ARMONA — Armona Union Elementary School District board incumbent Gus Amos is facing another challenge from medical assistant Lisa Chavarin, who is making her third try for a board seat.
Amos, who has been on the board for 12 years, said he wants to continue as a member and representative of Area 1 to see through some of the changes that are coming to the district, such as the state’s new Common Core standards set to begin in 2014.
Amos, the board’s vice president, would also like to see the reinstatement of the district’s day care and music programs, which were cut because of a decrease in funds provided by the state.
“The state is continuously cutting programs,” Amos said. “If you don’t have a person on the board that is familiar with or knowledgeable of these cuts and how to work around them, nothing will be done.”
Amos said the district is currently in good financial condition because of frugal spending, so budget cuts haven’t affected the district as much compared to others in the area.
“We’re not going overboard or spending money on frivolous stuff,” he said. “The board works together and understands the ultimate goals.”
Amos said he isn’t planning on running for re-election again after this campaign.
Chavarin said she is primarily running for the board to get more involved in the education of her daughter, who is attending Armona Elementary School this year. She also has two sons attending Sierra Pacific High School.
“I think there needs to be a fresh perspective and some new blood on the board,” she said.
Chavarin said one of her major goals is to make the community feel more welcome at board meetings and increase their involvement in the decision-making process.
If elected, she said she would also make sure to get input from all people and groups involved in an issue before making a decision. She said she would talk to parents and school staff to learn more about the district and get an idea of what the larger concerns are.
“I believe we have great teachers and staff already,” Chavarin said. “I want to work with them to help make the district better.”
Despite her ideas, Chavarin predicts she will have an uphill battle in her election quest.
“A lot of people don’t like change, so that may be against me,” she said.
This is the Armona’s district’s first election under its new single-district election system. Area 1 is composed on the northwest portion of the school district.
Amos finished second to Eric Hodson, the board’s president, in 2008, with Chavarin coming in third in a five-person field. Chavarin ran again in 2010, trailing the four-person field. Both were at-large elections, in which all voters in the district get to vote.
Hodson ran unopposed for the district’s new Area 4 seat and will serve another term. The other board members are Glenn Estes, Ruby Johnson and Robert Ford.
The reporter can be reached at 583-2429 or jluiz@HanfordSentinel.com.