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Janet Wohlgemuth
Candidate - Monterey County Board of Education District Area 4

Janet was born and raised here in Monterey County, attended local schools and received her degree in Fire Science from Hartnell Community College. For the past 22 years, she has worked with young adults ages 18-25, for the California Conservation Corps, teaching emergency response such as fighting fires, floods, and earthquakes, and working outdoors to improve natural resources.


She have two children in local schools. Because of this community is one of her biggest priorities and she is excited to put my local knowledge and experience to work for Monterey County.


She is deeply invested in her community and have served as:

  • Vice President and Treasurer of the Laurelwood School PTC Board

  • Continental Little League Board of Directors and Umpire

  • 4H Volunteer

  • Salinas Valley Model Rail Road Museum docent

  • Salinas Rodeo Volunteer

  • Foster care parent, Monterey County


She wants to continue to make a difference in her community and that is one of the reasons she decided to run for this position.

Manuel Osorio

Candidate - Hartnell Community College District Trustee Area 1

Manuel Osorio is a proud graduate of the community college system, and spent the greater part of his career working in a local community college. In his 34 years at Cabrillo College, he served as the Financial Aid Director, Assistant Dean of Student Services and finally, Vice President/Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. In 2010 Bakersfield College recruited him to serve as Interim Vice President of the college while they were conducting their search for a permanent Vice President. He also served as President of the California Community Colleges Student Services Association where he participated on the Chancellor’s Office Consultation Board and was a member of several accreditation teams for the California Community Colleges. His extensive experience in the community college system, has given Manuel a deep understanding of the needs of the students, the employees and the community.


Public service has always been one of Manuel’s core philosophies. He have served on numerous boards including; United Way, La Coalicion, YMCA, Rotary Club and LULAC. He has also served on the Cabrillo College Foundation Board of Directors for five years and currently serves on the Sunrise House Board of Directors. Manuel was a Trustee for the Pajaro Valley Unified School District for 11 years and for the past 4 years has been a Trustee of the North Monterey County Unified School District Board.


Manuel has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Cabrillo Faculty Senate Award, the Outstanding Young Men of America Award and the Santa Cruz NAACP Humanitarian Award. He lives in Prunedale with his wife Susan, is the proud father of 3 children and has 7 beautiful grandchildren.

Aurelio Salazar

Candidate - Hartnell Community College District Trustee Area 2

Aurelio Salazar, Jr. has been with the Community Foundation for Monterey County since January 2007 as the Program Officer responsible for the Neighborhood Grants Program and a member of the Community Impact grants team.

Aurelio has over ten years of experience working in the government and nonprofit sector including the Monterey County Board of Supervisors District 1 Office, Monterey County Equal Opportunity Office, La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), Sun Street Centers and 2nd Chance Family and Youth Services.

Aurelio has served as chairman of the Monterey County Planning Commission, President of the League of United Latin American Citizens Council #2055, Eucharistic Minister at Madonna del Sasso Church and he is currently the co-chair for the Collaborative for Salinas Youth. He volunteers in his spare time as a motivational speaker for migrant youth and has received numerous awards and recognitions ranging from local school board districts and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor to a Congressional Record for his work in philanthropy.

Irma Lopez
Candidate - Hartnell Community College District Trustee Area 4

My family and I have lived in Salinas 44 years. I graduated from Alisal High School and also from Hartnell College. I earned my AA Degree in behavioral science.

I worked for a family-owned business, Lopez House Movers for 21 years. After the business closed, I went on to work for the Alisal Unified School District as an Outreach Consultant and/or Family Services Specialist. My job in outreach & providing resources to parents allowed me to learn about the needs of the youth in our community and find avenues where there were opportunities available to them to ensure the best quality education.

I am currently working for The First Tee of Monterey County as the Member Services Coordinator. Our program promotes youth development through the sport of golf teaching valuable life skills & core values that will offer young people opportunities for a better future.

