Chris Bausch, Don Goldammer, David Lambert, Joel Peterson, and Joan Summers were the five candidates on the ballot for the four seats on the Paso Robles Public School District Board of Trustees up for reelection on Nov. 8, 2016. All candidates, except Goldammer, are currently serving on the board. The teacher’s union officially endorsed the four incumbents, according to Paso Robles Public Educators executive director Jim Lynett.
The five candidates were invited to a forum hosted by the PRHS AP Government and Politics class on October 12. They are ranked here based on the AP student’s vote of how they did from most votes to least.
1. Joel Peterson
A Family Man
Joel Peterson is a board member elected in 2012 and previously served as Board Clerk. Peterson has three goals for PRJUSD– to ensure student success and achievement, to keep great teachers and to ensure all teachers are qualified, and to maintain and expand extracurricular activities, such as drama, arts, music, dance and sports to “educate children beyond the classroom” and to help create “well-rounded students.” Peterson, who previously worked in the film industry, has a special interest in PRHS video program. “We’ve got a really good program with Mr. Rucker going on…I’d love to see that strengthened,” he said. Peterson previously served on the planning commission, and is currently the president of the Paderewski Festival. He has two young PRJUSD students, is also the grandson of Virginia Peterson, after whom the Virginia Peterson Elementary School is named.
2. Don Goldammer
New Voice New Energy
Don Goldammer is the only non-incumbent candidate this race, yet he is not running due to any discontent with the district’s direction, but his enthusiasm for its possibilities. He is “passionate about education” and wants to “be a part of you achieving your dreams,” he said. Goldammer wants to bring a “new voice” and “new energy” to the board to create a “world-class district.” “There’s a lot of great things the groundwork has been laid for, it’s going to take a lot of energy…I bring a new energy.” He has owned a fingerprinting company for 13 years now and believes that the “communication, transparency, [and] efficiency” he learned in business would “play very well” for him as a school board member. Goldammer also covers bearcat football for KPRL and is the father of 3 PRJUSD students.
3. Dave Lambert
Putting Students First
Dave Lambert is a Board of Trustees member elected in 2012, currently serving as the Board Clerk. Lambert is father of two former PRJUSD students, and he said they had a great experience. “I want that for you and all the kids in the future,” Lambert said. Lambert is unique in that he represents blue-collar workers: “I don’t have a college education, but I understand that the importance of one,” he said. He wants to expand the PRHS video department and would look to partner with Cuesta College to offer nighttime adult classes to non-English speaking parents. Lambert came into office during “bad times,” but with the help of the board’s “good decisions, such as the hiring of the new superintendent, we were able to turn things around,” he said. Lambert makes decisions by “putting students first,” he said.
4. Chris Bausch
Your Voice Of Reason
Bausch is a member of the Board elected in 2012. He wants to continue to improve the SkillsUSA, Dual Immersion, Dual Enrollment, VAPA, Athletics, and CTE programs, and to help students “attend whatever university or career path they choose.” He wants the district to stay financially responsible by increasing the reserve, funding a $20 million unfunded pension for district employees and creating a plan in case of a recession. A notable decision was his vote against the Facilities Master Plan, which passed 6-1 but relied on a bond measure he believed might not pass. Bausch has owned several small businesses, is a licensed REALTOR®, a lifetime Heritage Foundation member, and a father of five PRJUSD students.
5. Joan Summers
The Inclusive Choice
Joan Summers has been a Board member since 2012. Joan Summers has had three children go through Paso Schools. Summers worked as a secretary for 26 years at Bauer Speck Elementary and Flamson Middle school, and has experience working with staff, school budgets, union negotiations, parents and students. Summers is a member of the Kayla Peach Memorial Foundation advisory board, a group that aims to bring awareness and education about substance abuse. Summers is currently retired, so she can “dedicate [herself] entirely” to the School Board, she said. Summers also said that she is “committed to every child being ready for college, career and community.”