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 7

Trustees are elected district-wide but the winner in this race will represent Trustee Area 7.Fresno Bee stories about this raceAfter controversial year, Clovis Unified board to see rare competition in election

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  • Candidate picture

    Chris Casado
    (N)

  • Matt Castiglione
    (N)

  • Mike Pack
    (N)

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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 65
Residence Clovis, CA
Family Val Casado (wife), Chris Casado (son), Sarah Flynn (daughter), Denver Casado (son), Tony Casado (son)
Education University of Denver, BS in Business Administration
Occupation Business Owner
Public service experience 8 years experience as a Clovis Unified Governing Board Trustee Member, Foundation for Clovis Schools, Founding Member of the Timberwolves Foundation, Founding Member of Gettysburg Soccer Club
Facebook/Social media www.facebook.com/casadoforcusd/
I strongly support the district’s dress code. It plays an important role of setting high standards while preparing students for the future. Even after the necessary changes to the dress code last spring, Clovis Unified continues to have the strongest dress code in California. To keep local control of our dress code, we must ensure we comply with the law to prevent litigation that diverts funds away from education. The adjustments made to the dress code will allow us to fight and win should it be challenged.

I believe gender expression of a minor is an individual decision that should be guided by the family. Our public schools are here to provide a fair and safe educational environment to all students.
It’s important to remember that state standards represent the minimum that students are expected to know at each grade level. I’m proud that here in Clovis Unified we have set the bar even higher for our students. Six years ago, California updated its grade level content to include, in part, the Common Core standards. I’ve witnessed the outstanding work of our teachers and curriculum leaders at Clovis Unified to understand the standards, develop incredible curriculum for our schools coupled with our local benchmarks and work as a team to prepare our students. My wife, Val, an elementary school teacher at CUSD for over 25 years, has been directly involved in the preparation, training and development of these standards to ensure our students will continue to grow with “Clovis Values”.

This year, Clovis Unified students ranked #1 in our valley and second in the state when compared to school districts testing more than 21,000 students. Our scores continue to rise. I see this as the best indicator that Clovis Unified is doing amazing things and that we are headed in the right direction.
Funding of public education is critical to the success of our community. If Proposition 55 does pass, I believe local school districts should be given greater control on how money is spent, because the local community knows best the needs of our students and our community.

As a member of the CUSD board during the Great Recession, I fought to keep performing arts, athletics and other programs for our students when many other districts around the nation were cutting these vital programs. By working together, we were able to balance tens of millions of dollars in budget cuts without laying off one single Clovis Unified employee, or eliminating any of our amazing programs for our students.
I believe it is important to preserve the core values, high standards and quality of our school district as our community continues to grow. The top three issues with an expanding district include navigating state and federal laws, attracting and maintaining top talent, and challenging ourselves to be even better.

We need to navigate the ever increasing number of state and federal laws that limit local control of our schools. When I accepted the responsibility of becoming a member of the school board eight years ago, I took an oath to uphold the laws of California and the United States. Like every member of the board, we have a responsibility to follow the law, but as we fight for greater local control we can do so in smart ways that put our kids first and maintain our Clovis values and our Clovis way of life.

As the number of students grow, we must continue to hire the best and brightest. Clovis Unified is an amazing place to work and has become a "destination district". Approximately half of our 200 new employees hired this year came from surrounding districts. People want to be part of the Clovis Team! The philosophy expressed by our founding superintendent is as relevant today as they were 56 years ago when the district unified: valuing people, setting high standards and being accountable, recognizing that education is a partnership built on mutual trust and respect. That is what I have fought to keep in place in Clovis Unified during my time on the school board.
Technology is the language of our world today, and our schools must prepare our kids for that world. As a member of the school board, I fought to make technology accessible to all of our students. But the latest device isn't the sole answer. It needs to be integrated into the classroom through great teaching. I’ve supported the creation of technology coaches in the district who are focused on helping all teachers utilize technology effectively in the classroom.

During my time on the school board, we successfully gained the support of the community to invest resources for our schools to upgrade the technology infrastructure at every campus. This means we now have Internet access within all four corners of our district. We have brought laptops into all of our schools, making laptops available for use in the classroom and/or at home for students who otherwise would not have access to one.

The Foundation for Clovis Schools, is an outstanding group of community leaders who work alongside our schools and have been instrumental in helping put technology into the hands of every student and teacher. These kinds of partnerships are one of the many ways we support student access to innovative teaching and technology.
Since I’ve been on the board, Clovis schools have ranked #1 in the valley, both academically and athletically. My on-the-ground approach of visiting our schools, having direct conversations with kids and employees, and meeting with community leaders, fosters a constant and productive dialogue. This open communication contributes to the successful partnership and trust we’ve built in our shared goal in keeping CUSD top ranked. Proof that the strides we’ve made are working is evident in our achievements: 21 California Gold Ribbon Schools—the most in our history, 13 schools won the Bonner Character in Education Award, 15 career technical education programs across the district, our students have the state’s second highest test scores of any district our size or larger, 19 of 23 Valley Championships, 23 of 24 league championships brought home by Clovis Unified athletic teams, over 90% employee satisfaction rate, over 95% graduation rate, and the list goes on. Re-electing dedicated and experienced school board members who have played an integral part in CUSD’s proven success gives you the confidence that our kids and community will remain #1. On a personal level, I’ve lived in this community for over 50 years. My family benefitted from CUSD education. My decision to run for the board was motivated by a passion to give back to this community and to fight to preserve all that is great about our local schools. Every student, teacher and administrator in the district is my priority.
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