By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Candidates mostly mirror each others positions
Manteca Unified School District Board candidates William Van Ryn, left, and Chuck Carpenter share a light moment during Wednesday’s forum conducted by the Manteca Educators Association in the East Union High cafeteria. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Joey Ermitanio sported his green campaign polo shirt at the Manteca Educators Association candidates’ forum Wednesday involving those in the Manteca Unified school board race.

The Lathrop resident and school district treasurer for Oakland Unified was more in favor of addressing some of the questions via e-mail.

Ermitanio, who had an unsuccessful bid for Lathrop City Council in 2008, is challenging incumbent Manuel Medeiros for Area 2.

Medeiros is seeking re-election due to some unfinished business. He’s played an active role in making possible the currently under construction multi-use facility at French Camp School while looking to bring improved parking options to the area.

The nearly two dozen attending the MEA-sponsored event in the East Union High cafeteria had a chance to hear the candidates on the November ballot – included were challengers Bill Van Ryn, Don Scholl, and Chuck Carpenter, and incumbents Evelyn Moore and Nancy Teicheira – tackling topics ranging from class-size reduction, vocational education, the role of the superintendent, and binding arbitration.

“(Binding arbitration) can be fairly hostile. No one wins,” said Van Ryn, who is again running against Teicheira.

The two squared off in the 2006 campaign for Area 4.

A Manteca High product and member of numerous boards, Van Ryn is an agricultural professional and was once a victim of the arbitration process.

Teicheira opted to run again to help the district during these difficult economic times in public education.
She and Van Ryn are both against binding arbitration, favor supporting vocational education – “As long as we maintain the AP courses,” Teicheira said – and would bring back the 20-to-1 students to teacher ratio once funding is made available.

What’s the role of the superintendent?

“He has to provide (the board) with accurate information,” Van Ryn said.

Teicheira agreed, saying, “He has to make sure students are getting the best education.”

She and Moore have both worked with various superintendents, serving 12 and 16 years, respectively, on the board.

“I’m running again and my friends think I’m crazy,” said Moore.

She defined her role on the school board as that of “a long learning curve.”

She applauded the challengers – at least one or more will join the school board, particularly with Vern Gebhardt opting not to run after serving his one term – adding, “but there’s no way you can come in here and hit the floor running.”

Moore is hoping for another successful reelection campaign. “I want to be there when we recover and restore the programs (cut for budget reasons),” she said.

As for binding arbitration, Moore believes any issues involving the unions and district should be resolved before even getting to that point.

“The goal would be not have the problem,” she said.

Moore, in addition, indicated that the role of the superintendent is “chief executive officer.”

Scholl and Carpenter are also in the running for the Area 5 race.

Scholl is the public works superintendent for the City of Tracy. His wife, Becky, is a fourth-grade teacher at McParland School.

“We should find ways to reinstate class-size reduction,” said Scholl, who can look to his wife and notice the burden of having 32 students in the classroom.

He also noted that the superintendent’s role should be that of a professional liaison and supports vocational education.

Ditto that for Carpenter.

The agribusiness broker, as listed by the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office, took an interest in the school board in the aftermath of the Shasta School project of a few years ago.

“I was told that if I don’t like how things are being done to run for the school board,” he said.

Carpenter favors class-size reduction.

“I have three kids and nine grandchildren,” he said. “I thought I had it tough.”