Grady L. Welch, TUSD Trustee Candidate
Due to the State of California budget issues, what potential cuts do you envision TUSD dealing with and how? What would be your priorities to protect the most during budget cuts if they are needed?
I do envision having to make cuts to the district’s budget, due to our economy – I believe in cutting from the top down. I feel that all the teachers, secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, para-professionals, cafeteria workers, and other classified staff need to be spared and any positions that are not as "essential" such as director positions, be eliminated first, if the need arises. A school can’t run without a teacher, the bus driver, the secretaries, the cafeteria workers and yard duty supervisors, who are supposed to be there to teach, supervise and assist our children.
What is TUSD and/or what is it about?
TUSD is the Turlock Unified School District which encompasses our K – 12 schools in Turlock. TUSD is an enormously important entity in our community – quality education and the assurance of a greater future for our children and our children’s children.
What do you feel the duties of a TUSD Board Member are?
I feel that as a fair and impartial TUSD board member, my duties would be to oversee the quality of education, ensure positive experiences, and make the "not so positive" decisions that have to be made at times for the good of all the children in our community – I will be the voice of our community in terms of their children’s education.
What made you decide to run for a TUSD Board of Trustees position this election?
I have children who are currently attending, have attended, and will be attending Turlock schools. I want my children, as well as the rest of Turlock’s children, to have the highest quality of education, the most positive memories of their school years, and the necessary qualities to be successful as adults. I also want for all TUSD employees to be proud professionals and have successful careers with the District.
List Top 5 biographical highlights:
I am a Parole Agent and have had many experiences dealing with socio-economic difficulties such as crime, poverty, racism, etc.
I am part Hispanic, married to a Hispanic woman and have a great rapport with people of all ethnicities.
I have children who attend, have attended and will be attending TUSD schools.
I have been on committees such as the "Superintendent’s Parent’s Advisory Committee" and the "Turlock City Planning Commission".
I work closely with children on an on-going basis – as a coach for Little League, TPR Baseball, and TYSA.
List Top 3 priorities if elected:
To help create a better budget, keeping our citizens jobs and livelihood as the number one priority, second only to our children’s quality of education.
To keep honesty and accountability in all aspects of the District’s interworkings.
To be a voice for the citizens of Turlock who put their faith in the fact that I want the best for their children’s education.
What do you feel you have to offer that some of the other candidates may not?
A great rapport with Turlock’s citizens – including an "open door" policy to assist with all citizens’ concerns regarding their children’s education. Also, a background working with a wide variety of ethnicities, cultures, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds, which will help me to better understand the unique situations which could occur on different campuses around the TUSD schools.
How would you contribute to the current TUSD Board of Trustees and would you fulfill anything missing on the current TUSD Board of Trustees?
My contribution would be my voice, my decisions based on solely what’s best for the students of TUSD, and always having my "door open" to the citizens, so they could express their concerns and questions, which I would diligently find an answer to.
What issues do you feel need to be addressed more than they already are? Are there any problems or is there anything that you feel needs to be fixed/changed concerning TUSD?
The most pressing issue is the budget – how to fix it without sacrificing people’s jobs or sacrificing the quality of our student’s education. I feel that the current board has not listened enough to the concerns expressed at board meetings, and questions have often fallen on deaf ears. Children should also have the right to voice their opinions and concerns, which I believe is not always allowed or taken into consideration with the current board.
Position papers (specific views on specific topics) or candidate statements (equal to an intro at a debate or a short speech of what you’ like to communicate without being edited):
First and foremost, as a citizen of Turlock, I have always had the desire to be a voice for all those who may not have the words or the strength to express their concerns with regards to our community and our children. This is why I became active in the City’s Planning Commission in past years. This is also why I am running for school board. I believe that when you’re not part of the solution, you could potentially be part of the problem. These are trying times and my belief is that only by standing together and standing strong, can we get through the problems of our economy and our community. The issues with gangs, crime, and unemployment can be prevented so many times, if only our children are given the proper education and the opportunity to grow as responsible adults. This will be my main focus as a member of the TUSD school board. I plan to visit and stay in frequent contact with school sites, classrooms, offices and meetings, to ensure that I am always aware of issues that arise. I will always have an open ear to those who need to express concerns and I will exhaust all possibilities to resolve problems in a timely manner so that the students and employees of TUSD can feel like they are represented and respected at all times. I believe in handing out praise when praise is deserved, and I believe in holding people accountable when problems are created. Lastly, I believe in holding myself accountable for my own mistakes and making sure that I always have accurate facts and information before making any decisions or voting on matters of the District. I thank everyone who has supported me and look forward to representing Turlock’s citizens and their children on the TUSD school board.
Endorsed by Mayor John Lazar and Former Mayor, Dr. Curt Andre
Complete Bio (Please include contact information for the voters to reach you by):
My name is Grady Lyn Welch – born 10/2/72 at the Turlock Community Hospital in Turlock, California. I have resided in Turlock since I was born. I am a Parole Agent with the State of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – Adult Division, and have been employed for over 15 years with the department. I graduated from Turlock High School after having attended Julien Elementary and Turlock Jr. High, and also attended Modesto Jr. College for two years before serving for the United States Coast Guard. I also graduated from the CA Corrections Academy and the CA Parole Academy and served as an Instructor at the Corrections Academy for a couple of years. My first assignment with the department was serving as Correctional Officer at Deul Vocational Institution in Tracy, CA for several years, then I was promoted to Sergeant at the Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, CA then at the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown, CA. Finally, I transferred into Parole, having started as Parole Agent in San Jose, CA for two years, and now at the Modesto Parole Office – Division of Adults.
I am married to Veronica Welch, who has also been a resident of Turlock since the age of 3 years old, works for TUSD and is of Mexican descent. I have four sons – Steven Romo (sophmore at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo), Kaleb Welch (6th grader at Walnut Education Center), Max Welch (2nd grader at Walnut Education Center) and Sam Welch (3 years old).
I can be reached at any time at 209-620-6079 with any concerns/questions. Due to the nature of my career and the safety of my family, I do not feel at liberty to display my home address.