Gearhart, Hall, Gibson lead race for school board
Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Governing Board has two new members, Timothy “Tim” Gearhart and Kathleen Y. Hall, as well as returning Field Gibson. As of the unofficial election results posted Tuesday at 11:40 p.m., Kirk C. Smith missed getting a seat to Hall by 67 votes, though as votes are still being counted, the final results could change. Gearhart won by more than 1,200 votes over the second highest vote-getter Gibson. Incumbent and current board president, Katy Griffin trailed the pack with the least amount of votes.
“I’m being cautiously optimistic,” Gibson said about being re-elected. “I am very excited about the direction the school district is headed. We have a lot of challenges ahead of us. … We’ve made a lot of progress in the last few years stablizating the budget. … I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”
Gearhart, a retired teacher, isn’t completely new to the school board, however. He lost his bid for re-election two years ago. He came in fifth, with the four highest vote-getters gaining a seat on the school board.
“We need to reorganize the business and [human resources] departments of the district, so that they are coordinated and up to modern financial/organizational expectations,” Gearhart said Wednesday. “Our employees had voluntarily given up around 13 percent of their income over the last three years. We need to recognize this, and work to replace their lost wages in a fiscally prudent way. As a district, we need to continue to push toward a well-rounded education for all of our students. … I will be working on supporting these goals while on the board.I feel honored and humbled that my home town has entrusted me to serve on their school board.”
“It’s going to be interesting if the current election results hold true…. then it’s going to be a complete new makeup,” said Gibson, who is a business insurance broker and risk manager.
Hall, an educator, scientist and business woman, said that her focus is to ensure that the school district prepares students for “the challenging world the future demands.”
“We owe our students the best education possible to ensure that they become effective members of society. It is our duty to help them realize their academic potential to accommodate their achievement goals,” Hall said Thursday. “I thank the people of our community for having faith in me to achieve these goals; and I want to insure them that I will work closely with them in the future, increasing the support of all stakeholders including parents, colleges, city council and local businesses.”
Smith is a retired administrator in the Atascadero Unified School District, serving his last four years as principal at Monterey Road Elementary School. Griffin is the pastor of Family and Missions Ministry at Highlands Church in Paso Robles and has two children in high school. Her husband is also a Paso Robles teacher.
- Timothy Gearhart, 25.53 percent (4,837 votes)
- Field Gibson, 19.06 percent (3,612 votes)
- Kathleen Y. Hall, 18.89 percent (3,579 votes)
- Kirk C. Smith, 18.54 percent (3,512 votes)
- Katy Griffin, 17.61 percent (3,337 votes)