Trustee Area Two candidates respond to community questions

Challenger Robert Warren and Incumbent Carrie Green are running for the Winters Joint Unified School District Trustee Area Two seat this November. (Courtesy photos)

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The Winters Joint Unified School District Trustee Area Two race is the only election appearing on the ballot this November. Incumbent Board President Carrie Green is being challenged by former Trustee and Board President Robert Warren.

Green was first elected to her seat in November 2014 and has served as the Area Two Trustee since December 2014.

Warren previously served as the Winters JUSD Area Four Trustee for 10 years before his December 2020 resignation over concerns of transparency. Warren now resides in Trustee Area Two following the approved adjustments of the Trustee Area Redistricting Map at the Feb. 3 meeting.

The Express collected questions from the community and asked the Trustee candidates to answer a curated version of them in 100 words or less.

Candidates responses
What are your plans to strengthen communication with the Hispanic community?

Warren: The Hispanic population is the majority of our community. I’ve always made myself available and tried my best to get their feedback and participation.

Green: First and foremost, I think it’s imperative that we ensure all communication coming out of the District, or from any of our sites, is translated for our Spanish-speaking families. In a similar vein, I am grateful the District uses ParentSquare and we will continue to use it, or a similar platform, for its translation capabilities. I also think it’s important the District continue funding the Parent Engagement Coordinator position to connect with our families and strengthen relationships. We also need to stay connected with our DELAC committee to ensure that we continue to address concerns and promote engagement.

What strategies do you have on engaging with residents in your area?

Warren: I’ve always been open and available, my personal email is my only email, and my cell phone is public knowledge. I believe I attended every function that I could when I served for 10 years.

Green: As a Board Member, I believe we need to be available to our constituents and I’ve always had an open-door policy regardless of the area. Board Members are here to be the voice of our community. In the past, I’ve met with parents, community members, and staff with feedback of all types, and I will continue to encourage these one-on-one meetings, emails, and phone calls. As a District, I am grateful that we have multiple resources available to promote engagement through newspaper ads, social media posts, ParentSquare communications and community messages.

What are your ideas on how to address the issue of bullying in schools?

Warren: I believe that as a board member, one can only support the administrators of the district and back up their decisions.

Green: Bullying today looks a lot different with the added exposure of online and cyberbullying. As a District, I know we stand behind strict no-bullying policies, and each site has its own code of conduct for student behavior. While our students are always encouraged to speak with an adult regarding bullying issues, the District utilizes an anonymous reporting mechanism so students can report bullying or unsafe behaviors. I believe it’s also important that the District continue to utilize network monitoring programs to ensure our students’ safety online and to prevent cyberbullying attacks.

What is the top challenge Winters JUSD is facing, and what is your strategy to address it?

Warren: I believe the district’s biggest challenge is hiring and retaining staff. I believe we need to change the environment at the district and create an environment where staff feels welcome and valuable.

Green: I believe our top challenge this year is addressing our students’ social and emotional needs. For several years, the District has prioritized funding site counselors through the LCAP process with support and feedback from parents and community members through the LCAP Advisory Committee. Post-pandemic, we’re seeing a significant increase in many challenging behaviors. In addition to utilizing the expertise of staff and teachers, the District has enlisted the help from community partners, including RISE, Care Solace and the Yolo County Office of Education, for additional mental health resources and supports.

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