ESCONDIDO – Five candidates are vying for two seats on the Escondido Union High School District (EUHSD) board this November, and four candidates are running for three seats on the Escondido Union School District (EUSD) board.
The high school district’s Trustee Areas 3 and 4 are on the ballot. Trustee Area 3 covers southeast Escondido and Trustee Area 4 encompasses Northeast Escondido and parts of Valley Center.
In Trustee Area 3, incumbent Christi Knight is facing challenger Michelle Golding.
Golding, a parent of three Escondido students, told The Coast News that she wants to see more creativity and more innovation from the board.
“In terms of technology, there are other schools that have mastered distance learning by having consistent tool usage, we need to do better,” Golding said. “That means better training for the teachers to adapt to new technology and this new way of learning, which we should have done back in March, and more collaboration between teachers, families and outside experts.’
Golding added that the district needs to think more outside the box in terms of reopening schools.
“We should put safety first, but what exactly does safety mean to everyone,” Golding said. “For example, there should be outdoor seating in our schools… It’s really hard to explain to these kids why we can go sit at a restaurant and eat, but they can’t go to school. If we found ways to work it in other industries, we should find ways to work it in the education industry as well, with safety first.”
In Trustee Area 4, Incumbent Dane White is facing challengers Ogeche Okereke and Eric Rodarte.
Okereke is a software trainer and inventor who has two kids in the district. She said she wants to see equal opportunity for every child in the district.
“We don’t have true representation in terms of the diversity of those on the board representing the minority students in the schools. It’s difficult to not be a minority and oversee everything that has to do with minorities, especially in a district where the minority students actually make up the majority,” Okereke said.
Okereke added that improving technology and supporting teachers are also priorities.
“We have to make sure that EUSD has the best to offer for teachers as well as students,” Okereke said. “Put students first, but also make sure the teachers have what they need… for your child to succeed, your teacher has to be successful first.”
In EUSD, the elementary district, Trustee Areas 1, 3 and 5 are up for election, but in two of those, incumbents are running uncontested.
In Trustee Area 1, incumbent Douglas Paulson is running unopposed, and in Trustee Area 5, incumbent Frank Huston is running unopposed for the remainder of the term he was appointed to earlier this year.
In Trustee Area 3, incumbent Joe Muga is seeking an additional term and faces challenger Mark Olson, the parks and recreation director for the city of Oceanside.
The Escondido district board races will be decided on Nov. 3.