"AROUND SUNOL" by BREE K. JAMES


March 25, 2002

THE SPECIAL MEETING of the Sunol Glen School Board on Wednesday (3-20) was a nail-biter for Connie DeGrange, Guin Van Dyke and Burt Hadlock. Board President Gerry Beemiller and Trustee Bob Foster had the difficult task of selecting one of these three fine candidates to fill Bob Chisholm's recently vacated seat on the board. How privileged Sunol is to have three people with such great qualifications willing to step up when our school needs them.

Since the rebuilding of the board began after the unpleasantness of having to recall a trustee, Gerry and Bob have been committed to including the community in board activities and decisions. In keeping with that new style, the candidates for Chisholm's seat were interviewed in an open meeting. Each was asked the same questions, first individually, and then as a panel, and although Gerry and Bob had developed the list of questions, they graciously accepted and considered written questions from the audience.

The 25 or so folks in the audience listened intently as first Connie, then Guin and finally Burt replied to the questions about their involvement with Sunol Glen, style in group activities, the charter school issue and expanding the board to five trustees, their qualifications for the job, understanding of confidentiality issues, and their personal goals for the school should they be chosen. The order in which the candidates appeared was determined by a blind drawing, and each stayed out of the room until his or her turn.

Following the individual questioning, the three sat in a panel and were each asked to speak about being public figures, their experience with budgetary processes, the role of the board in school curriculum development, their positions on the proposed Mission Valley Rock quarry expansion and their approaches to conflict resolution.

After a five-minute break, Gerry and Bob each did a simple 1, 2, 3 ranking of the candidates, added up the numbers and appointed Guin Van Dyke as our new trustee. Guin is a full-time mom who volunteers at Sunol Glen on a daily basis. She has had a child in the school for the past six years and been a Community Club officer for the past four and a Site Council member for the past two. Always available to help, Guin has chaired or co-chaired many major school events, and was the recipient of the Vivienne Scheib award for service to Sunol Glen in 1998.

An active participant in her children's activities, Guin said, "My daughter, Sarae, (a Sunol Glen 7th grader) is in student council, so I'm in student council, too!" Guin and her husband, Corbin, also have a son, Treg, who is a Sunol Glen graduate and currently a senior at Foothill High School. The family lives on a lovely ranch out on Little Valley Road, where they have recently been bottle-feeding a set of adorable little lamb triplets.

The administration's appreciation for her contributions was highlighted once again, as she was chosen just this week, along with Community Club president Caren Foster, as our district's recipients of the Friends of Education Award. This kudo comes from the Association of California School Administrators, nominated by each district.

Congratulations Guin, it's great to have a mom on the board! Thank you, also, to Connie and Burt, for their willingness to step up when needed. As Superintendent-Principal Diane Everett wrote in Thursday's Eagle Flier, they are both "very qualified and competent…we are so thankful for so much community support!"

Congratulations are also due to the other winners of awards from the School Administrator's Association. Jan Cornish of the Eagle's Nest was selected in the Classified Personnel category, and Nancy Chiprich was chosen Sunol's Outstanding Teacher. What a great school we have!

REMINDERS: March 29 through April 7 is Sunol Glen School's spring break, so be extra watchful for kids when driving in and through Sunol. The Sunol 4-H Pancake Breakfast is April 7 from 8 a.m. to noon and you absolutely don't want to miss this delicious breakfast, along with plant and bake sales and lots of nice folks. The next Community Club meeting is April 9 at 7 p.m.

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