Our Opinion: Armstrong, Finnell, Salazar-Bass in IUSD

October 30, 2001

Among the Imperial Valley's larger school districts, students in the Imperial Unified School District consistently have had the highest scores on standardized tests in recent years.

Some might say, with some validity, that the district has had a huge influx of middle-class and upper middle-class residents in recent years in Imperial's new subdivisions and such residents are in socio-economic groups in which their children often excel on standardized tests.

We would argue that the district also has a concerned school board, good administrators and teachers and involved parents. All those lead to success in a school district.

And you can't argue with success. Imperial students are doing well, the district has a new elementary school up and functioning wonderfully and district officials are looking to the future by adding higher levels of classes and considering the needs of a growing community. Many people are moving to Imperial largely for the schools, and that can't be said about many other communities in the Valley.


Those are just some of the reasons we are endorsing incumbents Stan Armstrong and Sandy Finnell for re-election to four-year terms on the Imperial school board.

Not that we and others don't have issues we hope Armstrong and Finnell will address. We would like the board and its administrators to find out why those sterling tests scores in the IUSD took a bit of a nose dive with the release of the latest scores. We'd like to see Finnell more assertive on the board. We'd like to see drug and violence issues surfacing at the high school and middle school stepped upon hard.

We are convinced the best of the remaining candidates for the third available seat on the board is Cindy Salazar-Bass. Salazar-Bass has long been involved in Imperial schools and the district's band program. She seems to be a bright woman with her heart in the right place. She exemplifies the involved Imperial parent who has made a difference.

Salazar-Bass also would bring a voice from the newer housing developments in Imperial, and that is a voice that needs to be heard more often as the school district and the city transform.

This is an important election for a growing and dynamic school district. Choosing the right people for the Imperial school board is more crucial than ever.

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