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The LUSD Board of Education Reorganizes for 2021

The Lodi Unified School District’s Board of Education held elections at the start of their December 15, 2020 meeting to reorganize and select a President, Vice President, and Clerk for 2021.

After recognizing Mr. Joe Nava’s work as President through 2020, who had to deal with the pandemic, closure of schools, and distance learning, the Board opened nominations for the District’s next President. Current President Mr. Nava was the first to nominate Mr. Ron Freitas to the position. Mr. Gary Knackstedt seconded Mr. Nava’s nomination, and the Board unanimously voted to elect Ron Freitas to President of the Lodi Unified School District Board of Education for 2021.

President Ron Freitas was just recently re-elected to trustee of area 6, a seat he has held since 2012 when the election was canceled due to lack of opposition. Area 6 of the Lodi Unified School District includes Clairmont Elementary, Ellerth E. Larson Elementary, George Lincoln Mosher Elementary, Ronald E. McNair High, and Westwood Elementary.

Directly after the vote for President, the Board opened nominations for Vice President. President Freitas nominated Ms. Susan Macfarlane, Mr. Nava seconded the nomination, and the Board unanimously voted in favor of electing Ms. Susan Macfarlane to Vice President of the Lodi Unified School District Board of Education for 2021.

Ms. Macfarlane was elected to trustee of area 1 in 2018, and her term is set to expire in 2022. Area 1 of the Lodi Unified School District includes Ansel Adams Elementary, Davis Elementary, Houston School, Live Oak Elementary, Lockeford Elementary, Morada Middle, Turner Academy at Tokay Colony, and Victor Elementary.

Mr. Nava then asked Ms. Macfarlane is she had any nominations for Clerk of the Board. Ms Macfarlane nominated Mr. Courtney Porter, Mr. Ron Heberle seconded the nomination, and the Board unanimously voted in favor of electing Mr. Courtney Porter to Clerk of the Lodi Unified School District Board of Education for 2021.

Mr. Porter was elected to trustee of area 4 in 2018, and his term is set to expire in 2022. Area 4 of the Lodi Unified School District includes Henderson School, Independence School, Lakewood Elementary, Millswood Middle, Podesta Ranch Elementary, Woodbridge Elementary.

The Board of Education continued their meeting, looking over the draft for the 2021 meeting schedule, which was later posted on lodiusd.net. The next Board of Education meeting is set for January 19, 2021.

Next on the agenda were a series of committee appointments. Seven committees required a few Board of Education Members to serve on each. The majority of Board Members continued working on Committees they had served throughout 2020.

The Board Audit Review Committee provides input to the District’s audit process, and is comprised of three LUSD Board of Education members, the Chief Business Officer, and the Controller. Mr. Ron Heberle, Mr. Gary Knackstedt, and Mrs. Susan Macfarlane all chose to remain on the committee for another year.

The City of Lodi 2×2 Committee provides a connection between the Lodi City Council and Lodi Unified School District. The committee is comprised of two Lodi City Council members, three LUSD Board of Education members, the Lodi City Manager, the Superintendent of the Board of Education, and agency staff members. Mr. Ron Heberle, Mr. George Neely, and Mr. Courtney Porter opted to remain on the committee.

The City of Stockton 2×2 Committee provides a connection between the Stockton City Council and Lodi Unified School District. The committee is comprised of two Stockton City Council members, three LUSD Board of Education members, the Stockton City Manager, the Superintendent of the Board of Education, and agency staff members. 2021’s Committee Members will be Mr. Joe Nava and Mr. Gary Knackstedt. Mrs. Macfarlane reminded the board that the Committee only needed two members instead of three from the Board of Education, and President Freitas thought it was best to move Mrs. Macfarlane to the County Committee alongside himself.

The San Joaquin County 2×2 Committee provides a connection between the County Board of Supervisors and Lodi Unified School District. The Committee is comprised of three LUSD Board of Education members, two San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, the Superintendent of the Board of Education, and agency staff members. 2021’s Committee Members will be Mr. Freitas and Mrs. Macfarlane.

The City of Stockton Parks and Recreation Commission appoints one Board of Education Member to serve on the committee where the District has a Joint Use of Facilities Agreement with the City of Stockton Parks and Recreation Commission. Mr. Nava was appointed the committee where he previously served throughout 2020.

The Joe Serna, Jr. Charter Advisory Committee oversees the program and management of the Joe Serna, Jr. Charter School. Mr. Porter and Mrs. Macfarlane will continue their posts for another year.

The Legislative Advocacy Committee was created in 2016 to work with local elected officials on issues that impact education. Mr. Freitas, Mr Heberle, and Mr Neely all chose to continue on the Committee for another year.

The Board of Education continued their final meeting of the year for another two hours and forty minutes. The first meeting of 2021 is set for January 19th.

Hector Madrigal

Hector Madrigal is the founder of The Grape Vine. He strives to bring unbiased news and information to the people free of charge. Based in Lodi, Hector will be reporting on Lodi news first and foremost.

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