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Trustee Chris Arend elected president, new trustees sworn in, at Paso Robles School Board 

–The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees met at the district’s office and via teleconference on Tuesday evening.

Newly elected board members took the oath of office, including Dorian Baker, Jim Reed, and Nathan Williams. Trustee Chris Bausch was also sworn in after being reelected in the November General Election.

The new board nominated two candidates for the position of president of the school board, Chris Arend and Chris Bausch. The board voted 4-3 to elect Chris Arend as president.

Christopher Arend

Christopher Arend

The trustees took an hour-long break to go into a closed session. When they returned, Butler Elementary School Principal Damien Capalare reported on activities at Butler School. He talked about the teachers reaching out with distance learning and the various staff people involved in supporting the students.

Several people commented including one parent who described the difficulty of implementing distance learning. He said it takes him 30-60 minutes each night to download his child’s educational material. Peter Byrne called in to criticize distance learning. He said kids need to be in the classroom, and that the schools should reopen.

Two letters came in to criticize Trustee Chris Arend and his published denial of “systemic racism” in our society. One letter writer stated that she was disappointed Chris Arend was named president because of his stand denying the presence of systemic racism in our society.

The board agreed to hire a transitional executive secretary for the school district. The current secretary is leaving. The pay will be $40,000 to 65,000, which according to Jennifer Gaviola, is substantially less than San Miguel, San Luis Coastal, and Lucia Mar School Districts. In San Miguel School District, the executive secretary makes at least $15,000 more than in Paso Robles. She said that in San Luis and Lucia Mar School Districts, the executive secretaries make six figures.

Unfortunately, the audio on the teleconference was so bad that many of the trustees were unintelligible. It was easy to understand Superintendent Curt Dubost, Trustee Tim Gearhart, Trustee Nathan Williams, Trustee Jim Reed, and Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Gaviola, but many of the other trustees were unintelligible.

The meeting is available on YouTube.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.