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Candidates for school board launch campaign efforts

By Bob Conrad
Published: Last Updated on

Four seats are opening up on the the Washoe County School District board of trustees, and candidates are launching campaigns to serve on the board. They are citing some of the major problems affecting Washoe County School District as a reason for running for board positions.

“I’m running so I can be a voice for all students,” said advertising executive Kurt Thigpen who made his announcement public last night. “Our students deserve a quality education. That begins with feeling safe, included and accepted so that they can be empowered to be successful in their studies without worrying about things like getting to school safely, being bullied, or paying for school lunch.”

Trustees Katy Simon Holland (at large) and Malena Raymond (district D) have indicated they will not seek additional terms. Trustee Angie Taylor (district E) is seeking re-election. Member Scott Kelly did not respond as to whether he will seek re-election by the time of publication.

Thigpen, Jack Heinemann, Brock Marquez, Craig Wesner and Lisa Genasci have announced their candidacies to run for the open seats.

New candidates have cited concerns with the school district’s handling of the SHARE curriculum, the lawsuits faced by the district, and community dissatisfaction with district’s administration.

“The only reason I decided to run for office is because of the growing concern I have about what’s going on within the school administration and also the WCSD Board of Trustees, and how it will affect the future of my two sons in the Washoe County School District,” Marquez told This Is Reno. “I know it sounds cliché, but I really believe we need people on the Board who are going to put students first. I’m not so sure that’s been the case the past couple of years. 

“I think there have been some people who were more concerned about upsetting their friendships or maybe even their potential future in politics than doing right by our kids.”

Trustees Ellen Minetto, Jacqueline Calvert and Andrew Caudill were elected in 2018 and still have two years left in their terms.

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