Teresa Guerrero and Jim Kinard attended their final meeting as Ceres School Board members on Nov. 21.
Guerrero and Kinard were both recognized for their distinguished service.
“Under the Board’s leadership during their terms, all students in grades K-12 received Internet-enabled devices, a successful school bond measure provided funding for new schools and modernization of existing campuses, and mental health services were expanded to support learning for all students,” Ceres Unified School District Communications Specialist Beth Jimenez. “In addition, CUSD was recognized twice by the California School Boards Association with the Golden Bell Awards for outstanding programs, and our Board was named 2018 School Board of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators, Region 7.”
Jim Kinard, a retired teacher, lost his bid to continue to serve as a board member in Trustee Area 1 in Ceres during the Nov. 5 general election.
Ceres resident/Delhi High School P.E. teacher Brian de la Porte, collected 376 votes, or 65.96 percent, to Kinard’s 194 votes, or 34.94 percent.
“I was privileged the community let me serve for 12 years,” Kinard said. “I just hope I made a positive difference.”
Kinard was first elected to the Ceres School Board in 2007 and re-elected in 2011 and 2015 in uncontested races.
“The most challenging part was when I first got on the board, we went into a recession,” he said. “The most satisfying part is we got through that without laying off teachers and cutting programs. We’re in a really good place right now.”
Kinard was raised in Stockton, graduated from high school in 1963 and joined the Air Force. He got out of the service in 1967 and became a teacher after graduating from CSU Sacramento. Kinard worked at Westsport School for over 25 years following a brief teachings stint in Stockton.
“I get to see what full retirement is all about,” he said. “I’m excited about that.”
Guerrero vacated the Trustee Area 7 seat after deciding against seeking re-election.
She’ll be replaced by Hugo Molina, who ran unopposed. Molina stepped down from the Ceres Planning Commission in December 2017. He ran unsuccessfully for Ceres City Council in three-person races in 2011 and 2013.
“After being on the board for 12 years, it was time for me to move on,” Guerrero said. “I have grandkids that live out of the area. I’m making that transition to be closer to them. I’m looking forward to that.”
Guerrero was first elected to the board in 2005 and was defeated for re-election in 2009. Stunned at her loss, she waited another two years and was elected again in 2011. Guerrero was re-elected in 2015.
“If I had to choose a school district for my grandkids to be in, I’d choose Ceres Unified,” she said. “I really believe we’re one of the best districts in the county. Our administrators, cabinet and teachers do a great job. We have an amazing board. We all know the No. 1 goal is making sure we have the students’ best interests at heart. There’s still a lot of work that needs to get done.”