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Muniz returns to TUSD Board
Former trustee appointed to Crivellis open seat
Tami Muniz - photo by Photo Contributed
Tami Muniz thought her service to the children of Turlock was over after losing her Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees seat to three challengers in the November 2009 election. But, Muniz once again took up the yoke of public service Tuesday after being appointed to the TUSD board to replace Lori Crivelli, who resigned in December 2009.
Muniz was one of six who applied for the trustee position and she beat out three other candidates who were chosen to be interviewed by the TUSD board in a public meeting Monday night.
She took her seat as a TUSD trustee, once again, at Tuesday’s board meeting after taking the oath of office.
“I enjoy serving on the board,” Muniz said. “I am not ready to give it up.”
Along with Muniz, the three other candidates interviewed Monday were David Folly, Mark Gharibian and Eulalio Martinez.
Each candidate was asked a total of four questions ranging from what made them want to serve on the board to what are the priorities of the TUSD.
Martinez focused mainly on his experience in the construction industry and as a United States Marine and his desire to be on a team. He also said he wanted to help make a difference in his community and create a better environment for the children of Turlock.
“What’s good for my children is good for everybody’s children,” he said.  
Gharibian focused on his motto of “do more with less,” and touted his problem-solving skills he developed at his job as a program analyst at E&J Gallo Winery.
He also talked about his Middle-Eastern descent and how he could focus on minority populations, especially the Middle-Eastern population, and get them more involved in education.
Folly said that his professional experience with downsizing and efficiency would help the district save some money to get through the budget crisis. He also mentioned his experience as the chairman of a school site council and his presence on the Measure Y and Measure Z committees, as qualifications to serve on the board.
All candidates talked about ways to help the district with budget cuts.
Each candidate was rated on a ranking system from one to four with the number one being each trustee’s first pick. The trustees went through two rounds; round one to pick the top two and another to pick the top ranked trustee.
Muniz and Gharibian were picked as the top two, with Muniz winning by two votes.
In 2005, Muniz landed a spot on the board of trustees through the appointment process then lost her election bid in November.
“It is funny for it to come around in full circle and come back to the appointment process,” Muniz said.
Crivelli’s resigned from the TUSD Board of Trustees on Dec. 16, 2009, after  beating out incumbents, Muniz, Felica Renshaw and Timm LaVelle in the November election, because of a potential conflict of interest with her family’s businesses.
Muniz will serve the rest of Crivelli’s term until 2011. Her seat will then be up for re-election, along with four other trustees.
“I am excited to get back to being a part of the people making important decisions for the children,” Muniz said.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.