Two vye for Loomis board of trustees seat

By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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In the Loomis Union School District race, two candidates are vying for the District 5 seat on the board of trustees. On Nov. 2, Loomis voters will choose from incumbent Tim Rudolph or challenger Ann Baker. The Loomis News asked the two candidates three questions about their campaign and possible election. ANN BAKER Ann Baker is 50. She and her husband, Nathan, have four children who all attended Loomis Union School District schools. The oldest attends Claremont McKenna College, one is at Del Oro High School, and two are Franklin Elementary students. Baker has been involved with the Parent Teacher Club for the 11 years she has lived in Loomis. She has a history of leadership in the schools, serving as PTC president and volunteering in classrooms. She has been involved in public school advocacy, coached youth sports, including girls basketball, and has been a Loomis Basin Dolphins swim team board member. Baker has also been involved with 4-H, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and taught religious education in her church. Baker earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and computer science from Clark College in Dubuque, Iowa. She worked for Shell Oil Company for 14 years as an information technology project manager. Q: Why are you running for election? A: I do not believe that the board as a body interacts sufficiently with the schools and the community in its policy making. As a result, working relations are tense and mistrust has grown. In these challenging fiscal times, we must do more with less. We can’t do this unless the board has more consistent outreach with parents, teachers and community leaders, as well as with Del Oro administration and the high school board. Our test scores are high, but they should be when you look at the demographics of our community. In order to set the bar higher, we need to be on the same page, working toward the same goals. I have the relationships to make this happen. Q: What are the top 3 issues facing the Loomis Union School District? A: No. 1 is keeping fiscally solvent so we can keep the decision making at our local level and doing more with less. No. 2 is expanding the education experience and opportunities for our kids during these fiscally challenging times. No. 3 is retaining and hiring the highest-quality teachers and staff. Q: What are your goals? A: Finding creative funding sources to preserve and expand programs like P.E., foreign language, geometry and after-school programs. Increasing academic excellence through my ability to build bridges with parents, teachers and the community, to enable efficient use of resources. Providing teachers and staff the best possible compensation, within our budget constraints, as well as providing training and collaboration opportunities to expand their expertise. TIM RUDOLPH Tim Rudolph is 57 and has lived in Loomis for 10 years. He is married to Dianne and they have two daughters, ages 7 and 9. Rudolph has a Master’s degree in finance and marketing. He worked for Intel as the finance controller for 10 years. Among his responsibilities was Intel investments, marketing and Asian operations. Rudolph has served on the Loomis district board for 4-1/2 years. He was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Gary Mattevi and three months later was elected to the board. Q: Why are you running for re-election? A: I’m very proud of our school board and all that we have accomplished. I would note that in the past few years we’ve been fiscally responsible, where other districts were not. The environment in the state is very challenging. Given all this, I’m proud that we saved 17 teacher jobs. We maintained our music and P.E. programs. We started new after-school programs in Spanish and athletic leagues; and, instead of cutting back, we invested in our schools and advertised our small class sizes. The biggest accomplishment is that in our 24-county Northern California region, the Loomis district is No. 1 in API scores. The charter school scored the highest, which is quite an accomplishment for a 2-year-old school. I’m very proud of that. We’ve worked for this for years, and I want to see us continue to improve. Q: What are the top 3 issues facing the Loomis Union School District? A: In addition to the financial issues, which are significant, we continue to strategically plan. We meet with parents, teachers and members of the community. Everyone has a voice and we try to do better with less. The No. 1 thing that echoes in a board meeting is always “put the kids first.” Q: What are your goals? A: First, the district strives to do its best for every single student through our after-school programs, which includes G.A.T. E. Second, LUSD leaders have been recognized by the Association of California School Administrators; they are principal Rick Judd and Laura Bishop, special education director. This has been a team effort among the board, and I think it’s important to recognize the challenges we have going forward and the importance of keeping the board together.