Incumbents struggle in Nevada County school board races | TheUnion.com

Incumbents struggle in Nevada County school board races

Stephen Roberson
Staff Writer

Change seemed to be a theme both locally and nationally on Tuesday.

Both incumbents running for the Nevada County Board of Education lost, and the only incumbent on the ballot for the Nevada Joint Union High School Board appeared to be losing a tight race with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Ashley Neumann led incumbent Tracy Lapierre, John Meeks and Caleb Buckley in the Board of Education Trustee Area 2 election with 33.8 percent of the vote. Wendy Baker beat incumbent Trevor Michael and Marianne Slade-Troutman to win the Trustee Area 3 race, taking 52.7 percent.

In the Nevada Joint Union High School District board race, James Drew defeated incumbent Katy Schwarz in Area 3 in a tight vote, 53.8 percent to 46.2 percent. In Area 4, Al Angulo beat Cynthia Latimer in a race with no incumbent, taking 56.5 percent of the vote. Michael Freedman, who was appointed to replace Jim Adams last year, did not run.

Neumann, a Grass Valley resident and community education director at Livingwell Medical Clinic, and a former substitute teacher, earned her Bachelor of Science in organizational behavior from the University of San Francisco. She's worked with the Nevada County Juvenile Hall and recovery groups, specifically teens fighting addiction.

Her priorities include optimal education for kids, noting that everyone learns differently and the district has a variety of options for all types of students.

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Baker has taught at Alta Sierra in the Pleasant Ridge School District for the past 35 years after teaching for three years in Riverside.

"My goal is to make sure the taxpayers' money goes to help kids," she said. "It's all about making kids successful. That's what I've done for the past 38 years and that's what I plan to continue to do."

She added a top priority would be to figure out what's working and what isn't.

"I would like to figure out what best practices are being used by the schools currently and see if we can't share that with all the schools," she said. "I think we have some pretty dynamic schools. Let's make them all that way."

Drew is a retired agriculture teacher and current farmer and rancher who received his Bachelor of Science from Chico State. He spent 34 of his 36 years teaching agriculture at Nevada Union.

Angulo has been an automotive tech teacher at Placer High School in Auburn for the past 15 years. He considers the retention of CTE classes to be a top priority.

To contact Staff Writer Stephen Roberson, email sroberson@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.