By Carla O’Day
The Washoe County School District has four newly-elected trustees who took office Tuesday, although their names might sound familiar because they’re no strangers to public service.
School trustees serve staggered four-year terms.
Scott Kelley, an Army veteran and public information officer for the Governor’s Office of Energy, won the District A seat. He replaces outgoing board member Lisa Ruggerio, who didn’t seek re-election. Kelley previously served one term as trustee in District E when voters elected him in 2008.
“I’m looking forward to working with the board to move the district in a positive direction,” Kelley said. “As someone who’s been on the board before, it’s challenging but rewarding at the same time.”
District A consists of south and southeast Reno and Incline Village.
Debra Feemster, a retired teacher, principal and administrator, was elected to serve District C for the remaining two years of Nick Smith’s term. Smith was elected in 2014 but resigned his seat in April 2016 after accusations of misconduct surfaced that were unrelated to his position on the board.
Feemster is also a member of the Nevada Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, as well as the NAACP education chairwoman.
Trustees in May appointed Ryan Gonda to fill Smith’s position until voters decided on a replacement. Gonda didn’t file to run for the seat. Feemster prevailed in the five-way race, which had no primary because of the timing of Smith’s resignation.
“My push will be for parent involvement and community involvement,” Feemster said. “I’d also like to see a lot of student involvement. That’s what education is all about.”
District C encompasses Spanish Springs, North Valleys, Wadsworth and Gerlach.
Malena Raymond, who works for the Committee to Aid Abused Women and is a Nevada Museum of Art board member, was elected to District D. She replaces outgoing trustee Howard Rosenberg, who didn’t seek a second term.
“I’m proud to represent the community,” Raymond said. “As a non-profit professional, I have a specific set of experiences that will be beneficial to the community.”
District D consists of southwest Reno and downtown.
Katy Simon Holland, former Washoe County manager, will represent District G. She also has been a board member of the United Way and Children’s Cabinet and is a volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada.
Simon Holland replaces outgoing trustee Diane Nicolet, who was appointed to the seat in March when trustee Barbara McLaury stepped down in January 2016, citing heath reasons. Nicolet didn’t file to run for the seat.
“I’m very excited to get started and hoping I can make a contribution,” Simon Holland said. “It’s a great team and we have lots of great work ahead of us.”
District G is an at-large seat representing the western half of Washoe County.
In District E, trustee Angela Taylor retained her seat. District E consists of northwest Reno and Verdi. Taylor was appointed to the position in December 2014 when former trustee David Aiazzi resigned the seat, citing health reasons.
The board agreed Taylor would continue as president. Simon Holland was elected board vice president and Kelley was voted in as board clerk.
District B trustee John Mayer and District F trustee Veronica Frenkel are up for re-election in 2018, as is Feemster.
District B includes most of Sparks and portions of east Reno. District F is an at-large seat encompassing eastern Washoe County.
More information on trustees: http://www.washoeschools.net/Page/518
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