NU grad shoots for board spot |

NU grad shoots for board spot

Lifelong Nevada County resident Vicki Downs on Thursday became the second challenger for the Nevada Joint Union High School District seat being vacated by outgoing incumbent Charlie Compton.

Downs, a longtime parent volunteer at Union Hill School, said she would like to improve communication between the board of trustees and the public and foster positive relationships between teachers and the administration.

Her goals are similar to those of Mark Heauser, who already has announced his plans to seek the seat in the November election.

Downs, 43, a 1978 graduate of Nevada Union High School, said she’s seen positive changes in the school district since Maggie Deetz was named superintendent last year, and she’s pleased with the direction of the district.

“I’m very excited about (Nevada Union’s) new principal,” she said. “He sounds like a good fit for the school.”

Marty Mathiesen, a former principal at Fortuna Union High School, was hired this spring to lead the high school.

Downs and her husband, Mark, who also graduated from Nevada Union in 1978, have a daughter, Anna, entering Nevada Union in two weeks.

Vicki Downs manages Pioneer Saw Works, a family-owned business.

Downs said she was urged to run in part by longtime Nevada Union volunteer and parent Mike Bratton, who serves on an advisory committee endorsing candidates to run for the two open seats on the high school district board.

Thursday, no one had filed papers seeking the seat being vacated by Penn Valley-area trustee Diane Correll, who isn’t running for a third term on the board.

While her daughter attended Union Hill, Downs was a member of the sports and music booster clubs and served as parent volunteer coordinator at the Highland Oaks magnet school, which closed two years ago.

“The kids know me very well at Union Hill,” she said.

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