unified School District
Voters will elect candidates to two of four seats on the seven-member board.
Board members are elected from two areas, depending on where the members live, but are voted on by all residents living within the boundaries of the school district.
Incumbents Mark Buchman and Ellen Sheffer are running unopposed for trustee area No. 1, which represents San Luis Obispo, Avila and unincorporated areas of the district in the southern end of the county.
Three candidates are running for the two seats in trustee area No. 2, which includes Los Osos and Morro Bay. Incumbents Kathryn Eisendrath Rogers and Marilyn Rodger are seeking re-election. In addition, retired teacher Jim Quesenberry is seeking the seat.
San Miguel Joint Union School District
Incumbents Mary Jo Del Campo and John Green will fill two of the three spots up for re-election on the five-person board. Incumbent Meg Brooks did not seek re-election. The school board will appoint someone to the vacant third seat in December because no candidates ran for the post.
Shandon Joint Union School District
Voters will elect three of five seats on the school board.
Candidates include incumbents Jack Cook and Ester Garcia and challengers Amy Russell and Michael Wimmer, a retail clerk supervisor. School board member Jenny Hook is not seeking re-election.
Templeton Unified School District
Voters will elect candidates to two of the school board’s five seats.
Board member Larry Miller is not seeking re-election. Four candidates are vying for the two seats: incumbent David La Rue; Lisa Hammond, an office manager; Mark Stickley, a business owner; and Nelson Yamagata, a physician.
Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.