ELECTION 2022: Only one out of seven districts is on the ballot for Exeter school board

This year, the Exeter Unified School District candidate list is looking rather short, with area 2 being the only seat going up for election

EXETER – Only two names were placed on the ballot for the EUSD school board elections this year, with both challengers having years of education experience under their belt. 

Of the seven districts in the Exeter Unified School District, only area 2 is on the ballot this year, with incumbent Amanda Kay Reser Renteria running against Julie Watson. Renteria has been the principal at Woodville Elementary School and has worked in education for years. On the flip side, Watson worked at Exeter Unified School district as a personnel analyst until retirement, and also has children working in the district. Both candidates have a deep passion for helping the community of Exeter, but only one will be able to snag a seat on the board.

Watson seeks to advocate for more trade skill courses and programs within the district. She said that though Exeter has done well in college preparedness, AP courses and dual enrollment with COS, the school needs more opportunities for students who want to pursue a trade. Watson hopes to see students get training in welding, auto mechanics, shop classes, health service programs and even culinary arts. She wants to see students graduate already prepared for a career.

“I truly have a passion for children and I know they are our future and they deserve every opportunity to do their best and we should be there to help equip them for tomorrow,” Watson said. 

Additionally, Watson is a mother and a grandmother, and feels that she has been called to advocate for students and families in the district. Since she has carried the role of not only working in the school district, but also having her children be students of EUSD, she feels she can bring valuable experience and knowledge to the board.

“I would love to see the Exeter Unified School District get back to the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic and teaching our students to love this country that has given them so many opportunities,” Watson said. 

Renteria currently sits on the board, and desires to continue listening to what the community wants done in the district. Everything the board does revolves around what the students, staff and parents want, according to Renteria. She looks forward to continuing being a “servant leader” to the city, and fostering community in the district.

“I really feel like the community values making productive citizens, especially a hard working community like Exeter, so that vision of seeing productive citizens come out of the high school is really important,” Renteria said.

The biggest issue that Renteria sees in the district is student achievement, especially after the pandemic. She said that many districts are facing the challenge of moving students forward and finding a remedy for the things that students missed out on in years where online school was the only option. 

“With years of COVID and distance learning, there is this learning loss that we’re all left with, and having to support our students and get them back to where they should be,” Renteria said.

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