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Five have eyes on Rocklin Unified seats

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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With Election Day looming, Rocklin voters will not only have the opportunity to vote for Rocklin City Council, but Rocklin Unified School District Board of Trustees as well.
Board members serve four-year terms. Five candidates are running for three available seats.

Wendy Lang
Age: 45
Lived in Rocklin: 7 years
Occupation: works for the state of California
Family: Husband Jay; Sons 21-year-old Michael, a graduate of Rocklin High School and Matthew, 11, attends Cobblestone Elementary School
Contact: 622-0745
Incumbent Wendy Lang said she hopes to serve a second term on the Rocklin school board to continue moving forward with the successes of Rocklin schools.
“I have really enjoyed my four years on the school board,” Lang said. “I think that our board is going in the right direction.”
If re-elected, Lang said her top priority would be to reduce class sizes as soon as it is fiscally possibly. She said she would also like to get programs back to their original funding levels.
Being the board president while the district faces an $8 million deficit, Lang said although the cuts the board made were all tough, they were able to minimize the impact on students. Instead of laying off more teachers, the board opted to implement fees for athletes and allow extra- and co-curricular groups to raise funds.
Before moving to Rocklin, Lang served on another district’s board and said she always wanted to get involved in education. What sold her and her family on a move to Rocklin was Rocklin High School, she said.
Todd Lowell
Age: 48
Lived in Rocklin: 13 years
Occupation: Owner of Lowell Development Inc.
Family: Wife Kay; daughters 17-year-old Amelia, a senior, and 15-year-old Madeleine, a sophomore, both at Rocklin High School
Contact: 632-1564
Incumbent Todd Lowell has served on the board for eight years. By running for re-election, Lowell hopes to continue with a third term.
If re-elected, his No. 1 priority would be to reduce class sizes. His second priority would be to continue the district’s focus on rising student achievements. Lowell said Rocklin teachers use test scores to assess what works and what needs improvement in the classroom. These assessments have contributed to Rocklin Unified’s high Academic Performance Index test scores, Lowell said.
But it’s not only about test scores, according to Lowell. He said he would like to see Rocklin schools continue to produce “well-developed, high-functioning adults.”
“I feel that education needs to focus on the whole child,” Lowell said, which includes arts and extra curricular activities.
Lowell said about nine years ago, he was prompted to run for a seat on the board after witnessing disrespectful behavior of a board member to the public.
“That fired me up,” he said. “The community needed better representation.”
Glenn Moeller
Age: 44
Live in Rocklin: 13 years
Occupation: Civil engineer
Family: Wife Julie; third-grader Charles, 8, and kindergartner Jillian, 5; both attend Maria Montessori Charter Academy
Contact: 993-3688; vote4glenn2010.com
Glenn Moeller said he is running for school board to help improve the relationship between the district and the community.
“I don’t think they (the current board) currently have good customer service,” Moeller said.
Moeller said parent treatment needs to be a higher priority for board members.
His candidacy spurred from his first-hand experience with the district staff and procedures.
His son, 8-year-old Charles, attended Phoenix Preschool through second grade and attempted to transfer into Rocklin Unified for third grade. Moeller said he was told Ruhkala Elementary, the school closest to his residence, was full. He said he was then told to visit the school site to see if his son’s name was on the enrollment list, and if not, to continue visiting other school sites to view their enrollment lists.
Moeller said his No. 1 priority if elected would be to make it easier for the parents. Moeller said he would like parents to have the option to choose the school their child attends and to know well in advance which school their child would attend.
With the district facing a multi-million dollar deficit, Moeller said he would like to see an assessment of every district expenditure.
Additionally, Moeller said he would like to arm teachers with business cards for easy accessibility of contact information for parents.
“I think the teachers need to be treated like professionals,” he said.
Steve Paul
Age: 44
Lived in Rocklin: 17 years
Occupation: Regional sales manager for All State Insurance
Family: Wife Erin; daughters: Haily, 15, freshman at Rocklin High School, Julie, 13, at Spring View Middle School and 10-year-old Sophie who attends Parker Whitney Elementary School
Contact: 202-6377
Incumbent Steve Paul was elected to the Board of Trustees eight years ago and has served two terms.
Paul said that with the current budget issues, it’s important to have knowledgeable members on the board.
“Being able to decipher what the state does … takes experience,” Paul said. “It’s very difficult to get a certain amount of money from the state and try to balance that.”
If re-elected, Paul said his No. 1 priority would be the budget.
Paul said the board has been able to work collaboratively with teachers and other employee associations during budget shortfalls.
“I feel very fortunate we are able to work together to come up with the best decisions for the district,” Paul said.
Eight years ago, Paul said he ran for Rocklin Unified’s Board of Trustees as a way to continue working in the community. Paul has been involved through the chamber and other outlets, he said.
“It made sense for me to continue helping in the community,” he said.
Paul said he would like to serve another term to keep moving forward with the current board’s successes.
“We’re doing so many great things and (I would like) to continue building what we’ve accomplished over the years,” Paul said.
Amanda Tingler
Age: 31
Lived in Rocklin: 6 years
Occupation: marriage and family counselor
Family: Husband Tony, stepson 10-year-old Luke, attends Valley View Elementary; 4-year-old Cooper attends Smart Start Preschool in Loomis; and newborn Macy
Contact: 550-9641; tingler2010.com
Amanda Tingler’s No. 1 priority if elected to the school board is to decrease class sizes.
Her stepson, Luke, attended Rocklin Elementary in a class of 34 students last year, Tingler said. With more instructional aides, the increased class sizes would be more manageable with less “frazzled” teachers, she said.
“I don’t think teachers are getting the support they need,” Tingler said. “When you have happy teachers, you have happy students and parents.”
Tingler said she would also like to tackle the bullying and drug abuse problems at Rocklin schools.
As a counselor, Tingler said she sees the drug issues among teens and thinks there has been “a blind eye turned to the substance abuse issue.”
Tingler said she would also like to work toward a more positive relationship with the charter schools. As a parent volunteer with youth sports, Tingler said she’s seen a divide between children who attend charter schools and those who attend traditional schools.
Tingler said she thinks the board is at the heart of the animosity.

Election day is Nov. 2 and Rocklin residents have the opportunity to vote for three candidates to fill three seats on the Rocklin Unified’s Board of Trustees.