Board members face opposition in Nov. election

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The Board of Trustees is the group that oversees the San Joaquin Delta Community College District.

The Board is made up of seven members who represent different areas of the district, along with a student representative.

With this year’s elections nearing, the Collegian interviewed some of the candidates running for the board.

C. Jennet Stebbins represents Area 1 and is running for re-election.

In 1975, she graduated from the University of La Verne where she majored in criminal justice and sociology.

When asked why she is the best candidate for the position, Stebbins replied that after four years, she’s received on the job training from all the classes and seminars she attended.

“I’ve learned that with participatory governance, how the college is working, everyone plays a part.  Delta is more balanced in its approach in sharing the responsibility,” she said.

When asked which issues/topics should be highlighted, Stebbins emphasized diversity and tolerance, particularly to the LBGT community.

“Our campus is more tolerant, or is becoming more tolerant, but I would like to see more. Everyone has a need,” she said.
Steve Castellanos represents Area 5 and is running for re-election.

In 1979, he graduated from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in architecture and is currently regional director for the American Institute of Architects.

Castellanos first took a seat with the board in 2008. He describes Delta, at that point, as experiencing many difficulties. When asked which issues have been the recent topics of conversation at the meetings, he listed accreditation of courses, financial changes, and student access in terms of completion.

“Delta is an incredible institution. We’ve got a great faculty.  Students benefit a great deal. Can we do better? Sure,” he said.

Teresa Brown represents Area 6 and is running for re-election.  Brown received her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University, her master’s degree in education from Wheeling Jesuit, and her PhD in biblical studies from Graduate Theological Union.  She served as president of the board from 2009-10.

When asked why she is the best candidate, Brown emphasized experience.

“I have experience in leadership.  It is important to continue this experience due to these times of hardship.”

Moreover, Brown shared her personal motto, which is “access plus progress leading to completion equals student access.”

Running against Stebbins, Castellanos and Brown are Pablo V. Zapata, LeJames K. Melton, David E. Tanner and Jass Sangha.

Pablo Zapata is running against Stebbins, and was part of Delta’s psychiatric-technician program. He is now a certified substance abuse group worker for the county.

“Looking at our youth, they need someplace safe to be educated.  I choose to not stand idle,” he said when asked why he is running.

Also against Stebbins is LeJames K. Melton, a recent Delta graduate with an associates of arts in psychology. He said he has two reasons for running.

“I am running because the school needs change,” said Melton. “I am the best candidate because  I understand the viewpoint of both students and trustees.”

David Tanner is running against Castellanos. Tanner has spent the last 12 years in Area 5 serving the community, including developing youth programs.

“Quite a few programs have been cut…we are community college that is here to serve the community,” he said.

He’s running to become a part of the board because “there’s some direction that we can take here…to put Delta back on top.”

Jass Sangha is a retired businesswoman challenging Brown.

“I have a passion for education. What I try to bring to the board is an open door policy. I will be there to listen,” she said.
Sangha also emphasized her availability.

“If you are not connected to the college, what the heck are you doing? I give out my cell phone number. I will not say I cannot answer your questions,” she said.

  • Rob Greenlee

    I was recently at an Endorsement Meeting with the Central Valley Stonewall Democrat club here in Stockton and several of these candidates showed up to tell us about themselves and to answer questions from the audience. When asked “Who are your constituents” to every candidate by Byron Roberts every one of the incumbent Trustees answered with every option possible, except the students. They responded with answers such as business leader, the people who vote for me, residents, parents and family of students, but none of the incumbents who were at this important meeting actually answered “the students”.

    College is a business and the business is serving students, therefore the students are the customer and are the constituents. I ran many restaurants over the past 20 years and am now a full-time student. At these restaurants if I followed their same theory my customers were not actually the people buying and eating the food but their bosses, their parents and siblings and everyone but the people spending the money at my location. Does something seem wrong with that? That’s because it is completely wrong and shows why we are having some of the issues we are having at this campus.

    Trustees need to understand that to be successful its about graduating students or transfering them to 4 year colleges. Lets make this school incredible!