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UNITED Magazine





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colusa county superintendent of schools Candidate bios.........................p.4 - P7


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UNITED This Months Contributors Luis Barrera

m a g a z in d e it n .u w w w 24 / 7 @ W e a r e o n l in e a note from the

Nikki Hancock

Kathy Craigo

James Nair

United Magazine by The Luis Barrer Design Studio 437 Market Street, Suite 3 Colusa, CA 95932





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e .o r g

out! agazine, I’m This is what is all ab do here in United M we gs in th e tiv ea cr d four candiFor as much fun an ition. We have the ed ay M is th u yo ent to unty schools. very pleased to pres tendent of Colusa Co rin pe su d te ec el be hope not only it dates hoping to together because I on iti ed of nd ki is come better I enjoy bringing th also helps them be t bu o, wh is o wh s of hool drop informs our reader the highest high sc of e on s ha ty un lusa Co of students who educated voters. Co a high percentage ve ha so al e W e. at . While there out rates in the st pleting high school m co ce on n io at uc ed we can start do not seek higher are what they are, ics at st e es th y wh as to “GET INVOLVED” are endless factors g one simple thing: in do by rs be m nu out their day at improving these lking to your kids ab ta by st ju or PTA e whether you join th s school. er. is who at your kid’ school during dinn o wh ow kn to is involved ne you can get Another way to get teacher? and this Ju ish gl En r? he ac te Who is their math tendent. but g elect their Superin ection is unknown, involved by helpin el is th n wi ay m es very ur ladi ad head and it’s a ro h Whoever of these fo ug ro a be to g , it’s goin all time high one thing is for sure cuts to schools at an et dg bu ith W . es im g to have to thankless job somet hools they are goin sc ’s ty un co r ou of are also reins istrative skills. They whoever takes the in m ad d an g in et things of budg our concerns when s es need a great sense pr ex ly on t n’ HELP! We ca part of a going to need OUR and get ready to be ns tio lu so e id ov pr unting also for taking such a da go south, we must es di la ur fo e es th l mire al and I hope the solution. I truly ad st of luck this June be e th ur fo l al em Because after task and I wish th educated decision. st be e th e ak m ty un ucation of our voters of Colusa Co . It’s about the ed te vo r la pu po e th o gets all is not about wh r county. ture workforce of ou fu e th e ar o wh ds ki te!! and get out and vo Best whishes to all,

Luis Barrera

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“Located in the Heart of Downtown Colusa”

Business: (530) 458-2125 Toll Free (800) 223-2081 E-Mail: 315 Market Street • Colusa, CA 95932

everyone’s a star i 71 Colusa County Fair st

June 10 - 13 2010 th


General admission $8 Children admission $4

6 years to 12 years . Children under 5 FREE

Four Day Season Pass $20 adults, $10 children. Questions? Call the Fair Office at 458-2641

Colusa County Fair “Home of the big wheel”

Wristbands & Booklets Available

Get more for your buck! • Carnival Coupons: $15 and can be used for either a book of

carnival tickets or Wristband for Pay One Price Carnival Days.

Pay One Price Carnival days

get the star treatment!

Destruction Derby tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 for general seating and $15 for reserved seating.

o th k f e or co fair th un d e o t e fo ywi live ffic r de re ial mo o d re n to Guid in May ho e t fo 2 me o . 6 s

Thursday, June 10 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. • Friday, June 11 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 12 from noon to 3 p.m. • Sunday, June 13 from noon to 8 p.m.

Get the latest news, look for the Colusa County Fair Guide on Facebook


All pre-sale passes and tickets can be purchased at the fair office Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Carnival tickets can also be purchased at Savmor, Chung Sun Market, Davison Drug, and La Reyna Carniceria in Colusa; El Jalisience Restaurant or Corona's Video in Arbuckle; Fouch and Son Pharmacy in Williams.

