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Date:

San Juan Unified School District candidates: top left to right, Zima Creason, Alex Zamansky, Jeffrey Perrine, Michael McKibbin, Tanya Kravchuk. Lower: Ben Avey, Ray Ward, Murad Sarama, Oleg Shishko, Steve Miller. // Images from SJUSD/Youtube

Updated Oct. 29, 10:14 a.m.–
By Phillip Pesola– Ten candidates are running for four seats on the San Juan Unified School District Board of Education in the Nov. 8, 2022, election. Trustee areas three, five, six, and seven are up for election, with areas six and seven being newly created.

Below are highlights of each candidate, taken from their website, ballot statements, and the most recent financial disclosure forms. Candidates who did not have the most recent disclosures filed for donations through Oct. 22 have information cited from Sept. 24 filings, if available.

Trustee Area 3

  • Zima Creason. First elected to the board in 2018, and currently serving as the board’s vice president. Has a child attending district schools. Key issue: ensuring access and opportunity for all. Top donor: San Juan Teachers Association ($5,250). Total contributions: $21,559, as of 9/24. Endorsed by the Democratic Party of Sacramento County and the San Juan Teachers Association. Website: voteforzima.com
  • Alex Zamansky. Attended Bella Vista High School, father of two, with daughter attending school in district. Key issue: “Kids in. Politics out.” Total contributions: $6,460, as of 9/24. Top donor: unclear. Endorsed by San Juan Parents Association. Website: alexforschoolboard22.com

Trustee Area 5

  • Jeffrey Perrine. Attended San Juan schools from K-12, and now has two children attending. Key issues: concern about “indoctrination in education and mandates.” Member of controversial Proud Boys group. No financial filings posted, as of 10/24. Website: jeffreyperrine.com
  • Michael McKibbin. Currently serving as the SJUSD board’s president. First elected to the board in 2014. Son graduated from Casa Roble High School. Key issues: prioritizing students, empowering teachers. Key donor: San Juan Teachers Association ($26,530). Total donations as of 10/24: $36,705. Endorsed by the California School Employees Association and the San Juan Teachers Association. Website: mikemckibbin.org
  • Tanya Kravchuk. District alumna, mother of four. Key issues: Parental rights, increasing teacher pay. Key donor: self, $1,215. Total contributions: $6,527 as of 9/24. Endorsed by the Sacramento Republican Party and Citrus Heights City Councilman Bret Daniels. Website: tanyakravchuk.com

Trustee Area 6

  • Ben Avey. Graduated from Del Campo High School, and has three children currently attending district schools. Key issue: Parental voice, COVID-19 policy. Key donor: Chris Hansen, $2,000. Total contributions: $12,075, as of 9/24. Endorsed by Sacramento Association of Realtors, Sacramento County Supervisor Rich Desmond. Website: benavey.com
  • Ray Ward. Currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce. Daughter graduated from schools in the district. Key issue: technical education options. Key donor: San Juan Teachers Association, $4,697. Total contributions: not posted, as of 10/24. Endorsed by Citrus Heights Planning Commissioner Andrew Van Duker and Citrus Heights Chamber Executive Director Diane Ebbitt. Website: vote4rayward.com

Trustee Area 7

  • Murad “Moe” Sarama. Has a child enrolled in the district. Key Issues: Collaboration, prioritizing safety and security. Key donor: San Juan Teachers Association PAC, $3,598. Total contributions: not posted, as of 10/24. Endorsed by Citrus Heights Mayor Porsche Middleton and the Democratic Party of Sacramento County. Website: www.sarama.vote
  • Oleg Shishko. Served as a board member for CHASEN and Neighborhood Area 6, and has two children nearing school age. Key issues: parental rights, opposing mask/vaccine mandates. Key donor: personal loan, $1,824. Total contributions, $2,159, as of 9/24. Endorsed by Citrus Heights Vice Mayor Tim Schaefer and Councilman Bret Daniels. Website: voteoleg.com
  • Steve Miller. Has served on the Citrus Heights City Council since 2005. Son attended and graduated from district schools. Key issues: increased test scores and better funding. Key donor: Chamber PAC, $1,500. Total contributions, $2,975, as of 10/24. Endorsed by the Sacramento County Republican Party. Website: None

Those interested in learning more about where each candidate stands on a variety of issues can find 25-minute interviews with each candidate posted on the district’s website: www.sanjuan.edu/boardelection.

Questions asked in the interviews discuss school safety, changes in school start times, declining enrollment, ensuring high quality education, bond money, mental health, district fiscal health, union influence, combating hate and bias, and expanding student voices.

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