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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 At-Large District F candidate surveys by KUNR Youth Media

Illustration with text that says, “KUNR Youth Media 2022 WCSD Board of Trustees At-Large District F 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
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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 five candidates running for the school board seat in at-large District F:

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.


Mon Bertolucci

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.


Adam Mayberry

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?

Adam Mayberry smiles for a headshot photo. He’s wearing a navy blue suit with a red tie. The background is out of focus.
Courtesy of Adam Mayberry
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Adam Mayberry is a candidate for Washoe County School District Board of Trustees At-Large District F.

Thanks, Kesley. My daughters go to Spanish Springs too, and I understand the challenges, inconveniences, and lost learning. As a working parent, there have been a few days when I was unable to get them to school, hence I feel the disruption too. Candidly, our bus drivers are not paid enough, and the shortage of bus drives is reflected across the nation. In the short term, I supported a recent vote that directed staff to negotiate a pay increase for bus drivers. We must work through labor associations to make this occur. I support finding a long-term solution through greater investment in pay, incentives, and training to hire and retain bus drivers. We should also streamline where we can, the training process so we can get drivers on our school routes as soon as possible. Our drivers should be paid comparable to other public and commercial bus drivers. Also, final test schedules will be adjusted to ensure transportation services.

Editor's note: The WCSD Board of Trustees approved the 2023 operating budget on May 24, 2022, which allowed funding for increases to salaries for bus drivers, but it must go through labor negotiations, according to KRNV.

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.

Recruitment AND retention of teachers, substitutes, and teacher aids/assistants is a growing and significant problem. My top priorities is to raise awareness and move the needle in the right direction when it comes to investing in our teachers. This requires action from the 2023 Nevada Legislature. More than 98 percent of our budget is fixed and set by the state. The District has few options to increase revenue without action from our legislators. I also support providing a more attractive route to teaching. Aspiring teachers must pay for their own student teaching. Nor are they compensated. How is this fair or even appealing to enter the teaching profession? As a result of low salaries, increased burdens and needless criteria forced on our teachers, interest in the profession is declining. I support creating pipelines for the teaching profession. Many of our subs are aspiring teachers. Let’s consider awarding them with state sponsored scholarships so they can pursue a teaching degree.

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?

Thank you, Nick. Mental health needs for our students are a priority, and the school district has an amazing staff of skilled mental health experts. That is why earlier this year, I voted to support allocating COVID-Relief funding (ESSER (Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief) as part of the American Rescue Plan) for more school counselors, psychologists, and social workers. These trained personnel are available to help support the mental and emotional needs of our students still recovering from all the challenges the pandemic brought to us. And it is no secret that many of our students struggle with home life and other life events that may have adverse consequences. I want to ensure we have trained adults to lift up our students and support them. I also support ensuring our teachers and staff are trained to identify when a student requires emotional support so they can get help from our mental health professionals.

Editor’s note: Trustee Mayberry voted yes to spend the final one-third of the school district’s ESSER III funding of nearly $26 million for pandemic recovery on Jan. 25, 2022. Learn more here.

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?

Thank you Ellie. Our school nutrition services work hard to serve our student population. They have provided and have produced more than 5 million meals this year! Let’s face it, cafeteria food may not always be the most tasteful, but the meals do have a nutritional value. We are required to provide food that meets guidelines by the United States Department of Agriculture. Your school district has a program called “Harvest of the Month” which includes 1 additional fresh vegetable and fruit daily at all schools. At High Schools, we have chef’s salad available twice a week that includes fresh vegetables and a packaged fruit. I encourage our nutritional services team to engage with our students and solicit feedback for opportunities to incorporate healthy options. I would also encourage you to provide feedback to your principal and school administrators or let me know personally. The good news is free lunches will continue for all students next school year.

Editor’s notes: The U.S. Department of Agriculture granted waivers early in the pandemic to provide free meals to all students at schools who participate in the federal National School Lunch Program, which includes all WCSD schools. Those waivers will expire at the end of June, but families can still apply for free or reduced-price meals starting July 1, 2022. For WCSD, you can learn more and apply here.

Additionally, WCSD Nutrition Services follow federal nutrition guidelines, which include low and non-fat dairy options, lean protein choices, several fruit and vegetable options and grains with more than 50% whole grain ingredients. Learn more about WCSD Nutrition Services here.

Learn more about Adam Mayberry at www.AdamMayberry.com.


Seth Mueller

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?

Seth Mueller smiles for a headshot photo in front of a black background. He’s wearing a navy blue suit with a navy blue tie.
Courtesy of Seth Mueller
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Seth Mueller is a candidate for Washoe County School District Board of Trustees At-Large District F.

There is only one fundamental way to fix our busing shortage, and that is to to pay our staff more. However we must look into alternative ways if we cannot gather the funds necessary. One of these ways could be encouraging more elementary and middle schoolers to walk in groups led by parents. If we do this then we may be able to free enough buses up for our high schools where it is impossible for them to walk.

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.

The only way to maintain teachers is to offer retention and hiring bonuses. If we do this we could see class sizes lower which would benefit everyone, and lead to lower teacher burnout. I would work towards this by pushing for money in the state legislature, as well as reducing overhead overhead costs and reallocating that money to our teachers.

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?

Currently students have been facing instability, at home and at school. We must keep schools a consistent space, In addition to stability we should look at reducing our teacher to counselor ratios, if we do this we could give more one on one support to our students which could greatly help with their mental health. I know how important this one on one help is because many of my classmates have gotten so much better after having access to a therapist, and I want this opportunity for all students not just the ones who can afford it.

