School board welcomes new trustees, approves calendar study sessions

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Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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Outgoing trustees and the Chief Business Officer were honored, and new trustees were sworn in at the Winters Joint Unified School District organizational meeting on Dec. 17.

Superintendent Diana Jiménez administered the Oath of Office virtually to recently elected Board Trustees Kristin Trott (Area 1), Joedy Michael (Area 3) and Everardo Zaragoza (Area 5).

Recognition and Celebration
Trustee Carrie Green, acting as the school board President Pro Tempore, led a recognition of outgoing Trustees Ralph F. Anderson, Rudolph Muldong and Stephanie Chávez.

Green said Trustees put in a lot of personal time and sacrifice as board members, which can be both very rewarding and, at times, very challenging. Both Green and Jiménez gave gratitude and acknowledged the commitment, support, and efforts of each outgoing Trustees’ impact in the school district.

“To each of you. I would like to say there are unique opportunities we have as board members. We’re able to collaborate with excellent and professional staff, work with our community partners, and of course celebrate our students’ successes. All with one common goal of wanting to provide the best education we can for our students,” Green said.

Although Chávez recently joined the school board in March 2020, Green said Chávez quickly made her presence known with unwavering involvement and support for the district. Jiménez added that Chávez helped bring focus on equity and ensuring that they continue to keep their eye on student achievement.

Both Anderson and Muldong joined the school board in December 2012, each eight years of service and support to Winters JUSD students and staff.

Green thanked Anderson for always being kind and respectful, and for looking on the positive side of things with a great sense of humor. She thanks Muldong for his contributions to the board as an educator himself, for his gentle nature and countless donations to the district throughout his tenure.

All three received a plaque to commemorate their time working on the Winters JUSD school board.

Green also noted they had not forgotten about Rob Warren who resigned from his Trustee seat on Dec. 14. She said out of respect for his wishes, they would not be recognizing him that night.

“It is our hope that we can honor him at a future meeting for his 10 years of service,” Green said.

Jiménez led a celebration of the retirement of CBO Kathy Colagrossi who has served Winters JUSD in a variety of roles for 16 years.

Colagrossi began her employment with Winters JUSD in Nov 2004 as a business services technician. She also served as a payroll technician in 2007, the administrative assistant to the superintendent from 2011-2013 and as the fiscal analyst until late 2019 when she served as acting CBO, and eventually appointed to the role.

“As you can all see, Kathy is a person with many talents and skills which have benefited our school district over the last 16 years of her dedicated service,” Jiménez said.

Organizational changes
Trustees unanimously approved Green to serve as board President, Michael to serve as board clerk, and Jiménez to serve as school board secretary.

Upon her election as President, Green said she promises to do her best to keep the board and district moving forward.

Trustees also unanimously approved the Winters JUSD board meeting dates for the 2021 calendar year.

Jiménez presented the addition of six study sessions to be included before specified board meetings as a Trustee professional development opportunity. The study sessions are open to the public and will take place during the first part of the open meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. All regular business actions would begin in part of the regular board meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

The study sessions topics will be selected by the Trustees. Topics will likely be to provide information on upcoming topics and action items including, but not limited to, the Winters JUSD Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), budgets and student achievement.

“This is so we have opportunity, as we have a lot of new trustees, so we can grow together; learn together; and dive together a little bit deeper into some of the topics that are essential for the running of our district,” Jiménez said.

Winters JUSD school board meetings will continue to be held on the first and third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m., except for the months of January, July and December.

The six study sessions are scheduled for Feb. 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, Sept. 2, and Nov. 4.

Upcoming meetings
A special meeting of the Winters JUSD Board of Trustees has been scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 6 p.m.

At the special meeting, Trustees are expected to take action on:

  • The approval to make a provisional appointment to fill the Trustee Area 4 seat vacancy, per Education Code 5091 and Board Bylaw 9223 “Filling Vacancies.”
  • The selection of a sub-committee to review board vacancy applications per Board Bylaw 9223 “Filling Vacancies.”

They will also hear an information item detailing the Board Trustee Provisional Appointment timeline.

The first regular school board meeting of 2021 is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m.

Agendas and meeting packets are available to the public online at https://wintersjusd.communitybydiligent.com/portal/.

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