Three new challengers in LUSD board race

By Nancy Gutierrez

In the race for two seats on the Lindsay Unified School District Board of Trustees, three new candidates are running while one of the incumbents did not file for candidacy.

Paul Newkirk, who served on the board the last four years is not listed on the candidate roster.

Frank Moreno has owned and operated Moreno Cabinets in Lindsay for 18 years. He took the business over from his dad who had started it when Moreno was young. Moreno is a 40 year resident of Lindsay and said he decided to run because he wanted to be involved in the education of not only his kids but other students in Lindsay.

"I believe Lindsay is a great place to live and to educate children," Moreno said. "There are fine educators in the district and I want to be a part of the good things happening."

Moreno said he wants to make sure that the district continues to have a great learning environment for all students and that administration and staff work together in a common goal. Moreno has three children in LUSD. Two children, Jeremy and Christina attend Lindsay High School. The youngest is a third grader at Lincoln Elementary School.

Robin Leavens is a 20 year resident of Lindsay. She has two children in the school district, which she said is partially the reason she decided to run. Her daughter attends Steve Garvey Junior High School and her 2-and-a-half-year-old son is enrolled in the preschool program located in Washington Elementary School.

"I want to be involved in the decisions that affect my children and the children I work with," Leavens said.

Leavens is on her third year as the STARS Afterschool Program Director at Jefferson Elementary School. Leavens also has a military background. She joined the Marines in 1990 where she was a Military Police Officer at Camp Pendleton until 1992. She served during Operation Desert Storm but said she was a base unit officer and was not deployed to Iraq. She is married to Calvin Haynes of Tulare.

Next Wednesday the Lindsay Gazette will feature the final two candidates running for a seat on the LUSD board, incumbent Mercy Herrera and Jim Drieger.

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