Incumbent wants continued progress with LTUSD schools
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a four-part series profiling four candidates vying for two open seats on the Lake Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Education.
Hungry for a third term – and hoping it will be better than her second – Wendy David is the lone incumbent among four candidates in November’s race for two seats on Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Education.
David, 56, said it took time to come to the decision of whether to seek a third term. The hiring of superintendent James Tarwater, who led the district to opening the Lake Tahoe Environmental Magnet School and introduced various programs to the district, has helped reinvigorate her desire to stay on the board.
“I’m running again because I really see our school district turning the corner and we’re starting to redefine and rebuild and I want to be a part of that,” she said. “I want to be part of a great opportunity.”
If reelected, David wants to focus on three areas in the district: improving academic achievement, especially among English learners, examine the creation of magnet programs at the three other elementary schools and continue strengthening alternative education.
“The goal of school is for every student to be educated,” she said, citing her interest in creating suitable programs for students.
In her past two elections David received the most votes among fellow candidates. During her tenure of eight years the district has seen its enrollment decline, which forced millions of dollars in cuts that included staff layoffs and elimination of programs. Two elementary schools, Al Tahoe and Meyers, closed last school year but Meyers was reincarnated this year as the magnet school.
Then there’s Measure L, a proposed $60 annual parcel tax that failed to obtain two-third’s of voter approval in April 2004. David called the failure of Measure L a low point for the district.
“The community, they did send a strong message that we had to change things internally first and I think they’ve seen a lot of changes,” she said.
One beneficial side effect of Measure L’s failure was the community support which helped save school athletics and facilitated the return of highly regarded programs, she said.
When she moved to South Lake Tahoe 32 years ago, David was a teacher’s aide before becoming director of Tahoe Parents Nursery School. She is also the mother of four children, all of whom attended district schools and have since graduated college.
In 1997 she returned to school to get a sociology degree at Chico State.
Besides her job of case manager for Court Appointed Special Advocates, David also is a cook for Bread and Broth and a member of various organizations such as Soroptimist International, El Dorado Community Foundation and Tahoe Magic.
David hopes her experience on the board will appeal to voters. With three members elected two years ago and Madeline Fernald, who has more than four years on the board, David is the member with most years on the board. Fernald has decided not to seek reelection.
In total, David has worked with four superintendents and four different boards.
Upon recommendations from fellow board members, she has served as president of the board for five of her eight years. She considers her time on the board as her primary duty.
“You’ve been elected by your community to fulfill your commitment to the best of your ability,” she said.