Diverse field in school board elections | TheUnion.com

Diverse field in school board elections

Editor’s note: Here’s a brief overview of the candidates running in three school board races Tuesday. Contact was attempted with each candidate on the same day. The information below was provided by the candidates.


Five Candidates for three, four-year terms.

Stephen W. Griffin, 59, substitute teacher, Lake Wildwood resident since July.

Experience in education: Retired high school English, history and political science teacher. He is currently a substitute teacher. A sports-minded coach, he plans to write children’s stories.

Qualifications: Grew up in Yuba County. Coached football, softball and basketball in senior and junior high school.

Nita Robinson, Penn Valley. No information provided.

Experience: Incumbent.

Frank J. Mondok, 48, sales and marketing for high-tech manufacturing equipment, Penn Valley.

Experience in education: Appointed incumbent in 2001. Served as Williams Ranch Site Council member. Served on leadership, tech and curriculum committees for Pleasant Valley School District schools. Classroom volunteer at Williams Ranch and Pleasant Valley schools.

Qualifications: Six years experience in district and 20 years experience in technology industry.

Cathy A. Ferguson, age not given, system specialist, Penn Valley.

Experience in education: Appointed incumbent. Has served on the district leadership team, the technology committee, the library committee and the facility committee. Attended the California School Board Association Conference upon being appointed two years ago.

Qualifications: Four years on the Williams Ranch School Site Council. Two years on the Pleasant Valley School Site Council. Classroom volunteer. Active Parent Club member. Past board member of Tall Pines Nursery School.

Patty Brennwald, 43, mother, Lake Wildwood.

Experience in education: Two years on the Pleasant Valley School Site Council. Active parent volunteer in classrooms and school office. Was an active volunteer and tutor for after-school program in Los Alamos. Volunteer at Nevada Union High School.

Qualifications: Over 20 years in property management in Southern California, including off-campus housing for University of California at Santa Barbara. Lengthy experience working with budgets and managing money. “My greatest qualification is being a mother and concerned parent who wants to improve the quality of every child’s education. I feel my greatest contribution to the community is my time and hard work.”



Five Candidates for three, four-year terms.

Rosie Mariani, 36, student, Rough & Ready.

Experience in education: Associates of Arts degree in art. Currently part-time student.

Qualifications: Parent of a Ready Springs student. Chairperson of Ready Springs Site Council. Classroom volunteer.

Stormy Trahern, 48, real estate agent, off Bitney Springs Road, Nevada City:

Experience in education: Incumbent. Classroom volunteer. Site council member. Set director for theater arts. District liaison. Child mentor. Clerk and president of the board. District representative for negotiations, budget and character education.

Qualifications: incumbent. Nevada County planning commissioner. Both children went to Ready Springs School.

Ron Gabbart, 32, chiropractor, Penn Valley.

Experience in education: Three years helping in son’s classrooms.

Qualifications: Has children in Ready Springs district for the next 13 years. “I want the best for them and for all the kids attending schools in this district. I am extremely open minded and am capable of listening to all sides of an issue and making an informed decision. I have no agendas coming into this, save for continuing the path of excellence I believe the district is on.”

Greg Fultz, 43, general contractor, Penn Valley.

Experience in education: Ready Springs Charter School parent.

Qualifications: Concerned that many oppose charter schools, viewing them as taking money from traditional public schools. “My hope is that future school boards will adopt a responsible budget and then look for positive, creative ways to engage students and parents, turning the trend of intradistrict transfers.”

Ramon C. West, 52, father and manager, Penn Valley.

Experience in education: Four years as a church school teacher. Three years as a Cub Scouts master. Raised six teenagers.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in business administration. Fifteen units in early childhood development. Educated in negotiation and conflict resolution.



Two Candidates for one, two-year term.

Cindy Foxfoot, 33, licensed midwife, San Juan Ridge.

Experience in education: Incumbent appointed in July. Has been a home-study parent for two years. Served on Twin Ridge Home Study Charter Council for two years. Grizzly Hill classroom volunteer and site council member

Qualifications: “I work with many families of school-age children, and feel I’m in close contact with them and wish to represent them on the school board.”

Robert A. Russell, 53, maintenance supervisor and musician, North San Juan.

Experience: Taught music at Grizzly Hill School, 1999-01. Qualifications: “I’ve had three children who attended Ridge schools. From 1998 until 2001, I served as the district’s director of maintenance, gaining valuable insights into the maintenance needs of the district. In 1998, I received a district award for outstanding service, and have also received awards for outstanding service from Grizzly Hill School.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User