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?

As a current student that eats these meals every day, I understand that they aren't the best tasting, or most nutritious. However currently my biggest concern is not the quality of the meals but ensuring that they stay free for all students, this is especially important as it looks likely that the federal government may not not provide the funding nescarry for the free lunches next year.

Editor’s note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture granted waivers early in the pandemic to provide free meals to all students at schools who participate in the federal National School Lunch Program, which includes all WCSD schools. Those waivers will expire at the end of June, but families can still apply for free or reduced-price meals starting July 1, 2022. For WCSD, you can learn more and apply here.

Learn more about Seth Mueller at Muellerforsb.com.


Graeme Reid

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?

Graeme Reid poses for a headshot photo. He’s indoors. Behind him is an out-of-focus piece of art on the wall.
Courtesy of Graeme Reid
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Graeme Reid is a candidate for Washoe County School District Board of Trustees At-Large District F.

The school bus service “blackouts” were superficially caused by a shortage of bus drivers Kelsey, and this staffing shortage was not limited to bus drivers but to other “menial” staff as well. The real cause, though, is the fact that school district administration doesn’t prioritize these workers, and as a result, the very people they pretend to care about – underprivileged students and their families – are hurt the most. WCSD has a massive, bloated administration; indeed, the top 500 earners are almost all administrators and the cost to the taxpayer for those 500 is approximately $72,000,000 (2020 figures) - and we can’t attract new bus drivers? There is no shortage of money as administration and unions claim. The problem and solution are the same; current administration does not prioritize “menial” workers (just look at the extravagant process they went to to hire a new superintendent); I will prioritize those workers and fix the problem.

Editor’s note: According to WCSD’s Data Gallery for the calendar year 2021, salaries and benefits for the school district’s 500 top paid employees totaled $72.6 million. A WCSD spokesperson says in addition to administrators, the top 500 paid employees include 67 teachers, 162 principals or assistant principals, 24 counselors, 46 psychologists and 6 employees in the Office of School Police, among others, like IT programmers and fleet maintenance.

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.

I have heard the same complaints from several people including my own children. While I admire substitute teachers for stepping up, their overuse is another issue caused by district mismanagement. It is a way to get around the district’s inability to attract and keep good teachers. Washoe County has always had a difficult time attracting and keeping good teachers, but due to district mismanagement that problem is now more pronounced. To make matters worse, teachers with enough years in to retire, are deciding to do just that. I have spoken to several who are not “old” and to the question “what would have to happen to make you return to teaching” I get the same answer – “just free me up to teach”. These are people who have given their lives to teaching. Are we now to throw them away? It is a tremendous loss. I will free-up teachers to teach; from administrative overreach, union dogma and the ridiculous data entry requirements.

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?

This is a complicated issue Nick, and there’s a couple of different ways of looking at it. Should we be seeking new ways to treat mental health issues? Should we be looking for the causes of the crisis? Should we do both?

Mental health issues have a multitude of manifestations and causes. I believe the Covid protocols were a factor as is social media use. Primarily students’ parents and guardians are those who are responsible for the mental health of those under their care. If the students have no ability to obtain such care, then assistance is something we can discuss.

The issue of violence on campus is a hot button item and I disagree (mostly) with the “restorative discipline” fad that has popped up as a shiny new resolution. The bottom line is it doesn’t work, and they are putting other students and teachers in danger.

I am also a believer in school uniforms for all.

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?

My boys are in elementary school and they have the same complaints Ellie. I would like to see healthy nutrition prioritized. I would limit comfort food to once a week. I would like to see a move toward meals cooked from scratch on premises. I would like to get students involved in the process. I would like to see healthy competition between schools for “the best school meals” title or the like. I would like to see real spirit injected into the food preparation and production process. I would like to see some form of activities take place during lunchtime – such as teacher presentations or the like, to make the whole experience more fun. I would like to see schools dedicate some of their outside space for growing food so students can see and be involved the process.

Learn more about Graeme Reid at www.savewcsd.com/graeme-reid.


Brooke 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?

Brooke Westlake smiles for a headshot photo in front of white background. She’s wearing a red blouse.
Courtesy of Brooke Westlake
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Brooke Westlake is a candidate for Washoe County School District Board of Trustees At-Large District F.

To maintain the bus schedules, other states such as Boston, Mass have brought in the National Guard to assist with having bus drivers for the schools. I would like to look at solutions like this that are viable options given that the entire country is facing labor shortages.

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.

Recruitment of teachers is defiantly a challenge. I have heard from other teachers; they are frustrated that newer recruits get more money incentives. But at the end of the day, a substitute is just that. A substitute. That will not help with long term education goals for students as they need consistency. I would like to encourage students who are graduating to look at going into education. While substitute teachers help interim, I would also like to provide them incentives for becoming a full-time teachers.

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?

There should be more discussions within the schools regarding suicide and violence prevention. I would suggest a survey to collect data on this before presenting several solutions. However, email notification can be sent out to parents, letting them know the district is seeing an increase in suicides and violent behavior. Encourage parents to have conversations with their teens while providing resources in the email for families.

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?

School meals should not be of low quality. This has to do with the vendor contract and not a firm re-negotiation on what is and isn’t acceptable for school lunches. I was horrified when I received notification of what was being offered for snacks, which was pretty much, chips, cookies, and sugar products. My son won’t even eat the lunches at school. He waits until he gets home. A complete review of the lunch vendors/suppliers for the district needs prompt attention and correction.

Learn more about Brooke Westlake at www.westlakeforwcsd.com.


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