© 2022 KUNR
An illustrated mountainscape with trees and a broadcast tower.
Serving Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
We are experiencing signal outages in the Bishop/Mammoth Lakes area. We are looking into the cause and hope to have signal restored soon.
Politics and Policy
KUNR Youth Media is an award-winning program that trains high school students to be radio reporters. Our spring 2022 cohort has created a questionnaire for all of the candidates running for a seat on the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees.

2022 Elections: Washoe County School Board District B candidate surveys by KUNR Youth Media

Illustration with text that says, “KUNR Youth Media 2022 WCSD Board of Trustees District B candidate surveys.” There is an implied surface with a reporter’s notebook, a pencil, a roll of stickers and a ballot box placed on top of it.
Crystal Willis
/
KUNR Public Radio

KUNR Youth Media is an award-winning program that trains high school students to be radio reporters. As part of KUNR’s 2022 election coverage, our spring 2022 cohort has created a questionnaire for all of the candidates running for a seat on the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees. This election cycle, there are three candidates running for the school board seat in District B:

Editor’s notes: Candidates have been listed in alphabetical order by last name. We have provided candidates’ responses to our questionnaire and each answer had a limit of 1,000 characters. Responses have not been edited for spelling, punctuation or grammar. Candidates’ answers have been fact-checked and editor’s notes have been provided as needed. Some candidates did not respond to the questionnaire after being reached out to multiple times; however, we will post their responses if they become available. Candidates were also asked to submit a headshot and these photos were included upon availability.


Ellen Minetto

For one week a month, bus schedules are suspended for one area of the school district, which has caused disruption to learning. Spanish Springs High School student Kesley says at her school, the buses aren’t running during AP testing and finals. What do you plan to do to fix the staff shortages?

Ellen Minetto smiles for a photo against an outdoor setting.
Courtesy of Ellen Minetto
/
Ellen Minetto is a candidate for Washoe County School District Board of Trustees District B.

We need more funds available to offer higher pay to workers. We need to encourage the state legislators to provide more money to WCSD, so we can hire and retain workers. WCSD has a liaison who communicates with state legislature, who can provide guidance on what would be good ideas to help obtain more money.

Our Youth Media reporters have told us that the chronic usage of substitute teachers is disruptive to their ability to learn. They’re curious what concrete steps you would take to recruit and retain teachers.

We need more funds, which means we need to convince the state to provide WCSD with more funds. We also need to continue encouraging and supporting educators with their job. Without support, many teachers will be likely to quit. We also can encourage UNR School of Education students to work for WCSD when they graduate.

We’re seeing a mental health crisis in schools, that includes the risk of suicide, as well as violence. Nick at the Academy of Arts, Careers, and Technology (AACT) wonders what new methods of support for students you would advocate for?

We need counselors available, but we also can help provide parents with resources to help students who are struggling with mental wellness. I also am an advocate for the arts, which can help people with processing their emotions. We can continue to hire social workers in schools to help students as the budget allows.

AACT student Ellie says student meals are low quality, with a lack of fruits, vegetables and proteins. She said the meals are “something adults would never eat.” What steps would you take to increase the amount of healthy food at school?

Unfortunately, the food is provided by the government. I think the best thing we can do is encourage students to eat well balanced diets by providing nutrition as part of a student's education. This will allow students to decide how they want to eat.

Learn more about Ellen Minetto at ellenminetto4wcsd.weebly.com.


Cathy Reyes

KUNR reached out to this candidate by email and voicemail several times; however, we did not receive a response. We will update this web post with the candidate’s questionnaire responses if they become available.


Colleen Westlake

For one week a month, bus schedules are suspended for one area of the school district, which has caused disruption to learning. Spanish Springs High School student Kesley says at her school, the buses aren’t running during AP testing and finals. What do you plan to do to fix the staff shortages?

A professional head and shoulders shot of Colleen Westlake shows her smiling while standing outdoors
Courtesy of Colleen Westlake
/
Colleen Westlake is a candidate for Washoe County School District Board of Trustees District B.

The school district must be more competitive with pay and benefits for bus drivers! Bus drivers transport our most precious possessions, our children! The School Board sets policy and it is imperative children get to school!

Our Youth Media reporters have told us that the chronic usage of substitute teachers is disruptive to their ability to learn. They’re curious what concrete steps you would take to recruit and retain teachers.

We are too heavy with administrators. We need to cut the number of administrators and the remaining individuals need a pay cut! This budgeting will allow our dollars to attract teachers. We also need to allow teachers to teach and not have to be social Justice activists! They earned degrees to teach let them teach.

We’re seeing a mental health crisis in schools, that includes the risk of suicide, as well as violence. Nick at the Academy of Arts, Careers, and Technology (AACT) wonders what new methods of support for students you would advocate for?

We need to have more staff at each school with psychology backgrounds. Teachers are not qualified to address a student’s psychological needs. We are under stressful times and there needs to be qualified individuals to address the needs of students who are struggling with depression, anxiety and other issues. The fear mongering needs to stop also. The mask mandates harmed our children and it was totally unnecessary!

Editor’s note: According to the CDC, wearing a mask reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19.

AACT student Ellie says student meals are low quality, with a lack of fruits, vegetables and proteins. She said the meals are “something adults would never eat.” What steps would you take to increase the amount of healthy food at school?

The packaged cardboard meals have to go and prepared meals need to be reinstated!

Learn more about Colleen Westlake at westlake4schoolboard2022.com.


Click here to view candidate surveys for other Washoe County School District Board of Trustees races.

Related Content