Election stirs change for Carson City school board

Voters line up to cast primary election ballots at the Carson City Community Center on June 14, 2022.

Voters line up to cast primary election ballots at the Carson City Community Center on June 14, 2022.
Photo by Faith Evans.

Carson City school board candidates look ahead to raising academic standards, fixing fiscal challenges and addressing changes in leadership after Tuesday’s primary election that determined who keeps their seat, who gains one and who still needs to vie for one this fall.
Results as of Tuesday night showed board President Richard Varner, District 4, who ran unopposed, with 8,399 votes. Varner released a statement to the Appeal on Wednesday expressing appreciation to the community for its support.
“I am thankful and excited for the opportunity to continue serving the citizens of Carson City as a school board trustee for another term,” Varner said. “I have enjoyed the last four years working with the other trustees and the school district. I take this responsibility seriously, doing my best to represent the students, parents and staff of the Carson City School District. The district continues to face several serious issues including budget shortfalls, staffing shortages, and student learning loss as a result of the pandemic. I look forward to working on these issues along with raising the academic standing of the district.”
Varner was elected board president in January 2018, having served as clerk and vice president.
“I want to welcome Mr. Matt Clapham to the board as the newly elected trustee for District 3,” Varner continued. “He will bring a fresh perspective to the board. I wish the best of luck to the candidates running for election in districts 1 and 6 and look forward to serving with those who are elected.
Clapham, who also ran unopposed, received 8,419 votes. He is a father of two children in the district.
The District 1 race drew four candidates, including incumbent Maria “Lupe” Ramirez, who was the top candidate Tuesday with 3,497 votes, or 36.8%. She and Jason Stinson, with 3,124 votes, or 32.8%, will proceed to the general election. Adam Heinz drew 2,351 votes, or 24.7%, and Albert Jacquez came in with 543 votes, or 5.7%.
Ramirez said she was grateful to meet with families and reach out for their support as she continues urging for equal opportunities for all students.
“I want to see all our students are excelling and are getting a quality education,” she said. “I know our minority students are not the majority. … If our majority of students are not advancing, it hurts the district as a whole.”
Ramirez said she wants to see fiscal services officer Andrew Feuling, who takes over as superintendent July 1, excel in his position.
“I feel as a community, with the board and the new superintendent, we need to get him started on the right track, it will be a very successful outcome,” she said. “And of course, keeping the main focus on our students … . I think if we keep it in our mindset, ‘How is it going to benefit the students, having the community be more supportive.”
Stinson thanked Ramirez, Heinz and Jacquez for maintaining a clean, professional race and looked forward to running against Ramirez.
“I’m going to focus on transparency more than ever,” he said.
He said he was concerned about better school safety measures after the recent Uvalde, Texas school shooting. Stinson referred to his public comment at the May 24 school board meeting in which he suggested arming some teachers who have gun permits. He also said graduation rates should be increased, calling students “diamonds in the rough” and able to go on to successful careers.
“It was brought to my attention by our local native American tribe there’s bullying going on at Eagle Valley Middle School,” Stinson said, referring to the American Indian Movement’s recent call for a staff member’s resignation. “They’ve called for the resignation for several people. I intend to fully investigate it, and not just investigate, but put an end to it.”
He also said he hoped the transition this summer would inspire change for staff and students.
“I would like to see Mr. Feuling succeed at everything he does, but I would also like to see him take a different path than Mr. Stokes did,” he said.
There was no primary for district 6. In November’s general election, Shanna Cobb-Adams will face Molly Walt.
For results on the 2022 Carson City primary election results, go to https://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/2022/jun/14/2022-carson-city-primary-election-results/.

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