Special series:

the candidates of

Colusa county EXCLUSIVE to



Leadership and vast knowledge of Colusa County schools is what incumbent Kay Spurgeon is bringing to the table on June 8 as she seeks her fifth term as superintendent. Spurgeon, 66, has served as Colusa County Superintendent of Schools for the past 15 years and says she has a clear understanding of what the county’s educational needs are. “California’s budget crisis is impacting school districts throughout the state and strong fiscal leadership is essential to insure that school districts maintain their financial viability in providing for the instructional needs of their students,” said Spurgeon. She said that only 6 percent of the Colusa County Office of Education’s budget is funded by state general fund while 94 percent is funded by state and federal restricted funds. Districts receive 80 to 85 percent for general funding, with 15 to 20 percent for restricted use. Aside from K-12 education, she believes in early childhood education and higher education, as well, and has been active in bringing in grants for

“California’s budget crisis is impacting school districts throughout the state and strong fiscal leadership is essential to insure that school districts maintain their financial viability in providing for the instructional needs of their students”

child development, and advocating for having community college classes and services return to Colusa County. “When the Yuba Community College District closed the Colusa Center in 2003, it forced many of our students to travel outside of the area to receive college courses,” Spurgeon said. “While some students were able to commute outside the area to continue their education, others, without their own means of transportation, were forced to rely on other people for rides or simply had to postpone their education.” Spurgeon has been working collaboratively with Woodland Community College staff to design multi-use facilities through the Yuba Community College District to build the Colusa

Outreach Center in Williams. Last month, Spurgeon was informed that funding for purchase of the land for

“If we don’t use the money then it will be allocated to some other school district elsewhere in the State”

the new County Office Education Center has been released by the state, and will be constructed adjacent to the Outreach Center. “The facility is being funded using State bond money,” she said. “If we don’t use the money then it will be allocated to some other school district elsewhere in the State.” Prior to becoming superintendent, Spurgeon worked for the Colusa County Office of Education for ten years as deputy superintendent, director of Children’s Services, and cooperative director, serving as the administrator for child development, preventions programs, and for categorical programs countywide. During this same time frame, she was elected president of the California Cooperative Director’s Association, leading the efforts for advocacy and coordination of state and federal programs and organized three statewide conferences. Spurgeon began teaching in the mid1960s at Arbuckle Elementary School and has worked in the Colusa, Maxwell, Pierce and Williams school districts and is knowledgeable about their instructional programs. She has also served as a member of the Colusa Unified School District Board of Trustee for four years. She has also served as past president of Capital Service Region County Superintendents, past president of Colusa Rotary, past president of Soroptimist International of Colusa County [SICC], president of the Theta Mu Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International [professional educators] and past president, vice-president, and secretary of the Beta Sigma Phi, just to name a few. Spurgeon grew up in Arvin, Ca., near Bakersfield where she attended public schools and graduated in 1961. After high school, she attended Bakersfield College and then Fresno State where she received her bachelor’s degree. In 1965, she met her future husband, Eddie, and later moved to Colusa. Together, they raised four children: Kira, Erika, Theron and Tara.

Special series:

the candidates of Colusa county




A career in education that spans three decades is what Becky Van Kleeck Poyner brings to the June 8, election as she makes her bid for Colusa County Superintendent of School. Poyner, 53, is the assistant principal of Maxwell Unified School District and has more than thirty years experience in education which includes working 11 years for the Colusa County Office of Education. She has a Master’s degree in Education Leadership and Administration that she received in 2009 from Chapman College. As assistant principal Poyner, is responsible for completing the Federal and State Categorical Funding application for the school district. She is also responsible for supervising and evaluating both certified and classified staff, compiling and updating site and district plans, maintaining the school’s website and networking with law enforcement and other community agencies. If elected, she would like to create a better line of communication between the Colusa County Office of Education [CCOE] and each of the school districts that are located within the county.

“The State is facing some difficult financial times and unfortunately things are probably going to get worse before they get better”

“The State is facing some difficult financial times and unfortunately things are probably going to get worse before they get better,” Poyner said. “Therefore, it is more crucial than ever that the county office of education and the school districts work together to create a plan that will help to eliminate any unnecessary cuts by the State.” Poyner said if she is elected, she would like to pool county resources in an attempt to save money. “During these difficult times the county must use its resources wisely,” Poyner said. “One of my goals is to use educators who are specialized in a particular area to help train newly hired staff. By having new staff trained in-house when it is possible, will save the district money because we are not having to send them outside the area to receive that training.” In a further attempt to save the county money, Poyner said that if elected said she would hold regular meetings with administrators from each school district in the county to work on budgetary matters. “Working on the budget process together with each school district creates a closer working relationship between the county office of education and the school districts, and that has been a problem in the past,” Poyner said. “As an administer myself, I can say first-hand that I would have appreciated working more closely

