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Education board candidate brings decades of military leadership

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Mark Wilder, 43, is running for election to the Area 1 seat of the Placer County Board of Education. He is running against newcomer Desiree Mulsow and incumbent Robert Tomasini. The Area 1 trustee represents the Roseville area. There are eight candidates running for three seats on the board. Wilder is an Army master sergeant in charge of operations and planning for the Norcal Recruiting Command. He and his wife, Denise, have been married for four-and-a-half years. They have two daughters, Kennedy, 4, and McKinley, 10 months. He is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in history and economics through the University of Maryland. Wilder has served with the Army for 25 years, joining right after high school. He works with recruiters going into high schools. Wilder said he sees how teachers are treated and how the schools are running. Q: Why are you running? A: (I’m running) because of the fact that my two daughters are going to be moving into the schools. Placer County schools are in a decline, as other schools in the state have been. I want to make sure the schools are the best they can be before my daughters enter school. Q: What do you bring to the table? A: (I bring) the leadership and experience of accountability and responsibility. (I have a) definite willingness to work and get things moving in the right direction, and I’m very analytical. I’m willing to retire from the Army after 25 years to do this. Q: What are your goals if elected? A: I think teachers should be making more, and administrators are making too much. If anything I don’t know why they are not taking a cut to move the money. I think more money should be diverted to the classrooms. I’m not looking to get more money for the schools. I’m looking to move the money we do have into the right places. (I want) to reduce the cost burden on parents, and to focus on the entrance exams to colleges, not the exit exams. Q: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other trustees? A: I would make sure I had all the facts (when presenting ideas). I would make sure I have two courses of action to present. I would compromise without losing the value of what I’m seeking. I’m always able to work with people. I have had 25 years in the Army; I have worked with a lot of people. I think keeping children the main focus is important, and (trustees) can get along if they do that. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com