Fresno Bee voter guide

Welcome to our guide for Election 2016 races. Compare candidates' views side by side, then create your own ballot, which you can print or email.

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Important note: Candidates' responses have not been edited except for clarity, language and libel. Candidates provide their own photographs and video. Candidates for non-partisan offices are listed as No Party Preference, regardless of party registration.

Clovis Unified School District Area 5

Trustees are elected district-wide but the winner in this race will represent Trustee Area 5.Fresno Bee stories about this raceAfter controversial year, Clovis Unified board to see rare competition in election

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  • Candidate picture

    Steven G. Fogg

  • Candidate picture

    Scott Troescher

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Biographical Information

Earlier this year, the district made national headlines for its strict dress code. How would you have voted? How do you feel about gender expression and inclusion?

School districts across the state are adjusting to the new Common Core standards. Is the district doing enough to prepare teachers and students for the new standards? What, if anything, would you change about how schools transition to this new way of teaching?

Do you favor or oppose Proposition 55, which would extend by 12 years the temporary income tax increase enacted in 2012 to support schools and colleges?

In your opinion, what are the district's top three challenges? How would you address each of these issues?

Is technology in education important? Is the district doing enough to get devices into the hands of kids? If so, how would you help improve access to technology, especially for low-income or other at-risk students?

Why are you the best candidate to serve on the school board? (Text or YouTube video.)

Age 57
Residence Clovis, CA
Family I have been married to Stephanie Scott since 1987. I have five children and three grandchildren with more on the way. My eldest son is a missionary in France. My youngest son is a senior at Buchanan High School.
Education I graduated from Brigham Young University with degree in Mechanical Engineering. I completed medical school at the University of Utah and residency training in ophthalmology at St. Louis University.
Occupation Ophthalmologist with an emphasis in cataract surgery.
Public service experience Boy Scouts of America Leader. Young Men Advisor at my church. Hospital boards and committees. Medical director at youth camps.
Facebook/Social media
I have always been proud of the strict dress code at Clovis Unified School District. Clovis students have represented our community well by their high standard of dress and grooming. I am disappointed that our government passes laws that forces school districts to change their dress code standards to satisfy pressures from special interests. I accept whatever minimal change we must make to comply with the laws, but we need to expect high standards in our students. CUSD should strive to provide a safe learning environment for all students, including those who struggle with gender identity.
We have some of the most talented teachers and administrators in the country. Our dedicated staff has been working hard to comply with standards of Common Core. I am confident they will continue to do an outstanding job preparing our students for college and career. Working together we will assure the curriculum meets the high standards of CUSD.
The state government uses money to control public schools. We've seen a negative impact of this type of control. Like most parents in Clovis, I oppose state control of CUSD schools.
#1 -- Keep local control of our children’s education. Many laws and policies are being forced on us by state and federal government. This can make educating our children complex. However, we also must face the reality of a changing world. From my education as an engineer to my training as a physician, I know how to solve problems. That's what I do. I have the ability to explore the options and find the best solutions for CUSD.

#2 -- Protect the values and character of all students. All students have rights, and those rights need to be protected. We must treat all students equally, respecting the values of their families and our community. I will seek to understand those concerns and find common ground so we can more effectively meet the needs of all students and their future.

#3 -- Preserve the heart and soul of our community. Families living in Clovis value the high standards in our schools. Like many others, my wife and I moved into the Clovis school district for a reason. Clovis is unique and special. It needs to remain that way.
Proficiency in technology is essential in today's world, both for career and personal success. Our schools should provide modern technology to our students so they can gain knowledge, acquire skills, and solve problems effectively. That said, we should teach students how to use technology in ethical and moral ways.
My education and professional experiences are extensive. I have exceptional problem-solving skills. However, I believe my most important qualities are personal. My heart, mind, and soul combine to make me the best candidate to serve on the school board.

