Four seats on the Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees will be on the ballot this fall and those interested in running will have the chance to submit their names beginning next month.
The biennial elections for the Board are scheduled during the general election on Nov. 3, with Trustees in Areas 1, 3, 5 and 7 whose terms are expiring: Miranda Chalabi, Ken Malech, Frank Lima and Anthony Silva, respectively. Malech will be seeking reelection, he told the Journal, while Lima did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. Chalabi and Silva will both seek election for the first time. Chalabi was appointed to the Board in June of last year after Barney Gordon vacated his seat to become the District’s Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, and Silva was appointed to the Board in 2015.
“I’m seeking election because I have so much that I still want to accomplish,” Chalabi said.
She graduated from Turlock High School in 2003 and currently works for Stanislaus County in Behavior Health Recovery Services as a data and outcomes project coordinator.
“I care about the future of all students and I want to be a voice for those students the system has failed. I want to be the voice of our teachers, parents and community. To do that I will work to understand many perspectives and be a fair representative that balances them all. As a parent of two young TUSD students and a long-time community member, I am committed to the success of TUSD.”
Silva, a former high school teacher, said the last five years have been a “learning period” for him.
“We have a great District and Board. Hopefully, I will be able to do my part to meet the challenges we face,” he said. “Having been in education for over 50 years, I will try to bring that perspective.”
Malech was elected to the Board in 2015 and has balanced the responsibility with his career as a teacher for Modesto City Schools. He said that although the position of Trustee does not come with any stipend, salary or benefits, he takes the position seriously and works hard to provide local youth with the best education possible while providing a voice for the community at large.
There are several accomplishments achieved by the Board during his tenure so far that he looks back on proudly, he said, like the technology and other academic resources provided to students, additional books in TK classrooms, professional development opportunities for staff and additions to the TUSD farm. The passage of Bond Measures N and O are another highlight, he added.
“Although so much has been accomplished, I feel there is more work to do for the community of Turlock. If the people of Turlock will have me, I plan on running and hopefully being reelected to serve four additional years on the TUSD board,” Malech said. “In light of the COVID-19 crisis, I want to take this opportunity to ask the community of Turlock to write, call and email their state and federal representatives to continue fully funding education so we can move forward together. I really believe your voice counts and your children and grandchildren deserve it.”
Lima, who was originally elected for the TUSD Board in 2001, has practiced law in Turlock for 20 years according to the TUSD website. As a product of Turlock public schools, he feels personally indebted to our public education system, having obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree with honors in applied economics from U.C. Davis and a Juris Doctor degree from U.C.L.A.
“No matter how good or bad we judge our public schools, we have the opportunity and obligation to make our schools better. We must hold ourselves and our schools to the highest of standards,” Lima says on the TUSD website. “We cannot make excuses for our failures, and although we should enjoy and recognize our successes, we must always strive to make our schools better.”
The period for interested parties to file declarations of candidacy is July 13 to Aug. 7. Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, candidate filing is by appointment only. Appointment scheduling begins on July 1 by calling 209-525-5201. Candidates are encouraged to call as early as possible to ensure candidacy nomination paperwork is completed prior to the filing deadline.
To view the TUSD Trustee Area Map, visit www.turlock.k12.ca.us/Domain/1243.