Kreowski, Wallace vie for SUHSD board seat long held by Nile
Two candidates from the Mount Shasta Area are running for the seat on the Siskiyou Union High School District board of trustees that Velma Nile is retiring from after many years.
Local business owner Kevin Kreowski and retired educator Linda Wallace are vying for the seat on the Nov. 4 ballot, which is now less than two weeks away.
All voters who live within the Siskiyou Union High School District will vote for board members in each area – not just their own.
“The public has the ability to shape the entire board,” said Kreowski.
As a sign of the current economic climate, both candidates said budget matters are of most concern to them.
“If I’m lucky enough to be elected... I’d like the public to be kept informed of the financial state of the District, with open books every year,” said Kreowski. As a businessman, he said he has the experience and skills to help the District turn the budget around.
Wallace believes that using budget money wisely is very important. “My vision is helping the District focus on changes to meet budgetary and economic challenges facing the district, state, and country,” she said. “As a board member, I hope to help the board spend taxpayers’ money wisely, to bring the best education we can to our students and our community.”
After spending 23 years working for the U.S. government, primarily with the Border Patrol, Kreowski now owns two art galleries – The Gallery in Mount Shasta and one in Southern California. He is the father of four children, one who is currently a junior at Mount Shasta High School. In addition, Kreowski coaches Weed High School’s junior varsity football team.
While he was in the Border Patrol, Kreowski said he had many responsibilities. “As administrator, I ran large crews in very large areas... I had to budget facilities and personnel,” he said. “I have background in a variety of situations... I know how to deal with people from my experiences as a coach, a businessman, as an administrator, and in law enforcement... I can do the job, and I’m willing,” said Kreowski.
“[As a board member] you have to look at ideas again. Just because it has been talked about before doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work now... [the board] needs energy and new thought... to loosen things up and spark new debate.”
While living in Riverside, Wash., Kreowski created a non-profit organization to raise funds for the local high school football team, which he coached. “Within three years, we raised about $30,000 for high school athletic programs... Soon, the organization was supporting all the school’s athletic programs,” Kreowski said.
“Two words that should be struck from the dictionary are ‘can’t’ and ‘never.’ I can find ways to make things happen, even when people say it’s impossible.”
Kreowski hopes to have the opportunity to use his experience on the board. “I want to give back to the community,” he said. “I want to help out, and I know I have the skills to do it.”
“Education has always been a part of my life,” said Wallace, who has 19 years experience teaching in local schools. Since 1998, Wallace has been a columnist for Mount Shasta Area Newspapers.
“As a teacher, a Northern California Writing Project Teacher Consultant, a writer, author, columnist, and speaker for conferences and community organizations, education has, and always will be my focus,” Wallace said.
Wallace focuses on her strengths as a focused listener who will carry out duties and procedures as a representative of her local community. She has experience in grant writing and is the president of the international teaching organization Delta Kappa Gamma. “Being the president of an organization, you learn how to handle finances,” Wallace said.
Earlier in the year Wallace was one of five applicants selected by Delta Kappa Gamma to speak internationally on the topic of writing. She spoke to children at an elementary school in New Brunswick, Canada.
Wallace has lived in Mount Shasta for 34 years; both of her sons attended and graduated from district schools. Her husband, Rick, is a retired Weed High School teacher.
“My biggest vision is that [SUHSD] be the best we can be with the limited resources available in times of this economic crunch,” Wallace said. “I will be a dedicated board member who will be passionate about education... I hope to be a positive influence.”