with the county office of education in the budget process.” The idea behind working together is to collaborate ideas and combine resources in an effort to better serve the needs of the students and staff. Prior to becoming an administrator at Maxwell Unified, Poyner worked as a Resource Specialist [special education] at River Valley High School in Sutter County. Before working for Sutter County, she worked as Resource Specialist for the Colusa County Office of Education from 1980 to 1991. Poyner said she is an avid supporter of higher education and encourages lifelong learning from infant to adults. “The goal is to train our students to study better at a young age with the hopes that they will use those study habits later in life and become more successful adults,” Poyner said. She was born in Colusa and attended public schools. After high school, she attended California State University, Chico where she graduated in 3 _ years with both her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and her Multiple Subjects Credential [MSC]. Aside from having earned her Bachelor’s degree and MSC, she also has an Administrative Services Credential, Resource Specialist Certificate, English Learned Development Certificate and a Single Subject Certification in English. The candidate has 28 years experience in Special Education in several areas that include: Teacher, Resource Specialist, Program Specialist, WorkAbility Coordinator, Vocational Specialist and Integration Specialist. Poyner has worked with students at all grade and age levels: Pre-school, Primary, Middle/Junior High, High School and Adult. She has also taught migrant children ages 2-6 at the migrant camp in Williams. There, she was responsible for daily routine and basic instruction in motor delelopment, self-concept, music, language, and academics. Poyner is a member of the National Association of Professional Women, Principal’s Advisory Committee member [River Valley High,] and ELA Articulation Committee member for Yuba City High School. Some of her accomplishments include: Compiling the Colusa County WorkAbility Handbook which is used as a guide statewide, compiled the Crisis Response Box for River Valley High School, WASC Coordinator for River Valley High School and has written grants and annual reports for WorkAbility I. Poyner has been married to her husband, John, for 18 years and has one son and three step-children: Nicholas, Scott, Andy and Brian. Scott and Andy are California Highway Patrol officers, Bryan works in construction, and Nicholas works in agriculture. “Help me invest in kids this June and create a better learning experience for them,” said Poyner.

Special series:

the candidates of Colusa county




Colusa resident Jamie Myers is one of three candidates vying for the seat of Superintendent of Colusa County Schools in June. Myers, 50, is an educator at Burchfield Primary School in Colusa and has more than 20 years of experience in education. She has a Masters degree in Education Administration and has experience in administration, curriculum development and implementation, data analysis, mentoring begining teachers and intervention to improve student achievement.

“I believe that it is the responsibility of the Colusa County Offfice of Education to serve and support all county school districts, educators and to pursue education opportunities for the entire county”

“I believe that it is the responsibility of the Colusa County Offfice of Education [CCOE] to serve and support all county school districts, educators and to pursue education opportunities for the entire county,” said Myers. If elected as superintedent, one of her goals is to develop a strategic plan of action that will support all Colusa County school districts. Myers said she would like to see a better line of communication between the county office of education and educators.

“Administrators and educators must work together especially during these tough financial times”

“Administrators and educators must work together especially during these tough financial times,” Myers said. “California’s budget crisis isn’t going to get better anytime soon, so the county office of education and each of the school districts within it must come up with a plan of action that will help our local schools to avoid potential budget cuts.” Prior to becoming an educator, Myers was employed by the city of Colusa

for several years where she worked for the Parks and Recreation Department. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration from California State University, Chico. She also received her Multiple Subjects and Special Education Credential at Chico and received her Administrative Credential from Chapman University. Myers has worked directly with the Sacramento Office of Education Staff Development Program and has received and completed four years of Coach’s Institute Training in Language Arts. She has worked as the summer school principal for Colusa Unified for Pre-K to grade 12. Aside from being an educator, Myers also has partnered in several successful businesses in Colusa. She has been a past owner of Chef Colus, and current partner in Messick’s Ace Hardware and Brady Myers Insurance Services, all in Colusa. Myers has been married to her husband, Brady, for 24 years and together they have one child, Mattison, a freshmen at Colusa High School. Myers has been heavily involved in the community serving 15 years for the city of Colusa Recreation Commision [8 years chairperson,] member of the Colusa Regional Medical Center Foundation, board member of the Colusa Athletic Foundation, past swim coach, 4-H leader, and Colusa Area Little League manager.

