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Join three candidates for the Nevada Union Joint High School District (NUJHSD) Board of Trustees for an enlightening student listening session taking place from 5:30-7 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, at Nevada County Media.  The three hosting candidates are campaigning together in solidarity for three separate districts within the NJUHSD territory, and include Ken Johnson for South County’s Area 5; Olivia Pritchett for Nevada City, North San Juan, and Camptonville’s Area 1; and Wendy Willoughby for Grass Valley’s Area 2.

“The people that are most affected by school board policies, but are the ones with the least input, are the students. Sometimes it’s important to just…listen,” said Ken Johnson of the event’s purpose.

The three candidates invite all students to join them for an open discussion and thoughtful reflection on how to improve the high school experience in Nevada County.   This event was conceived as a way to engage High School District students because many of them feel disregarded due to experiences over the course of the 2021-22 school year – both on campus and at the monthly District Board Meetings. Each of the three candidates believe that students’ wellbeing and ability to be successful needs to be the priority of any District Trustee. This session is their opportunity to hear from all students, and promise an open space to make sure their voices are heard.

“Having attended each board meeting in the 2021-22 school year, I witnessed first-hand as student voices were being discounted time and again. We must hear them and address their concerns,” said Olivia Pritchett, Candidate, Area 1.

All three candidates have a history of in-depth involvement in the high schools within their districts.  Ken Johnson is a retired high school teacher with 38 years of experience. He was also trained to analyze school district budgets and plans to use that knowledge and experience to make sure every tax dollar is spent on effective instruction for the students. He was also appointed to a state commission for six years, representing all of California’s 325,000 teachers.

Olivia Pritchett has been an engaged parent throughout her children’s school experience, always being the first to step up to volunteer where needed.  She is currently the Vice President of the Parent Club and President of the Football Boosters at Nevada Union High School, as well as serving on boards of various community nonprofits. 

Wendy Willoughby has over 20 years of experience modeling respectful, transparent, collaborative decision-making with nonprofits, schools, faith-based groups, and agricultural organizations.  A fourth-generation native of Nevada County and daughter of a first grade teacher, Wendy is a NUHS alum and parent of two students at Nevada Union.  Of the listening session event, Wendy says, “It is important that students have a safe, welcoming environment where they can advocate for their concerns, hopes, and fears.  I am committed to student safety, achievement, and the social and emotional wellness of the entire school community.”

The student listening session event is free to attend and takes place at Nevada County Media, located at 335 Crown Point Circle in Grass Valley.