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The Madera Tribune

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Duncan, Salazar vie for MUSD Area 5 seat

October 17, 2018

Steve T. Duncan and Lucy Salazar are the candidates for Madera Unified School District Governing Board from Area 5.


Following are their answers to a series of questions posed by The Madera Tribune.

Steve T. Duncan


1. Please describe your family — spouse, children, etc.:


I have been married to my wife, Terry, for 37 years, and we have two daughters, Jennifer and Michelle both of whom are teachers for Madera Unified.


2. Are you employed? If so, by whom?


I have worked for Wakefern Food Corporation for the past 37 years as a produce buyer.


3. What other type of employment have you had, if any?


I worked as a USDA inspector during my college years.


4. How long have you lived in Madera?


I have lived in Madera since 1981.


5. Are you involved in any civic organizations or activities?


I am a member of Friends of Camp Fire.


6. What high school or college degrees do you have?


I received my high school diploma from Manteca High School and graduated from Fresno State with a Degree in Ag Business.


EDUCATION ISSUES:


1. Explain your position on Measure M, the $120 million school bond issue that will be on the Nov. ballot.


 I am 100 percent  in favor of Measure M. We need to build new schools and support the infrastructure of our current schools. Students deserve a safe and secure learning environment and Measure M will help fulfill these needs.


2. Is the district spending the taxpayers’ money wisely?


I do believe that the district is headed in the right direction, but there is always room for improvement.


3. What should the district do to improve test scores?


The district needs to support our teachers and students by listening to all stakeholders’ input when making decisions in regards to curriculum.


4. How would you rate the performance of the current school board?


I believe our current school board is headed in a positive direction.


5. How would you rate the current superintendent’s performance?


I believe that Todd Lyle is a strong superintendent. He is from Madera, has taught within Madera and his kids attend Madera schools. His charisma and passion for Madera are second to none.

 

6. What can you offer Madera’s school community that your opponent either can’t or won’t?


I have lived in Area 5 for over 30 years and I have been very involved in school activities. From parent club to school site council to coaching, I have always found it to be important to stay connected.


7. Do you have children or grandchildren in school?


No, not currently. My daughters both attended Berenda Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, and graduated from Madera High School. They both currently teach within Madera Unified.


8. What is Madera Unified’s most pressing problem?  Can you offer a solution?


The most pressing issue is making sure our students are both college and career ready. Currently Madera Unified has strong programs in place for college readiness, but I would like to focus on keeping a balance to make sure that we are also supporting career ready students through vocational programs.

Lucy Salazar


1. Please describe your family — spouse, children, etc.:


I am a widow/single mother of four. My children attended the district. My oldest is a manager for a lending company. Second child is a vibrant Realtor, my third is a veteran with a nursing career and my youngest graduated from FSU with a Master’s in History and Teaching. I have three grandchildren. Two of which attend the district and one in day care.


2. Are you employed? If so, by whom?


I am a Realtor. I have been a Realtor for 19 years now. I have my license at C21 M&M/Madera.


3. What other type of employment have you had, if any?


I have previously worked in accounting. I have been in accounting. I have worked for ranching companies, Madera County, Mission Food, Inc.


4. How long have you lived in Madera?


I have lived in Madera for 33 years.


5. Are you involved in any civic organizations or activities?


I am a member of Latinas Unidas de Madera for the past 17 years. Been on Board of Fresno and Madera AAA, which is Area Agency on Aging and on Board of Madera Behavioral Services.


6. What high school or college degrees do you have?


I attended Tranquillity High School. I graduated from 4C’s Business College, I attended Reedley College.

EDUCATION ISSUES:


1. Explain your position on Measure M, the $120 million school bond issue that will be on the Nov. ballot.


I am supporting  the Measure M bond. The reason we need to construct more schools is to reduce the overcrowding. Madera has its majority of schools built before 1950. We need to replace portable classrooms with permanent classrooms. We need improvements in our current facilities to provide accessibility for students with disabilities. School safety and campus security need improvements. Classrooms need modernizing. This will also give funds to construct a new concurrent enrollment in middle school for careers in technical education programs and in areas of agriculture, engineering and robotics.


2. Is the district spending the taxpayers’ money wisely?


I need to study and review the budget in more detail to give a better answer. This will be one of my most important issues to look into and study the details. I have been in accounting. I worked with a lot of cost accounting. I have worked in government accounting. I do understand budgeting.


3. What should the district do to improve test scores?


The district has been studying these test scores and getting to the core of the issues. The district has begun implementing programs to identify and build on student strengths. The staff has been working to improve test scores.


4. How would you rate the performance of the current school board?


The school board has been doing a good job. Being a board member is always a work in progress. Running the school district is as well. They encounter challenges every day and all day. Together it is imperative that the board communicate and collaborate.


5. How would you rate the current superintendent’s performance?


The current superintendent is working hard as well to get to the core of the schools’ issues, and has been open to changes to improve the schools for the students all around. He has implemented with staff and MUSD new, innovative programs, vocational training and makes himself available for staff and MUSD.


6. What can you offer Madera’s school community that your opponent either can’t or won’t?


I won’t speak against my opponent. What I can offer is the representation of the community. I am bilingual. I have and do support the district. I have made myself aware of the issues and looking into how to improve, support and get more involved in implementing the plans that are already happening. I continue to look within and outside of Madera to how we can improve and prepare our students along with MUSD.


7. Do you have children or grandchildren in school?


I have 3 grandchildren. Two who attend Madera schools and one who still is going to day care.


8. What is Madera Unified’s most pressing problem?  Can you offer a solution?


The overcrowding of classrooms. This makes it more difficult to teach to implement the vision of education for MUSD. Community, parent, students engagement is very important for our schools to succeed in providing a high quality of education for our students of MUSD.

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