High school district candidate taught at Placer High for 32 years

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Charles “Chick” Wallgren, 73, is running for election to the Area 3 seat of the Placer Union High School District board of trustees. He is running against incumbent Carol Hachmeister. The Area 3 representative covers the city limits of Auburn. There are four people running for three seats on the board. Incumbents Maureen “Mo” Ward and Ronald Oates are running unopposed for Areas 2 and 4 respectively. Wallgren is a retired Placer High School history and civics teacher who also coached various sports teams at the school. He has one son, Chris, 40. Wallgren holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of San Francisco. He held an administrative credential from University of San Francisco before it expired, and has a lifetime teaching credential, also from University of San Francisco. He taught at Placer High School for 32 years, served in the Air Force and played on the Boston Red Sox. He has served on the Placer County Grand Jury, Gold Country Fair board of directors, Auburn Planning Commission and Auburn Area General Plan Committee. Q: Why are you running? A: I just feel that it’s something at this stage I need to do, that needs to be done, that someone who has knowledge of the district, which I do, good and bad, can make a contribution to. I don’t feel like I’m washed up. I feel like I can do something to help the community and also the school district. I worked with that school district for 32 years and I dearly love it. Q: What do you bring to the table? A: I bring the knowledge of what’s been going on since 1962 and before, that nobody else has … about what’s happened along the road. I have loads of experience and loads of knowledge about the district and a keen interest in the classroom. I was a classroom teacher, and I stayed a classroom teacher, even though I was qualified for other positions. Q: What are your goals if elected? A: My goal is to make sure the district returns to the fundamentals of classroom education. When I first started at the district there was one superintendent, one business administrator and two secretaries. (I want to make sure the emphasis) is put back on the campus, doing the job with the actual students. Just (building) relationships with teachers and students – that should be the emphasis. Q: Can you describe your ability to successfully work with and influence other trustees? A: I have been on enough boards, like grand juries and planning commissions … that I well understand that one person does not control any of those (boards). You have to be able to work with other people, and if you disagree with them, you have to agree to talk with them peacefully. You have got to get along with the other people. You are not a dictator by any chance – you just try to work within the group. First, you get an item on an agenda, then you present it and see what (other trustees’) reactions are and see if it’s going to work or not. You can’t just say, ‘We are going to do this.’ That is not how anything works in working in a democratic situation. Reach Bridget Jones at