Five candidates are running in the general election on November 3, 2020 for four-year terms on the Board of the Sonoita Elementary School District which oversees the Elgin Elementary School. There are three seats available. This is a non-partisan race. The candidates responded to a request for information by email. Some of the information has been edited for space.
Residence: How long? Sonoita, Since 2010
Education/licenses/certifications/military: Colby College
Recent employment: Manager, Sonoita Self Storage; Manager, Circle Z Guest Ranch for five years; In-school supervision coordinator, Orange Grove Middle School, Catalina Foothills, for 21 years Librarian of Elmwood Franklin School, Buffalo, NY, 11 years, an independent day school serving grades K– 8.
Community organizations/activities: UMC Thrift Shop in Patagonia, SCC Fair and Rodeo Association volunteer, Empire Ranch Foundation, International Book Club member, Mountain Empire Rotary (interim member and volunteer), Elgin Community Club (past President)
Previous public office/service: Sonoita School District Board (4 years, President 2019 and 2020)
Why are you running for re-election to the Sonoita School District Board? During my tenure on the School Board, we have hired an outstanding Principal / Superintendent, reduced excessive administrative costs, and were able to raise teachers’ salaries. Additionally, four new teachers have been approved and hired for the upcoming school year.
It was not a difficult decision for me to run for re-election because I love any work that benefits children. I deem this opportunity the most important calling of my life. During these fragile, uncertain times, we need to look at all the needs of our children who are experiencing a life-changing moment in their educational world. I wish I had a crystal ball to see what will be coming our way as a school community this year. We will have to adjust quickly if the need arises. I want to see our children back at school this year and face-to-face with our teachers. As an educator all my adult life, my belief system will always be “CHILDREN FIRST”!
Residence: How long? I live on Elgin Road and moved here in 2013, but have been in the area for 15 years. My husband and I retired here and plan on staying for the long haul.
Education/licenses/certifications/military: I was an honor student in high school and graduated at age 16. I studied Criminal Justice at Montgomery College and Civil Engineering at Old Dominion University but did not obtain a degree before moving to Patagonia to take care of my Grandmother after my Grandfather passed away. My career internship started when I was 19 in the District of Columbia. I have dozens of certifications in leadership, public speaking, budgeting, and all aspects of Federal Human Resources,
Recent employment: Owner/operator local 10 Acre vineyard. Retired as a GS-15, Deputy Director/G1 of Civilian and Military Human Resources in 2014 for the Army’s Network Command with 32 years of experience spanning six states, three countries and five agencies.
Community organizations/activities: Member of the SCC Fair and Rodeo Association (and volunteer), Sonoita-Elgin Community Group, Campaign Manager for Donna Federici – D3 Supervisor, Whetstone Community Group, volunteer deployment specialist for the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY, and Master Gardener.
Why are you running for election to the Sonoita School District Board? I would like to contribute to the community by applying the skills I have learned over the years to support our local school system. One of my favorite jobs included seven years as the HR director for a public school district with five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. I managed pay, benefits, training, recruitment, retention, awards, performance, and teacher certification, and gained valuable insights into school administration. I would like to apply my experience on recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers and staff. Our school is a major employer in our community, and it must withstand our current economic and pandemic challenges to sustain well into the future. I also want to find efficiencies that do not compromise quality education but will enhance student learning and entice more families with children to our community. I would be honored as a member of the school board to help meet the challenges we face today and solidify the future of Elgin School with quality education, quality spending, and quality planning. Fly High Eagles!
