Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Reynolds: Offering support for Allen, Berlogar, Lee and Ochs in MUSD election

My name is Charise Reynolds and I am the newest elected board member of the Middletown Unified School District, or MUSD, having just run in the June special election.

My term is for six months and runs from July 2022 to December 2022.

Several members of the public have approached me recently with questions about the November election. It got me thinking that perhaps others have the same questions. So, I thought I’d talk a little about the upcoming election.

First, I would like to thank my supporters and the voters in my district for the trust they have placed in me. I ran because I wanted to ensure parent and community members whose values I share had a voice on the board. I was prepared to run again this November. However, several strong and well qualified candidates have stepped up to serve and I feel comfortable sitting this one out.

Second, I want to make sure that the voters from the Middletown Unified School District (Cobb, Middletown and Hidden Valley) know that they may vote for a total of four board members this November.

There are three four-year seats and one two-year seat up for election. (Zoi Brasisco is the only incumbent board member that does not need to run to keep her seat this election cycle.)

In addition, I would like to publicly endorse some of the candidates.

I wholeheartedly support the incumbents. Two of the incumbents, Allison Berlogar and Chris Ochs, are running in the four-year race and were appointed this past year due to board members stepping down. The rules only allow the appointees to serve until the next regular election which is Nov. 8.

Berlogar, a former K-2 teacher, K-12 behavior modification therapist and case manager, and mother to three MUSD graduates, has been serving on the board since Dec. 1, 2021.

And Chris Ochs, who was appointed on March 24, 2022, is the director of facilities, maintenance, operations, and transportation for Calistoga Unified. He brings a unique perspective to the board in addition to having been a long time volunteer (he helped to build the Coyote Valley playground) and PTO member, and parent of two MUSD students.

Larry Allen is the other incumbent and he is running for the two-year seat. He is currently the MUSD Board President and has served on the board since 2019. He spent 35 years in the district as a teacher and coach, two years on the board of the National Education Association, and 11 years on the California Teachers Association Board of Directors. He is also a parent to two MUSD graduates.

Additionally, I support Annette Lee for the final four-year seat. She is the interim dean of Woodland Community College's Lake County Campus in Clearlake, a tenured college professor, a former high school teacher, an MUSD graduate and an MUSD parent.

If these four candidates, with their breadth of experience and qualifications, are voted in to serve alongside Brasisco, who brings her own wide range of experience from her 42 years with the district including special education services, our board will be well-rounded and highly qualified to serve our district.

I hope that you will join me in voting for these fine candidates. You can find more information about them by visiting www.musdelection.com and OchsLeemusd.com.

Please return your ballots by Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Editor's note: Annette Lee's current title has been corrected and clarified.

Charise Reynolds lives in Middletown, California.

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