Carson City School Board candidate Jason Stinson, far right, speaks Tuesday at the Carson City Chamber of Commerce Primary Candidates Forum as candidates Albert Jacquez, far left, incumbent Lupe Ramirez and Adam Heinz listen.
Faith Evans/Nevada Appeal
Four Carson City School Board District 1 candidates agree students aren’t receiving sufficient resources to succeed in school but differ on their priorities for accountability and opportunities if elected.
During the Carson City Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Primary Candidates Forum on Tuesday at Western Nevada College, incumbent Lupe Ramirez and opponents Adam Heinz, Albert Jacquez and Jason Stinson addressed the ongoing shortfall facing local schools, teacher retention and safety.
Ramirez, who has served as the Latino outreach coordinator at WNC and as a member of the Carson City Cultural Commission, said her upbringing in Jalisco, Mexico, her immigration to the United States as a teenager and challenges she experienced from lack of access to an English as a Second Language program complicated adapting to American life. She was unable to attend college after she married, but said she never gave up on her dream to continue her education and eventually earned her associate’s degree in applied science from WNC and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Western Governors University.
“We need to make sure all students achieve success and that they’re getting the best education,” she said.
Ramirez, who is running for a second term, said teachers are working extra hours and are “simply worn out.”
Heinz, a lifelong resident of Carson City who works as a paramedic with REMSA and formerly as a deputy with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, said he felt the school board needs more fiscal oversight. He is the father of a kindergartener and a second grader. Heinz said it is the job of the school board to “look through items” and seek “other opportunities for revenues and funds.”
“We need to put our money where our mouth is,” he said. “We need to raise funding. It’s important. We have problems with recruitment and retention. … We’ve got to do something different.”
Concern for infrastructure and parent involvement also should be considered, Heinz said, with behavioral and psychological issues mitigated to allow for more instructional time.
“The schools are put into a position,” he said. “We also have to feed some children. Those are the only meals some kids get.”
WNC Interim President Kyle Dalpe, the forum moderator, asked how the candidates would plan for new tax revenues generated from new housing developments.
Stinson, a father of six daughters, runs an annual local haunted house and light show for the community on Winnie Lane. He said his priority would be to retain the district’s teachers who are currently employed.
“You cannot plan for the new budget the way the last legislative session was done in the darkness of the night with citizens locked out,” Stinson said. “(The legislators) delegate where all the money goes. (Fiscal services director) AJ Feuling does his best. Now he’s going to be the new superintendent. … Let’s show (our teachers) we care. They’re far too underpaid.”
Stinson proposed offering improved compensation packages and encouraging more parent and community involvement beyond the occasional recognition at board meetings, he said. He expressed his frustration at the school board’s recent superintendent search and its outcome with John Goldhardt, who was offered the position and eventually withdrew.
“It’s the same group voicing their opinions,” he said.
Jacquez, born and raised in New Mexico, where he worked at a residential treatment facility for youth, moved to Nevada in 2007. He became involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada for more than five years, raised his son and won a “Quality of Life” award from the Chamber of Commerce. Jacquez also was hired as the education and outreach coordinator for the Nevada Department of Transportation’s bicycle and pedestrian program and has served on the Carson City Little League Board. He credits his mother, who was a teacher, for his passion for education.
“We need to pour the money right back into teachers,” he said. “Every day, we’re stretching them a little more. … I need to be there for them. We need to work together across the school board, and it starts with the teachers.”
Jacquez said the consequences of any shortfall “falls on the kids … every time,” recalling watching teachers in New Mexico cut out shapes for first graders or laminate items at school only to return home “to be wife, mom, friend, then we constantly say we need more out of them.”
Early voting begins May 28. Election Day is June 14.
Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.
Sign in to comment