Winters JUSD announces filing dates for trustee seats on November ballot

The adopted Trustee Area map approved in February made shifts to the boundary lines of the Trustee Areas. (Express graphic)

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The Board of Trustees met in a special meeting on June 17 to follow up on agenda items from the June 9 Winters Joint Unified School District board meeting that was cut short following the scheduled public hearings.

Candidate filing dates
Trustees approved a procedural Board Resolution to give notice of an upcoming Governing Board Member Election coming this November.

Superintendent Diana Jiménez announced the filing dates for school board candidates who live in the included Trustee Areas are from July 11 through Aug. 5.

The following terms set to expire this November include Trustee Areas Two, Three and Four. The terms on the November ballot will serve from 2022 to 2026. Currently, the seats are held by President Carrie Green (Trustee Area Two), Board Clerk Joedy Michael (Trustee Area Three) and Trustee Candi Ochoa (Trustee Area Four).

The Trustee Area boundary lines were slightly adjusted when Trustees approved the Scenario Four redistricting map at the Feb. 3 school board meeting. View the adopted map and the adjusted Trustee Areas on the “About the Board” page on the Winters JUSD website

“Candidates who wish to run for school board for those areas — each candidate must file in person with the county elections office located in the trustee area boundary. The election is for Nov. 8,” Jiménez said.

The resolution was approved 4-0-1. Trustee Michael was absent from the June 17 meeting.

Superintendent search
Trustees approved to hire McPherson & Jacobson, LLC as the firm to oversee the superintendent selection process with a fiscal impact to not exceed $15,050.

The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee, of Green and Michael, interviewed four search firms on June 13 and selected McPherson & Jacobson.

Green said the firm “seemed to be the best fit” for Winters JUSD with middle of the road costs and a stats of having 80 percent of the administrators they’ve placed remained in the role for at least five years.

“In the superintendent world, that’s rare,” said Green.

Green said two of the McPherson & Jacobson consultants who would be taking the lead on the search included Nicole Anderson and Bill Huyett. Both Huyett and Anderson are consultants from McPherson and Jacobson, and previously served as consultants at Winters JUSD.

Upon Trustee approval, the firm would jump into the process starting with a discussion with Trustees, posting the job, and facilitating community engagement. Jiménez confirmed the consultants would first meet with Trustees to learn more about what they are looking for in a superintendent.

“That’s actually part of Phase One — and pretty much all of the search firms — is meeting with all of you in closed session, and really discussing the qualities and characteristics of the superintendent that you’re looking for,” Jiménez said. “The strengths you’re looking for. Maybe looking at a previous job description and seeing if that’s something that you wanted to update. And then talking about different mediums, selection process, timelines. So, There’s quite a bit of planning before communication goes out to the community. That’s always really good because then you’re getting a strategic plan as you move forward.”

Green said the Yolo County Office of Education would be unable to assist in this superintendent search as they did following the departure of Superintendent Todd Cutler due to challenges in staffing and workloads.

“They wouldn’t be able to offer any kind of assistance this time,” Green said.

In response to a question regarding the search for an interim superintendent, Green said the consultants would not be a part of the interim selection process.

On the released agenda for the June 23 school board meeting, Trustees are expected to take action on the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee recommendation to appoint Assistant Superintendent Phoebe Girimonte as Acting Superintendent.

The June 23 Winters JUSD Board of Trustees meeting begins at 6 p.m. The agenda and packet are available on the Winters JUSD website.

Members of the public are able to view the meeting through a Zoom link. In-person attendees can attend at the school district office Walnut Room.

In-person speech pathologist
Trustees approved a Speech Language Pathologist Services Credential Waiver for the upcoming school year to provide in-person speech pathologist services districtwide.

“The Winters Joint Unified School District has been unable to recruit fully-qualified, fully-credentialed teachers to satisfy staff program needs for the 2022-2023 school year for the position of Speech Language Pathologist,” said Human Resources Director Lisa Dennis. “The District intends to employ Laura Torres Amado on the basis of a Speech Language Pathologist Services Credential Waiver for all grade levels and all sites in the Winters Joint Unified School District.“

Trustee Kristen Trott questioned the “why” behind the waiver. Dennis said Torres Amado is finishing the credentialing program, and would be supervised by a fully-credentialed speech pathologist.

Green said it was phenomenal to have an in-person speech pathologist serving students again.

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