Residence: How long? Sonoita; since 2017
Education/licenses/certifications/military: B.S. Environmental Biology conc: herpetology; Eastern Illinois U, 2003
M.S. Environmental Sciences conc: Hydrology / Wastewater Remediation; Southern Methodist U, 2010
U.S. Army: 1999: Enlisted as Nuclear, Chemical, Biological Specialist
2003: Commissioned as Infantry Officer
2006: Transition to Intelligence Officer
At present hold rank of Major, awaiting promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in Fall 2020; currently serve as the Executive Officer for United States Army Garrison Ft. Huachuca (since 2018)
Recent employment: Active Duty Army Officer
Community organizations/activities: Volunteer within community for numerous events / locations / businesses as able: Notably Elgin Elementary
Previous public office/service: Military since 1999
Why are you running for election to the Sonoita School District Board? The Sonoita-Elgin area is a unique and truly special place. Between the climate, tight-knight community, safety of the area, and quality of the school, we chose this area to be our forever home (upon my retirement). In our years of travel from literally one corner of this country to the other we have never lived in such a great area. I wish to continue to serve our local community in a greater role and will work to maintain and continue to grow the excellent ratings, educational opportunities provided, and unmatched staff that we enjoy today with our school today. I am a firm believer of “when our school is successful, our community is successful.”
Residence: How long? Sonoita; since 2004
Education/License/certifications/military: College: Commonwealth of Virginia – Certificate of completion of Four-year apprenticeship at the trade of Electronics Mechanic; Tidewater Community College – Engineering/Technical Assistant Certificate Magna Cum Laude; George Washington University School of Business and Public Management – Master Certificate in Project Management. Although not active Military, I Supported the Military through my Civil Service Employment in the Federal Government
Recent Employment: I retired March 2014 from 33 years of Civil Service Employment in the Federal Government. During this period, I assisted in determining ‘should cost’ data and negotiating contracts for piece parts, maintenance, and weapon systems. The last 14 years prior to my retirement, I was the Depot Manager on a missile system. This included estimating budget requirement for missile maintenance and repair, assisting in negotiating the annual contract, ensuring parts and material required were available, working with several agencies to return the missiles to the contractor for maintenance/repair, track maintenance to stay on schedule, and schedule the return of the missile to the U.S. Navy Fleet. In order to maintain and re-certify/repair this weapon in support of the US Navy, I managed a multi-million-dollar budget.
Community Organizations/Activities: I have maintained my membership of the Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo Association in support of the Sonoita Fairground. This includes volunteering to assist where needed to support the Fairground activities and maintenance requirements.
Previous public office/service: None
Why are you running for election to the Sonoita School District Board? I moved to Sonoita in 2004. This is my community and I would like give back and participate in its success. I retired in 2014 with several years of negotiating and budgeting experience during my employment with the Federal Government. I want to participate in my community by utilizing my skills where I can help our community excel. I would like for every dollar allocated to the Sonoita-Elgin School be used to its fullest extent and, if necessary, redirect the budget where it will be most effective. My goal would be to strengthen our Sonoita-Elgin School to its fullest potential and ensure a ‘Quality Education with a Quality Budget.’
Residence: How long? I was born and raised in Sonoita and attended K-8th grade at Elgin Elementary. I moved to New Mexico in 2005 for college and then lived in Texas from 2009-2018 until my husband and I and our three kids moved back home to Sonoita two years ago.
Education/licenses/certifications/military: Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.
Recent employment: Real Estate Agent
Community organizations/activities: Coach of the middle school girls’ softball team, a little league t-ball coach, and I am also involved with the Sonoita Ranch Rodeo held every September at the Fairgrounds.
Previous public office/service: I was appointed in May to serve on the school board until the November election.
Why are you running for election to the Sonoita School District Board?
I am running for the Sonoita School District Board because I am invested in the future of our schools and our community. My oldest son will be going into the second grade this year, my middle son will be starting kindergarten this year, and my youngest son will begin in the year 2022. I believe in the betterment of our school and community, both on a personal level and professional. A graduate of Elgin Elementary, I am now a local real estate agent. My career provides me with a connection to the local communities. I am in contact with not only current residents, but also people who look to call this area their new home. My hope is that I can help bridge the gap between the local communities and the school by providing accurate information to both sides, provide input to the board from the view of a parent and assist with action items and decisions taking a newer digital-age generation into account. My professional experience in marketing and advertising with a focus on digital media has given me insight into effective communication with and into the ever-evolving digital world. I cannot think of a better way to serve and help pay it forward than to be a part of the school’s future goals, policies and success. Being actively involved in the community, helping with our youth programs and taking a seat on the school board are just a few of the ways that I can contribute to the school that served me once before and the community that I have always called my home.