There are four candidates vying for one seat on the Silver Valley Unified School District Board. The person elected will represent Newberry Springs and Ludlow on the school board. The Desert Dispatch asked each candidate four questions. The answers have not been altered or edited. Newberry Springs candidate Rhonda Colleen Royalty did not respond to the questionnaire.
1. Who are you?
Linda DeLuca: College graduate majored in Art/Design through graduate studies at UCLA. Business owner for 12 years manufacturing underwater television systems. Encompassed design/fabrication, both domestic and international marketing to government, commercial and industrial customers. Co-named on a U.S. Patent. Thirty employees. Taught classes in adult education five years. Property manager 13 years. Residing in Newberry as a property owner since 2004. Was an active candidate for Newberry CSD. Volunteer and donate to many local groups.
Fred O'Byrnes: My name is Fred J. O'Byrnes, and I have been a resident of Newberry Springs, California for 22 years. I am a retired High School Teacher. I taught in the public school system for over 13 years and the California Prison system for 7 years as a GED teacher. I served in the US Army. I am a member of the American Legion and the National Rifle Association. I have my BBA from National University in San Diego.
Heather Rae Reid: My name is Dr. Heather Rae Reid. I have been an elementary school teacher since 1996, and I have taught online for the University of Phoenix since 2008. I am a proud graduate of Silver Valley High School. I have a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction. I also have a Master's degree in Education/Curriculum and Instruction and a Master's degree in Educational Administration and Supervision.
2. Why do you think you should be elected to the school board?
Linda DeLuca: My decision to run for the SVUSD Board was based on the support of numerous long-time concerned residents. I will remain fair and objective in all issues. I have the ability to access a situation quickly to work collectively with students, parents, administration and the board for best solutions.
Fred O'Byrnes: I would like to be elected to the Silver Valley U.S.D. because my teaching background allows me to bring the classroom experience to the Board. Teachers sometimes look at problems differently than administrators.
Heather Rae Reid: I want to be elected to the school board because I am an advocate for students, parents, and the community. I want to use my knowledge of educational policy and procedures to work closely with the school district and the community to help our students receive the best education possible.
3. What are some important issues Silver Valley Unified School District faces?
Linda DeLuca: Some important issues SVUSD faces are also being challenged across our nation. Budget concerns, student drop-outs, staff and personnel support, and parent and community involvement.
Fred O'Byrnes: The biggest issue today for all schools is the continuing budget crisis in our state. The state continues to cut necessary funding to our schools.
Heather Rae Reid: Based on available data, most of the schools in the district did not meet the 2010 criteria for AYP. This means that the district needs to increase the percentage of students who perform proficient or advanced on the California State Standardized test.
4. What would you do about those issues if elected to the school board?
Linda DeLuca: Experience in corporate, education and community affords me insight to help deal on an individual basis while simultaneously always identifying the larger picture within reach I will personally visit schools to ascertain what is needed. Working together we can help develop the next generation productive, functioning, and educated adults
Fred O'Byrnes: Fortunately for Silver Valley School District funding money is received from the Federal Government because of the impact of Fort Irwin. Trying to balance the budget and looking at options to keep budget cuts away from compromising the classrooms.
Heather Rae Reid: I would like to focus on increasing the percentage of students who are proficient or advanced by implementing research-based instructional strategies designed to increase the academic achievement of students. I believe it is also important to focus on the overall well-being of students to help ensure success outside of school.