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El Centro trustees delay action"

January 23, 2001|By KELLY RAUSCH

Staff Writer

Trustees of the El Centro Elementary School District delayed making a provisional appointment to the school board Tuesday after interviewing the position's four candidates.

The prospective trustees are Ramona Luera Dillon, Carl Hinshaw, Blake Miles and Sedalia Sanders.

The board was unable to decide which candidate to name at the special meeting due in part to Trustee Dianna Newton, fighting laryngitis, requesting more time to think about her decision.

After the short and relatively painless interview process, all four board members agreed the quality of the four candidates makes for a difficult decision.

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"You each bring different experiences and levels of experience to the position," Newton said.

Answering trustees' questions, each candidate explained his or her qualifications, unique strengths and added personal statements during the special meeting.

Sanders, randomly selected to speak first, is a public health technician for Imperial County Public Health Services. She explained to trustees and a handful of audience members that her 15 years on the El Centro City Council have led to "a natural segue to working with families and children of this city."

Sanders said she will bring tenacity and commitment if provisionally appointed to the board.

Dillon, the human resources manager for Imperial Stores, has been involved in several community groups, including Boy Scouts and United Way.

Dillon, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the board a year ago, said her "strong belief in public education and commitment to the education of all children" motivated her to seek appointment.

Hinshaw, a math teacher at Central Union High School, has 34 years of teaching experience, including positions at De Anza Elementary, Wilson Junior High and Kennedy Middle School in the El Centro elementary district.

His "hands-on experience teaching in the classroom" gives him "knowledge of what's going on" in education, Hinshaw said.

Miles also has a teaching background and served as a substitute teacher in every school in the district but Sunflower Elementary.

Now working in real estate, Miles is still involved with the city's youth through organizations like Boy Scouts.

Having grown up in Calexico and married a woman born in Mexicali, Miles thinks it's important that district officials understand Hispanic culture.

All four candidates said, if selected, they would run in November's election to retain the seat.

During the post-interview discussion, board members indicated toward which candidate they were leaning.

Board President Ron Hull said his feeling that public boards are best staffed with private sector people has him leaning toward Miles or Dillon.

Trustee Janie Marlborough said she has no problem with any of the candidates' backgrounds, be they from the private or public sector.

Marlborough said she favors Dillon at this point because Dillon was the only candidate of the four to run in the last election. Her past candidacy is proof of her dedication, Marlborough said.

Trustee Jon Edney, the most recent board member to have been placed on the board through a provisional appointment, told candidates it will be different to sit on the board than to view its actions from the outside. Edney said he is leaning toward Hinshaw.

After Newton's request for more time to decide, a motion was made by Marlborough to continue the selection process at a yet-to-be determined date. The motion was seconded by Newton and passed unanimously.

Board members have until Feb. 10 to make a provisional appointment. After that time the county superintendent will be forced by state law to call for a special election.

The provisional appointee's stint on the board will end at the next election, during which he or she may run with other candidates to fill the remaining two years in the term.

Two four-year terms also will come up for re-election in November.

Staff Writer Kelly Rausch can be reached at 337-3442.

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