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ELECTION 2012

A community divided prepares to heal post-election

Eureka school board battle has been tense at times
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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EUSD campaign spending

Expenditures through Oct. 20

  • Kristie Greiss: $9,457
  • Ryan Jones: $17,594
  • Renee Nash: $24,165

Source: Documents filed with Placer County Elections Office

Voters in the Eureka Union School District will soon choose their two picks to serve on the school board, and the three candidates hope the community can heal following a campaign season rife with tension.

Whatever the election’s outcome, the five people who will comprise the school board post-election will be tasked with working together.

The race has included an incident in which incumbent Kristie Greiss felt threatened by challenger Renee Nash at a Republican fundraiser — an incident that led to Greiss phoning police.

Then there was an email sent by a Nash and incumbent Ryan Jones supporter to the Eureka Schools Foundation donor database that jeopardized the nonprofit’s status.

Current board members Andy Sheehy and Eric Bose have voiced their support of Greiss. Bose did so in an email to PTC parents that went against the bylaws of the club and resulted in his wife voluntarily resigning from her position as Maidu/Excelsior Parent Teacher Council co-president. Meanwhile, fellow school board member Jerri Davis endorses Nash and Jones.

Greiss said she hopes, despite the divisiveness of election season, that the community sees the district is “heading in just the right direction.”

“Having stability on our board and within our district seems to be part of the success that people, and especially students, are responding to,” Greiss said. “If we continue in this same direction, I believe we can continue improving. As a candidate, it’s my hope that exactly that occurs and we can get back to focusing our full efforts on what matters the most — the students of our district.”

Incumbent Ryan Jones said he is proud of the campaign he has run, which he describes as positive and centered on students.

“I believe there is no room for negative campaigning in a school board election as it only serves to hurt the kids in our district,” he said. “If I am re-elected, I will continue to focus on the students and look forward to working with anyone who shares that vision.”

Renee Nash, a former president of the nonprofit Eureka Schools Foundation, said she is also proud of the campaign she and running mate Jones have run.

“(I) am so thankful for the dozens and dozens of people who have actively helped us over the last two months,” she said. “I am looking forward to putting the election behind us and focusing on my continued commitment to the community and in particular to local public education. I am honored and humbled to have the support of so many local education leaders who have served this community over the last 25 years.”