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Valli Wigt challenged for CUSD board seat
• Cynthia Ruiz, Lourdes Perez & David McConnell cruise to seats unopposed
Valli Wigt
Valli Wigt

Of the four open seats on the Ceres Unified School District, three have candidates with no opponents as they head to the Nov. 8 ballot.

Typically those who run unopposed are appointed by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors.

Real estate agent Cynthia Ruiz is the lone candidate for the Trustee Area 2 seat now occupied by Mike Welsh. The filing deadline was extended to Aug. 17 since Welsh did not run again.

Incumbent CUSD board member Lourdes Perez is also unopposed in her re-election bid for Trustee Area 5.

Trucking business owner David McConnell, 62, faces no challenge as he takes the Trustee Area 6 seat. Incumbent Betty Davis is retiring from the seat.

“My priorities would be to make sure that we are providing the best education and the safest environment for students,” said McConnell. “I’ve worked through good times and bad times in business and I think I have some knowledge that I can bring to the table. I would welcome working with the board members to continue providing all of our employees at the CUSD with fair honest transparent goals to make our school district one of the best in Stanislaus County.”

McConnell has been a resident of Ceres for over 30 years and raised children who went through the Ceres school system. He is the cofounder and a former president of the Ceres Unified School District Foundation.

In Trustee Area 3, Valli Wigt has a challenger in Mariah Jaquez who is an administrative assistant and student.

“I wanted to join the Board to continue serving students,” said Wigt. “I would like to continue with the social emotional programs that were started, building on student attendance and parent engagement, academic skills, and higher graduation rates.”

She also wants to see the district follow through with the construction of the Ric Campero Performing Arts building, the new pool at Central Valley High School and “hopefully the start of a new football stadium at Central Valley.”

Wigt said it is her honor to represent Ceres students and that she attends many school site events.

“I am proud of our district and all that has been accomplished during the time I have served,” said Wigt, who retired after 34 years of teaching K-6 students in the Ceres Unified School District and Oakdale Union Elementary School District.

“Upon retirement, I taught in the After School Program for CUSD,” Wigt said. “I taught a variety of classes which included combination classes for several years. I was a mentor teacher to new teachers, master teacher to student teachers, teacher in charge, Curriculum Council member, CUTA Rep, Ag in the Classroom Ambassador, music chaperone, was part of the Ceres High Boosters, and School to Career coordinator. I organized school career days for 20 years, interacting with many business organizations.”

The Courier was unable to reach Cynthia Ruiz.

Mariah Jaquez did not have her contact listed as a candidate.

cruising to CUSD seats
Unopposed CUSD trustee candidates Cynthia Ruiz, Lourdes Perez and David McConnell are cruising to easy seats.