Tuesday Sep 23 2008
Beasley says her experience vital to helping school district
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
Linda Beasley is no stranger to the Auburn Union Elementary School District. She has been connected with the district, as an employee, and more recently as a trustee, for more than three decades. And she’s looking to extend her district ties another four years, campaigning for a second term on the board of trustees. Beasley is one of three people vying for two spots on the school board, and is the only incumbent on the ballot. Beasley, who has a Newcastle address but still lives within district boundaries, worked as secretary to the superintendent from 1975 to 1996, attending all board meetings and acting as legal recorder during that time. She also worked in the district’s human resources department from 1996 to 2003. “I’m very familiar with the meetings and board process, the history, and the difference in schools,” Beasley, 62, said. Beasley ran for a spot on the board the first time around, hoping to remain connected to local schools upon her retirement from the district. “I feel it was my desire to stay in the education mode, and I feel so connected to the community, and I feel that, going into a budget crisis, I knew my financial background would be helpful,” Beasley said. Although retired from the Auburn Union district, Beasley can be found in the classroom, as she works part-time with the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District “Mosquito School,” a position Beasley said enables her to visit campuses throughout the foothills. “I enjoy being with children and seeing what kind of education we’re providing,” she said. Beasley isn’t ready to step down as a trustee, and thinks another term will extend some consistency for the board. “I think the board needs to keep that consistency, and I have the time and I’m devoted to the position,” she said. “I feel good about what we’ve been able to accomplish, in being able to bring our finances in line, while still providing educational opportunities for children. It has been a challenge, and frustrating at times, but I still feel I have contributions to give the community and the children of Auburn.” In her first term on the board, Beasley, along with fellow trustees, faced some difficult decisions brought on by continued declining enrollment — the board unanimously voted in November 2007 to close one of the district’s smaller schools, and Beasley was one of three trustees to vote in December 2007 to close Alta Vista School. “We did not want to do what we did,” Beasley said. Beasley said she still thinks trustees made the right decision in closing the school, and that it’s good for the district to retain the campus. “I definitely want to keep it as an educational facility for current and future use,” she said. Discussion has come up at past board meetings of the possibility of closing a second campus in the not-so-distant future, to account for continued declining enrollment. “I’m hoping we never have to do that again,” Beasley said. When asked if she, as a trustee, would consider closing a second school, Beasley said she preferred not to comment on the matter because it’s, at this point, just discussion. “I like to focus on the current, what do we need to do today,” she said. “At this juncture I don’t need to go there.” Steve Schaffer, E. V. Cain Middle School teacher and the Auburn Union Teachers Association vice president, said he supports Beasley’s attempt at another term because the district’s well-being is one of her top priorities. “She has been involved as a staff member, a community member, and a board member as long as I’ve known the district. She has demonstrated an interest in the well-being of the district,” he said. The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.