Winters JUSD accepting applications for Trustee Area Four vacancy

Trustee Area 4 on the map adopted in February 2022. (Courtesy graphic)

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Winters Joint Unified School District is busy filling important district positions. Between the superintendent search and board member vacancy — leadership positions are yet to be filled, but district officials are working hard to change that.

The next position to be filled is the upcoming vacancy of an Area Four board trustee. Acting Superintendent Phoebe Girimonte directed officials on the bylaw and mandates for selecting a subcommittee to review the board vacancy applications. The bylaw states that “a committee consisting of less than a quorum of the Board shall ensure that applicants are eligible for Board membership and announce the names of the eligible candidates.”

“The full Board shall interview the candidates at a public meeting, accept oral or written public input, and select the appointee by a majority vote,” Girimonte said.

Girimonte also proposed a timeline to fill the vacancy, beginning with advertising in local media to solicit applications or nominations. All applications are due to the Superintendent’s Office by 4 p.m.on Oct. 25.

On Oct. 26-28, 2022, the board subcommittee will review applications, and by Oct. 31, there will be a posting of the board meeting agenda with eligible candidates’ names. Then, on Nov.3, board trustees will interview qualified candidates and select an appointee, and on Dec. 15, an organizational meeting to establish the appointee into office.

Trustee Everardo Zaragoza asked Girimonte to remind the public what happens if no one shows interest in the position.

“If there were not interested eligible candidates or a candidate is not appointed, then the Trustees remain a four-member board until the next election cycle,” Girimonte said.

Zaragoza said the public should take notice.

“I would encourage the public to check out the latest issue of our local paper (Winters Express Sept. 14 edition) that has the map highlighted in blue that shows the area where you could potentially run for,” Zaragoza said.

Green commended the process, including the process and timeline, and praised the Express for its efforts.

“I want to thank the Winters Express for promoting, advertising, and keeping it fresh and current for the vacancy, and hopefully, someone has the willingness to move forward,” Green said.

Superintendent search
After an extensive search for a new district superintendent, Human Resources Director Lisa Dennis said at the Sept. 15 meeting, officials narrowed down the 27 candidates chosen from the original 150 for final interviews.

Less than a month ago, McPherson & Jacobson, LLC consultants held public forums to make up a panel of educational partners who assist the board of trustees during the hiring process. In full transparency, the district also made survey answers regarding the district available online during the process.

Now the final hire is near.

“I am excited to say tomorrow is the day for superintendent interviews,” Dennis said. “Our trustees and engagement partner panel will be interviewing three highly qualified candidates here at the district office.”

McPherson consultants were on-site to guide the interviewing process, and some alternative members were approved to replace two original engagement partners who could not make it.

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