School district board candidates present qualifications |

School district board candidates present qualifications

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.



Four candidates for three four-year terms.

Russell W. “Pat” Ingram, 74, retired civil engineer, third-generation Grass Valley resident.

Experience in education: Incumbent. Six years on Grass Valley School District board of trustees

Qualifications: He and his children attended Grass Valley schools; love of the best district in the Grass Valley area.

Jerry Martin, 60, education professor, Grass Valley.

Experience in education: Teaching in 1966 with Peace Corps; taught two-day course for elementary school teachers statewide; administrator at University of Hawaii; volunteer for Saluting New Readers program using television to motivate kids to read; taught English as a Second Language to every age group.

Qualifications: Master’s degree in mass communications and television production; author of a teacher’s manual, “Active Video,” (1998, Addison-Wesley) to help teachers use camcorders in classroom.

Paula Roediger, 39, program consultant for Nevada County’s Baby, Think It Over program, Bitney Springs Road in Nevada City.

Experience: Substitute teacher for Grass Valley and Elk Grove school districts; frequent attendee of Grass Valley and Scotten schools site council meetings; former member Bell Hill School Council; member Grass Valley Parent Teacher Club; home schooling parent. Advancement chairwoman in Cub Scouts.

Qualifications: “I have good working relationships with the principals of our district. I have the ability to look at all sides of an issue and make an informed, reasonable, common-sense decision. I have a good feel for the challenges and successes experienced by the students, teachers and parents in our district.”

Bonnie Taylor, age not given, early-childhood education consultant, has lived in Grass Valley since 1974.

Experience in education: Incumbent with 17 years on the Grass Valley district board of trustees.

Qualifications: An early-childhood education consultant with more than nine years of management experience with programs for young children. Helped develop Child Development Centers now operated by the district; former member of the Sierra College Advisory Committee.



Five candidates for three four-year terms.

James Butler, 47, father and attorney, Nevada City.

Experience: Parent of both regular and special-needs children in the Nevada City School District. Worked with various Nevada City district personnel in planning special-education needs.

Qualifications: 15 years’ experience as litigation attorney resolving issues in a practical manner. Served with California court system as both mediator and arbitrator. Broad background in construction, real estate and business matters. Parent.

Barry Dorland, Fire inspector, Nevada City. No other information was given.

William “Bill” Locker, 37, manager of Sierra Nevada Children’s Services, Rector Road in Nevada City.

Experience in education/qualifications: Worked in youth development and asset-based prevention for 10 years. Serves and has served as chairman of the Children’s Policy Summit Planning Committee, vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Gold Country Community Center, trustee on the Senior Center board of directors, member of the Nisenan Parks and Recreation District Formation Exploratory Committee, chairman of the High School District Bond Oversight Committee and member of the Community Partnerships for Healthy Children Council. Has coached sports at Magnolia Intermediate School.

Margaret Meagher, 51, program coordinator for HelpLine Information and Assistance, Nevada City.

Experience in education: Incumbent. Served for 10 years on the Nevada City School District board of trustees.

Qualifications: Current co-president of the Seven Hills School PTC. Four years as president of the Nevada City Elementary School Parent Teacher Club and four years as president of the Deer Creek School Parent Teacher Club. Participated as a classroom volunteer for 12 years.

Bill Mecorney, 56, owns furniture- and cabinet-making business, Grass Valley.

Experience: One-term incumbent. Attended college in Davis and Berkeley and has a degree in anthropology.

Qualifications: Four years as an involved school board member. Seven Hills parent. “My philosophy is more as a leader. I’m really in awe at how well our staff and administrators do. The five of us as a team develop vision and goals. Our superintendent is the best in California, and our teachers are the best. Our test scores off the chart. Everything is run so smoothly.”


Seven Candidates for three four-year terms.

Jay E. Betz, 46, physician and rancher, Grass Valley (see sidebar).

Experience in education: “As a medical professional, I have had a life-long commitment to learning and understanding the importance of a quality education. I have taught numerous courses at the professional level and volunteer regularly at Pleasant Ridge Elementary School.”

Qualifications: Father of two daughters who attend Pleasant Ridge Elementary School and familiar with the major issues facing the district. Many years of business management and quality-assurance experience. Past member of many boards and committees. Enjoys the decision-making process and looks forward to bringing that experience to the Pleasant Ridge school board.

JoAnn Bothwell, 70, retired elementary school teacher, Alta Sierra.

Experience: Ten years teaching in West Sacramento. Twenty years substitute teaching in Nevada County. One term on the Washington School board when it built Malakoff School. Active 4-H camp leader; three one-year terms as president of Nevada City Elks Ladies; secretary for Washington County Water Board for 15 years; foster mother to eight children as well as raising granddaughter. Secretary of Alta Sierra RV Club.

Qualifications: “I’ve been to enough school board meetings that I realize we’re losing kids.”

Carol Brady, 46, mother and former teacher, Alta Sierra.

Experience: Taught for 10 years, textbook author, nine-year parent volunteer, mother for 15 years.

Qualifications: Commitment to fiscal responsibility; high standards; open-minded, informed decision-making; respect, trust, honest communication and cooperation among all members of the school community.

Gary D. Clarke, 67, retired educator, Lake of the Pines.

Experience: Junior and senior high school teacher. Taught college algebra and trigonometry at San Jose City College. Taught graduate course in school law and collective bargaining at San Jose State University. Program director for classified employees. Director of employer-employee relations; assistant superintendent for business services in the Oak Grove School District in San Jose. Eight-year executive director of the San Jose Teachers Association and two-year executive director of Association of Richmond Educators.

Qualifications: Familiar with school budgets and law, Employer- Employee Relations Act, Ralph M. Brown Act, functions of the California Public Employment Relations Board and rights of employees.

Liz Rhodes, 47, executive director, Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium, Grass Valley.

Experience in education: More than 25 years in educational technology administration at the local, state and national level.

Qualifications: Managed a multimillion-dollar educational operation for 18 years. Nine-year volunteer in Pleasant Ridge School District schools. Nine-year site council member representing Cottage Hill, Pleasant Ridge and most recently, Magnolia schools. Involvement with Parents and Teachers for Magnolia. Three years as secretary for the Pleasant Ridge District Parents Club. Classroom and art docent volunteer. Co-founder of the Bear River Parks and Recreation After-School Enrichment Program at Pleasant Ridge School and assisted in administration of the program.

Joann Rossovich, 62, retired business owner, rancher and grandmother, Grass Valley.

Experience in education: Incumbent. Day-care and preschool provider. Volunteer and paid aide in local elementary schools. Volunteer in her four children’s classrooms in Pleasant Ridge Union School District schools. Volunteer in grandchildren’s classrooms at Pleasant Ridge and Magnolia schools.

Qualifications: Past secretary of the Pleasant Ridge Parents Club. Project leader for sheep and sewing, and community leader in Banner and Cool Hollow 4-H clubs. Secretary for the Bear River High School FFA ag advisory committee. “Thirty-two years of dedication to the students, schools and this community are my qualifications.”

Guy Tortorici, 43, executive director of corporate and management development, E.A. Edwards Associates, Alta Sierra.

Experience in education: Ten years in corporate training and development. Worked as teacher’s aide at the Disabled Students Learning Skills Center of Humboldt State University.

Qualifications: Board member of NewCom, Italy; E.A. Edwards; JETI Investment. Designed and implemented corporate training and development programs.

Monday: Candidates for board seats in the Pleasant Valley, Ready Springs Union, and Twin Ridges Elementary school districts.

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