Two will win and two will lose in the race for Gustine Unified School District’s board Tuesday.
There are four candidates for two open spots on the board.
Gomes is a special education aide at Turlock Unified School District.
A 2000 graduate of Gustine High School, she decided to run for the school board to shake things up.
“I decided to run because of the budget concerns, but I also felt there needed to be some fresh perspective on the board,” she said. “I want to be able to be involved in what’s going on and express my opinion and make sure these kids have the best that they can have.”
She has a son in first grade in the district.
Gomes said she felt money should be steered toward educational services first and that teachers need more help buying for their classrooms.
“We need to be their support system, so they can be the support system for our children,” she said.
As a board member, “I will speak my opinion, stand my ground, but I am also willing to hear the other side,” she said.
Debbie A. Lopes
Lopes has served as a board member for eight years.
She decided to run for school board again because “it is a great partnership with my banking career,” she emailed in response to Sun-Star questions.
Lopes is a senior banker and loan officer at Tri-Counties Bank.
She has lived in Gustine since 1974. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Southeastern Massachusetts University.
Lopes said she is qualified for another term because she is a strong advocate for schools and students.
“My parents and family taught me the importance of education,” she said. “I have a 30 year banking career. My career has given me the necessary experience to understand a complex school budget. My experience as a board member is valuable to help our school district through the current economic storm.”
Christine Souza Parreira
Souza Parreira is a Newman resident and current member of the school board. She filed papers to run for election on July 13.
Several calls placed to the phone number on her election paperwork were not returned.
Guimmond, a resident of Gustine since 1999, is running for a seat on the board a second time. He was defeated in an election two years ago, but that hasn’t quelled his desire to served.
“I still want to serve the community. I still have a passion to be involved in programs that involve children,” he said.
Guimmond works as a recreational program specialist for the City of San Jose, supervising after school and educational enrichment programs for children in first grade through high school.
His own two children, in seventh and eleventh grades, attend Gustine schools.
Guimmond said his “visionary” personality allows him to look at all aspects of a situation before making a decision.
“I have a lot of experience working with a budget and collaborating with different organizations to develop programs,” he said. “To make a sound decision, I think you need to listen to everyone, all the way down to the students.”
Reporter Danielle E. Gaines can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.