Meet the Monterey County Board of Education trustee candidates – Monterey Herald

Jake Odello and Annette Yee Steck will go head-to-head June 7 in the race for the open representative seat on the Monterey County Board of Education.

The board of education supports and guides the Monterey County Office of Education and is comprised of seven members who represent individual Trustee Areas of the county. Each member is elected by the voters in that area and serves a four-year term.

Whoever is elected in June will serve until November, when the position will be open for a four-year term at the general election.

The open seat will represent Trustee Area 1, which includes New Monterey, Pacific Grove, Del Monte Forest, Carmel, Carmel Valley and Big Sur.

In November, the Monterey County Office of Education board of trustees voted unanimously to appoint Yee Steck to fill the open seat left vacant by the death of Harvey Kuffner in September. However, earlier this year a petition with over 500 validated signatures was filed to remove her, resulting in a special election that will be included in the primary.

Yee Steck, a financial adviser and trustee educator for the California School Boards Association, has lived in Monterey County for 31 years. She served as a Board Trustee for the Carmel Unified School District for 27 years, where she was voted board president six times. She also teaches in the California School Boards Association Masters in Governance program – a program she graduated from in 2004 – where she teaches trustees and superintendents how to successfully govern their school districts. Her priorities include advocating for solutions to declining student enrollment, addressing the teacher shortage and reducing learning gaps caused by the pandemic.

“I’m running for the Monterey County Board of Education because I care about improving educational quality for our children,” she said in her candidate statement. “I was able to help Carmel Unified School District and would like to continue to help at the county level.”

Odello grew up in Carmel and works as an adjunct professor in the agriculture department at Hartnell College and director of Food and Industrial Safety for a local agriculture company. He received a bachelor’s in agricultural science at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and went on to earn his master’s in food safety from Michigan State University. He served as chair of the industry advisory council for the Agriculture Education and Communication Department at Cal Poly for three years. In 2020 he was appointed to the Monterey County Community Action Commission, where he serves on the executive committee and addresses issues related to poverty in the county. His priorities include promoting diverse and unique student pathways, supporting and delivering on better career technical educational and vocational programs and preparing school districts to develop better emergency preparedness for the future.

“Our county school board members must stay in tune with parents of school-aged children. Listening, working together and building consensus is the pathway to reasonable solutions, ”Odello said in his candidate statement. “During this pandemic, our students have been cheated out of a real school experience. There is so much more to school than just virtual academics. Our students are missing very important milestones for their social, emotional and physical health. ”

The last day to register to vote in June 7 primary is May 23. For the full list of candidates running, visit https://montereycountyelections.us/candidate-list/ or visit https://montereycountyelections.us/election-description / e / 1125 for more information on the primary and how to vote.

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