Hi. My name is Tracy Kelly. Some of you may know me, many of you don’t yet. More than 3,000 of you voted for me in the recent election. Yes, the one with Trump and Biden!
I am one of the newest Tehachapi Unified School District board members. This is the story of my decision to run for and ultimate election to the school board.
The decision to start looking at running for the board came to be in February, as I learned that seat, Seat F, in Area 3, was going to be on the ballot. As it turns out, I live in that area. Prior to this, I thought I lived in Bear Valley. Unsure of the process, I just searched the internet and found kernvote.org. This is the site for all things elections in Kern County.
Over the course of approximately six weeks in mid-summer, I learned how to fill out the numerous forms that are required to have your name put on the ballot. I started with a request for the informational packet. Then I was assigned a member of their staff to assist me in the process. This staff member was a huge help!
I do not remember how many different times I needed to correct any one form. It seemed like every new day brought a correction that I needed to make. This was all new to me, and I seldom back down from any challenge. Just ask my wife and boys! Their answer will probably be different, but at least you will get a good belly laugh!
Back to my story. I did not have to spend any money for this process. There is a thing called a “Candidate Statement'' that you can develop and have written on the ballot. The cost for this was shy of $800. I chose not to do this. I settled on using my occupation as a teacher to appear on the ballot. For the record, I am an educated and experienced special education teacher. As is my wife. I currently do not teach for TUSD, but she does.
Both of our boys attend Cummings Valley, not in person, as we would like, but virtually. I digress. Back to the story. I fretted over the word teacher being written on the ballot. Not another teacher being on the school board. I am not a career educator, unless you count it as my second career, as I do. The first was the food service industry. I have taught in the classroom, K-12 and higher education, for 11 years now. Our current school board has seven board members, and the majority are previous educators. This is the reason why I was concerned about using the title teacher. But I did.
I needed to have the entire application packet completed by Aug. 7 to be on the November ballot. I made it. And not only that, I had my verification of approval back before then. Yes! I will be on the ballot. This by itself, was reason to celebrate. Now I could go buy yard signs that showed people that I was a serious contender for the board. Where does one find a place to order yard signs?
I guess this will be Part One of a two-part story, as I am running, pun intended, out of space. Until we meet again, on this same bat channel.
Tracy Kelly is newly elected to the Tehachapi Unified School District board.