Heart: I will care about the welfare of all students and make decisions that will be in their best interests. Mind: I will study and understand the complex issues that will be facing the school board. Soul: I will never compromise my values, principles, and beliefs -- no matter what the cost.
Age 67
Residence Clovis
Family Spouse - Maggie & Daughters - Rebecca & Kate
Education Kingsburg High and a B.A. - Psychology, Fresno State
Occupation Fleet Service Writer for City of Clovis
Public service experience 4 year on Clovis Unified School Board, 2008-2012
Facebook/Social media Scott Troescher for CUSD School Board
I would have voted in favor of changing the dress code. Board members swear to uphold state law and the old code needed to change to be in compliance with current law. With the many challenges facing school districts, fighting State laws and Educational Department mandates are not among them. I’m in favor of protecting the individual’s right to gender expression. Those few children who are dealing with issues of gender identity already have a difficult few years ahead. Why would schools allow or encourage making it even MORE difficult for them? We need to focus on including ALL our children in feeling safe and secure at school, free from harassment, bullying, or being made to feel different. Let’s do everything we can to make every child have a great school experience!!
California instituted new State Standards in 2010. Clovis Unified was prepared, then, for the changes and has done a terrific job of reshaping the curriculum, delivering it to the students, and doing the follow up assessing of results to ensure the methods are effective and standards are being met or exceeded. When I was previously on the Board, the dedication and effort put in by teachers and administration to get people up to speed with the appropriate tools as quickly as possible was inspiring. Our District has always prided itself on taking control of any State Educational directives, then putting them into practice… the Clovis Way. And ALWAYS aiming higher! The highest test scores around, a graduation rate of nearly 95%, with 63% meeting UC/CSU entrance requirements, shows that no structural changes are required. Our teachers are delivering and our students are learning. And the state set up these standards knowing they would be a work in process. There are, and will be, snags, glitches, logistical problems. What we CAN do is work even harder to help teachers get the right materials into their hands sooner so they can TEACH what the children are now expected to learn! Textbooks….so costly and which become outdated so quickly, may need to be done away with altogether! The whole idea behind the Standards is to better prepare our children to work and learn in the Real World against real competition. And, really…. Who doesn’t want that ??!
This proposition is a tough one. On the one hand, something that was sold in 2012 as temporary, should be just that. Temporary. And nobody really wants MORE taxes! But it does give schools an extra 4-9 billion dollars each year and only affects taxpayers who earn more than $250,000 a year, so it doesn’t affect the vast majority of Californians at all. EXCEPT…. If we vote NOT to extend the tax…. There will be at least a 4 billion dollar hole in the State’s Educational Budget! Too many districts have such great needs that to cut back the money they receive would really be a crime. Our legislators DO need to revamp the way money gets distributed to districts. At present, if you do well…. as CUSD does…. they don’t think you need any help. The State would rather throw more dollars at the poor performing, poorly managed districts. That’s crazy!! Clovis Unified does well because they are oh-so-careful about HOW they SPEND money! As Doc Buchanan said…. “We’re too poor to buy Cheap!” Clovis builds facilities to last. It upgrades older schools constantly. It prepares and educates teachers as well as any district. And wisely uses the money from bond measures the community so generously passes. I would still, with reservations, favor passage of Prop. 55.
1. How do we deal with the continuous addition of new students? Families WANT their children in this district and each school year begins with hundreds of new students. We have to make sure the quality of the educational experience not only doesn’t fall off, but improves! New facilities and schools will be needed. More teachers and support staff. It’s going to be a tall order. Lots of planning and decision making with a clear eye to the future will be required.

2. How can we continue to expand the alternative educational routes, through Career Technical Education? Clovis Unified has done a fine job in several areas with CTE. We also have C.A.R.T. But so many more kids really need these opportunities that are presently scattered across the District. We must do more to partner with local businesses and colleges to allow our High School students the chance to see how the real work-world functions in different areas, get hands-on experience, and learn what career opportunities are available in each of these fields.

3. We must find a way to lower the number of children in the elementary school classrooms. It’s almost always well over 30 kids per classroom these days. Yes, it’s a budget problem and a space problem, but studies show lower class sizes improve learning and test scores for all by allowing the teacher to spend more time with each student. And it particularly helps low-income students. The ones who need our help the most!
Of course technology is important! Schools can’t deliver enough of it. CUSD has a program called REFRESH where laptops formerly used by teachers, rather than being discarded, are erased, cleaned, and reprogrammed for use by the district’s students. They check them out for the semester or year somewhat like a library book. Another program allows for budget-easy renting of computers. Can we do more? Absolutely!! We should be exploring ALL opportunities to get inexpensive, reliable computers into our students hands. Meanwhile, in combination with the City of Clovis….. Hi-speed internet is now available across the district. The combining of City projects with District needs for upgrading internet wiring allowed for each entity to save money and get the District “wired” as quickly as possible.

Getting laptops and tablets into all children’s hands is one challenge. The other is to make wireless internet available to them. We’ll need to see if Wi-Fi Hotspots can be created in neighborhoods or if individual hardware for each household can be obtained inexpensively. Or allow children to use the device at home, then time to download their work back at school. Lots of opportunities here for some creative thinking! Working with local people and businesses who specialize in problem solving might be one way.
I proudly served for four productive years on this board, from ‘08-’12. I worked well with the current board members though our ideas and philosophies often varied. My record of voting was always guided by….. What’s Best for Our Kids? We went through some tough years during the recession. I believe I helped hold things together by being truthful with teachers and staff, making the tough decisions when necessary, but remembering how much all of the employees had invested in this district. We began the building and installation of solar power throughout the district, saving millions. I helped authorize the immediate building of the Roger Oraze Elementary school to take advantage of matching state funds and the lower cost of building during that time. Within 2 years the school was near scheduled capacity. I’m the best candidate because I genuinely enjoy being on campuses as often as possible, interacting with students and staff. Doc’s Charge to "Give EVERY kid a Fair Break" is My Motto. I’m for Inclusion rather than Exclusion. Co-curricular activities... so very important to growing a whole student....I want to make sure those are never lost and are expanded whenever possible. Though our district is a great one today, I believe there are still areas we can improve, which will make it even greater. I want to be the person who helps our district move forward, together, delivering the best educational experience a public school can provide.