Note from Publisher: United Magazine is committed to keeping the community informed and united. united magazine does not endorse any particular candidate. all the information on our “candidates: Special Series” was obtain from each candidates’ own press releases, campaign managers or by special interviews conducted by United magazine.

Special series:

the candidates of Colusa county




Julie Struckmeyer, candidate for Colusa County Superintendent of Schools comes to the race with extensive experience in administration and with a strong educational background and credentials. She believes her major strengths are the ability to develop relationships and to encourage collaboration and communication, skills that she states are essential for the position of Superintendent.

“Networks could be strengthened and expanded to work together to accomplish the services and programs essential during these tight economic times”

“Colusa County could build upon the foundation of the Chamber of Commerce, county and city governments, school districts, county departments, churches, service groups, youth groups, and volunteer organizations that have been created. Networks could be strengthened and expanded to work together to accomplish the services and programs essential during these tight economic times,” she said. Looking to the future of education in Colusa County, Struckmeyer sees opportunity for improvement. “We have opportunities to efficiently

“We have opportunities to efficiently expand programs already in place and to initiate new ones”

expand programs already in place and to initiate new ones,” she said. “My desire and willingness to ask what school administrators, teachers, parents, staff, and students in Colusa County want and to enable the conversations to formulate action plans which create positive changes.” Putting plans into action is what Struckmeyer has been doing for the past 8 years while serving 5 years as principal of a K-6 school and then promoted to become Director of Administrative Services overseeing 22 elementary schools in Rio Linda Unified School District. The jobs have provided negotiation experience, district office responsibilities, and curriculum/ technology updates in a “cutting edge” school district. For the past two years,

she has been the principal for Hillsdale K-6 school and the 7/8 Westside Preparatory Charter School (whose APIs are 785 and 893 respectively). Struckmeyer has had involvement in all age levels of the educational process. She was a professor of Child Development at Oxnard College. She represented the needs of college students in Colusa County on the Yuba College Board from 1986-2000. She was instrumental in promoting change and developing new programs. “We created the Child Care Resource and Referral for Riverside County Office of Education; I became the administrator who was in charge of development of Head Start/Preschool and Early Childhood Education. She has lived in Colusa County since marrying her husband, Joe, over 30 years ago. She has been involved in various community organizations such as Children’s Home Society, Friends of the Library, Soroptimist, Stagehands, and Omega Nu. Locally, during her tenure at the Colusa County Office of Education, she guided the department in the creation of Child Care Resource and Referral and began Head Start. Struckmeyer then worked for two summers as Williams Summer School Principal and then Arbuckle Summer School Principal for 4 years. She then became Vice Principal of Arbuckle Elementary from 1998 to 2002. Believing in the importance of educating the whole person, Struckmeyer spearheaded the development of a rural model for Character Education with Arbuckle Elementary staff and parents. Her background in budgets and the business knowledge she gained while obtaining her MBA qualify her to provide the necessary leadership to our school districts during these most challenging economic times. Struckmeyer is adept and experienced at public speaking and can be counted on to represent the needs of Colusa County and to negotiate well on behalf of the schools’ interests. She has spoken at numerous Senate hearings for child development, character education, and special programs. She has pursued her Spanish speaking ability by taking Yuba College’s intermediate Spanish and completed a full-immersion course at CSU Chico. Julie Struckmeyer has the most administrative experience as a principal plus having completed her doctorate, has the most academic preparation suggesting that she is right choice for change and for efficient, knowledgeable assistance to school districts!

Don’t forget to vote! Tuesday June 8th 2010

UNITED Magazine

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Save the date: Virginia Read May 22th

Save the date: Williams Family Run May 22th

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Colusa Farmers’ Ma rket is getting ready for its - 2010 Marke t Season. Starting June 7th, @ the Colusa Business & Visitors Center 2963 Davison Ct. Colusa Industrial Prop. Of f Hwy 20. Monday Evenings 5 pm . to 8 pm. Looking for Fresh Pr oduce, Fresh Baked Goods, Dairy, Hand-M ade Crafts, Plants, Fresh-cut Flowers , etc. Also, groups or organ izations looking for Fund-raising events. Please contact (530 ) 458-5525. or download an applica tion @ www.colusafarmers

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