San Dieguito Academy Newspaper
Photo courtesy of SDUHSD

Photo courtesy of SDUHSD

Board bounces back

Three new board members changed votes, served as tiebreakers.

December 16, 2022

Although the San Dieguito Union High School District board meeting went on as planned even after the district-wide shutdown, the gathering didn’t go as usual. This meeting was special: the newly elected Trustees, Rimga Viskanta, Jane Lea Smith, and Phan Anderson, joined sitting board members, Michael Allman and Katrina Young. 

The agenda included the new board officer elections, a presentation on Canyon Crest Academy from its principal, the approval of next year’s meeting calendar, and voting on an amendment to the renewed faculty contract. Trustee Viskanta started the meeting by already shaking things up, asking for changes to the agenda to be in accordance with “good governance”. She asked for the elections to happen before public comment, and that board member reports happen at the end of meetings after major decisions are made, among a few other organizational changes. 

The election for new Board officers was moved to the start of the meeting, based on this suggestion. There was only one nomination for Board president-Trustee Katrina Young nominated Trustee Viskanta, who ran unopposed and won the vote of every board member. Trustee Smith became the Board Vice President in a 3-2 vote. 

As for the public comment section, many spoke about alleged special interest groups in our district, worries about the wellbeing of trustees after they were seen crying at the last board meeting, and, once again, calls for transparent curriculums for more parent control. Much of the discussion was also surrounding an amendment to the school district-San Dieguito Faculty Association contract that was passed in October in order to cover more healthcare costs for teachers and other staff members. Some called this an additional unneeded raise, while others compared it to the higher benefits received by most government employees, arguing that supporting our staff is necessary. The board voted to pass the healthcare benefits, with Trustees Young, Viskanta, and Smith voting yes, Trustee Anderson abstaining, and Allman voting no. 

Overall, the board is changing rapidly with the addition of the new board members. The meeting felt more professional and transition time was reduced under President Viskanta’s guidance. Many parents shared their gratitude with the Trustees, and we’re sure to see even more changes when the meetings resume in 2023. The next meeting is scheduled for January 24th, although that is subject to change. 

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