Candidates vie for Area 4 trustee position on Nevada Joint Union High School District board
MEET THE CANDIDATES
Name: Duwaine Ganskie
Occupations: Retired teacher
Hometown: Long Beach
Name: Leslie Lattyak
Hometown: Grass Valley
Website: “Vote Leslie Lattyak for Nevada Joint Union High School District Board” on Facebook
In the only contested race for Nevada Joint Union High School District trustee, voters will choose either Duwaine Ganskie or Leslie Lattyak to represent Area 4 in what would be a first term on the board for either.
Area 4 incumbent Al Angulo isn’t seeking reelection.
The Nevada Joint Union High School District board is made up of five elected trustees. Current trustees James Hinman and Pat Seeley — who represent Areas 1 and 5, respectively — are serving terms which expire in 2022.
Current president of the board and trustee for Area 2, Jamie Reeves, and current vice president and Area 3 trustee, Jim Drew, are running for reelection uncontested.
Retired after teaching for 32 years, Ganskie is hoping to serve on the board which oversees two schools he once taught for — Nevada Union and Bear River high schools.
When asked what motivated him to run for this position, he said, “I felt like I want to give back, get involved, and try to help where I can.” He described himself as “anxious and willing to serve.”
In addition to teaching, and serving as athletic director at Bear River High School, Ganskie gained experience as president of the Nevada Joint Union High School Teachers Association, and said he aims to bring this skillset to the district board. “That experience helped me to work with the administration, district office, and teachers to solve problems,” said Ganskie.
“My experience and background give me an immediate advantage to know what the issues are that face teachers, kids, families, and administration,” he said, adding that his understanding would inform his ability to tap into resources to address each of these issues.
Ganskie said the most important issue facing the district’s board, in light of COVID-19 and the current implementation of distance learning, is creating a plan to get students back to in-person instruction. He said he expects this will remain the top issue through the beginning of the term he is running for.
“Besides that, I think an ongoing problem education faces is how to keep up with changing times in the economy, and ways people need to be prepared to enter the workforce,” said Ganskie, explaining that this is essential as changing times require staying up to date with new technology.
Serving on the Board of Trustees for Union Hill School District motivated Lattyak to run for the Nevada Joint Union High School District board.
“I expect there will be challenges, but I’m up for the challenge,” she said.
Lattyak said 2020 has brought challenges to school districts which no one had faced before, and that the current priority is to “figure out how to provide quality education for kids while keeping everybody — staff, students, teachers — safe.”
She said this year’s implementation of distance learning has highlighted the longstanding issue of the digital divide for rural students, which she called an “urgent concern.”
“I think this should worry every adult in our county,” she said.
“In a normal year, I would put (the) budget at the top of my list of concerns,” added Lattyak, whose professional background has been entirely in finance and accounting.
“I understand budgets, I know how to read them, have questions about them, and understand the impact of different factors on a budget,” she said. “Any board can benefit from having someone with a strong financial background on it.”
Concerning how she hopes to affect change as a district board member, Lattyak said she would prioritize “asking the tough questions of leadership and demanding accountability,” She said the community pays toward education and has an interest in educating all children, and that it would be her responsibility as a board member to question whether the district’s allocation of resources is the best it can be.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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