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Joe Cacioppo retains District 7 seat on Carson City School Board

By Jessica Garcia jgarcia@nevadaappeal.com

Carson City School Board Trustee Joe Cacioppo captured his third term representing District 7 on Tuesday, defeating challenger Joy Trushenski.

Early results from the general election indicate Cacioppo scored 15,551 votes, or 63.08 percent, while Trushenski earned 9,103 votes, or 36.92 percent, of the total 24,642 votes cast.

Cacioppo said he enjoyed a quiet election night at home with his wife and close friends but said it was still fun to hear the results come in and acknowledged that it can be tough to enter a race for the first time.

“There’s a lot to do in a short amount of time,” he said. “I know what she was going through.”

Although Trushenski had not yet contacted Cacioppo, she said she would some time this week.

“I’m still going to fight the good fight,” she told the Appeal on Wednesday, explaining she was resting after spending all day Tuesday at the community center seeking to speak with those who were casting their votes in person.

Trushenski challenged Cacioppo for his seat in the hope of correcting the school board’s course from its Common Core curriculum, the standards of which she felt are ineffective, highly expensive and inadequate for encouraging parental involvement in their children’s education.

The candidates took part in a Virtual Candidates Forum debate earlier in October cosponsored by the National Grassroots Broadcasting Network, the American Association of University Women Capital Branch, the League of Women Voters and Sierra Nevada Forums.

The debate gave Cacioppo an opportunity to explain he was opposed to too much standardized testing and was in support of career and technical programs to help students seeking to attend trade skills for business opportunities. He also encouraged strengthening community partnerships and returning students to their traditional learning environment before COVID-19 forced children to distance learning.

Trushenski noted she wanted to assist teachers with their workload as valuable assets in the district and to reexamine the school board’s budget and make cuts that would do the least amount of damage in running schools as a whole.

“The board is going to hear from me quite frequently, and then I’m going to be a nonpaid lobbyist for conservative groups,” Trushenski said of her plans Wednesday. “But I’ve had a lot of people say what I’ve said about Common Core and they agree, and they’ve thanked me for taking a stand, and I’m still going to galvanize people. I’m not just going to sit. That’s my plan.”

Cacioppo said as he starts his third term, it will be important to determine solutions to COVID-19 for students.

“We need to get a sense of stability in the district and after that, getting more students engaged and always working on improvements and attending to test scores and making sure they are being advocated for in effective ways,” he said.

Cacioppo said being able to continue serving on the board would be helpful because many of the successes he and the board had seen with students especially this year in his second term seemed to fall short as the coronavirus set in during March.

“We like to say they’re college- and career-ready, and I want to make sure they’re ready for it,” he said, adding he wants teachers not to be overburdened in the process.

“I would like to thank the community,” he said. “I felt I received an overwhelming support, and I was endorsed from both major political parties, which I thought was a reflection from what I was trying to do, which was try to bring everyone together.”