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Trustees bring varied experience, ideas to the board

Four candidates ran unopposed for seats
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The four Auburn Union School District trustees running unopposed Nov. 2 for four seats bring a variety of work experience to the board. There are five seats on the district board. Four of the positions were up for election, including three four-year seats and one two-year seat. Trustee Linda Beasley holds the fifth seat, which is also a four-year position. It is up for election in 2012. Incumbent Daniel Berlant and newcomers Charles Boggus and Lashaun Byer ran unopposed for the four-year positions and incumbent Ken Nittler ran unopposed for the two-year position. Daniel Berlant Berlant, 26, is an information officer for Cal Fire. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Davis. Berlant has lived in Auburn his entire life and attended schools in the Auburn Union School District. He has served on the district board for just under a year and has been a member of several district committees, including the Budget Committee, 21st Century Committee and Health Committee. Q: Why did you want to run? A: So many positive things occur at Auburn Union … but unfortunately that is all covered by the last 10 years of budget issues and financial crisis. I really felt I could offer a current perspective. I’m not sitting here looking at today – I’m sitting here looking at the future. As we get through some of these tough times we need to look ahead at what this district is going to look like 10 years from now. Q: What are your goals? A: I really would like us to be able to get to a point where we have a stable budget. A lot of the budget issues this district is facing right now are not necessarily caused by Auburn Union. We have cut so much, but all of this has to do with state budget cuts. Hopefully, with the passing of Measure L, we will be able to not only focus on the budget, but focus on improving our education. Charles Boggus Boggus, 48, is a trainer project consultant for Custom Fit Doors. He and his wife, Michele, have been married for five years. Boggus has a 19-year-old stepson, Zachary, and two daughters, Brittny, 21, and Brianna, 20. Boggus is currently finishing his associate degree in Human Resources from Virginia College. He was a training manager for the Air Force for 11 years. He has experience working with constructional systems, development programs, teaching and he ran a grocery store for the military. Q: Why did you want to run? A: My wife said, “You have a lot of good ideas and you should try and do something, make a change.” I love working with kids, so I said, “OK, let’s do this.” Q: What are your goals? A: To work within the budget constraints that we have. (I think we should be) looking at the administration levels at a lot of the district. It seems like we have way too much administration. (I think we have to) just see what happens and work within the constraints we’ve got and make the best decisions possible.” Lashaun Byer Lashaun Byer, 45, has been an educational psychologist for 17 years. She and her husband, Eric, have been married for 15 years and have a 7-year-old son, Vance. Byer has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Chico State University and a master’s degree in counseling from Sacramento State University. Byer has served on an alumni board for Chico State and a homeowner’s association board. Q: Why did you want to run? A: First of all, because I’m a parent, and so I have an important stake in making sure (my son’s) education is top notch, and secondly, I believe you need to have somebody on this board that has real-life experience in education. I have a lot of experience working with teachers in the community in terms of bringing forth new ideas that benefit all children. Q: What are your goals? A: My first one is to bring seniors citizens, get them more involved in the school district. I want to do senior outreach and have them volunteer in the schools in whatever capacity they feel comfortable. Secondly, I want to start organizing focus groups that involve students and teachers. I want to ask them what is working currently … and what do we need to improve upon. I want to bring back more of the special education classes to Auburn and away from the Placer County Office of Education. Lastly, I want to improve the communication between the district and the community. I want the community to know the strength of the district, but also be aware of where we need the additional support of the community. Ken Nittler Nittler, 52, is an engineer for Enercomp Inc. where he works on energy efficiency issues. He and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 25 years. They have a daughter, Kency, 22, and a son, Kevin, 19. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UC Davis and is a licensed mechanical engineer. He has served as the board’s secretary since early 2009. He has also served on several nonprofit boards and done some public service work with state agencies. Q: Why did you want to run? A: Obviously, given the financial situation, the position the district finds itself in is very important to its future success. I felt after the two years I did serve, that there was more work needed to be done to help get the school district back to where both its educational mission is a success and its financial situation is more sure. My main belief is that having a successful community is dependent on having a successful public school system. Having been a product of the public school system, and having kids who are hopefully on a positive path as a result of the public school system, I desired to maintain that for future generations. Q: What are your goals? A: To improve and help the district monitor its financial position, and to continue to improve its educational objectives. School finances and school revenues are generally dictated by the state and with the exception of something like measure L, there are not many opportunities to increase the level of revenue to the local school district. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com