Jennifer Skidgel-Clarke
Incumbent - North Monterey County Unified School District Trustee Area 5

I, along with my husband David, have been a resident of Prunedale for the past 13 years.  Having served as a Board member for the past four years, I have enjoyed supporting my community and look forward to continuing to work to build a stronger, more collaborative voice for NMCUSD students, parents, teachers and community members.   As a product of the public school system, I benefitted from community after-school programs, and I believe in public schools and that education is the key to success.  I have earned an Associates Degree from South Lake Tahoe Community College and a Bachelor’s in Fruit Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  I am currently the Vice President of Food Safety and Regulatory Compliance for Steinbeck Country Produce and  Past President of California Women for Agriculture.   I also serve on the Executive Board for our local Mission Trails JPA for Regional Occupational/Career Technical Educational Programs where we are developing Career Pathways with local industry partners in order to prepare our students for beyond high school.

John Fickas

Candidate - Salinas Union High School District Trustee Area 1

I am a team player that believes in learning and listening to others. I have the time and commitment to give back to my community that I have lived in all my life and I am honored and humbled to have this great opportunity to serve the community of North Salinas. I look forward to working with the Salinas Union High School District to make an effective team for our students, teachers and staff. This is what leads me to want to run for this office. I have several elected officials that have stepped forward to endorse me; with that it encourages me to follow through with my upmost commitment and integrity”.

Bio John Fickas is a successful high school coach, parent and 38 year resident of Salinas who graduated from North Salinas High School and attended Hartnell Community College.

John Fickas his two children and wife Brandee who is a local teacher at North Salinas High School have lived in the Santa Rita School District for over 25 years.

John Fickas has been coaching high school football and track for the last ten years at North Salinas High and Everett Alvarez High School.

John Villegas
Candidate - Salinas City Council District 6

John (Tony) Villegas has been a resident of Salinas area for the past 26 years.  He grew up in Michigan and proudly served our country in various assignments stateside, and overseas.  After leaving the military, Mr. Villegas started his college career at Hartnell Junior college and received his degree in Criminal Justice.  He also received his Bachelor’s of Science in Justice Studies from San Jose State University.  He went into teaching and completed his multi-subject credential through the CalState Teach program.  He currently works as a full-time 6th-grade teacher.


Mr. Villegas had worked as a union representative for the SVFT until recently; he resigned due to the conflict of interest running for a board seat would pose.  As a union representative before his resignation, he helped negotiate a new contract with the Alisal Union School District for the substitute union.  He believes all workers, regardless of position deserve to be treated with dignity and respect to promote a positive work environment.


A few years ago, Mr. Villegas was instrumental and worked many hours with the Alisal community to change out the Alisal school board.  The new board has been the stabling factor for the district for the past few years, improve student achievement, and raised worker morale.

Everett Sivils

Candidate - Salinas City Elementary School District Trustee Area 2

I will ensure that our educational system provides our children with the best opportunities for a successful future.

I am a uniquely qualified candidate with19 years in the educational field. As a Behavior Specialist with Monterey County, I work with Special Needs Students in Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade. My knowledge base in Special Education will benefit all of our children.


My life has been one of service. I am a proud seven-year U.S. Army veteran, a past U.S. Postal Service Letter Carrier, and a Monterey County Mental Health Case Assistant. Currently, I serve as the California School Employees Association Chapter 35 and Region 70 Communications Officer and also serve on CSEA Chapter 35 Negotiations Committee.

In addition, I serve on the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council as an Executive Board Trustee and on the Monterey County Community Action Commission Executive/Allocations Committee.

Janet Barnes

Incumbent - Salinas City Elementary School District Trustee Area 4

Janet Barnes’ commitment to children and our community is strong and verifiable. Born and raised here in Salinas, Janet taught for 28 years in the Salinas City Elementary School District, served for 12 years as an elected official on the Salinas City Council, and has served as SCESD Board Trustee for Area 4 for the last two years. She also supported two children and four grandchildren, and has decades of experience tutoring, running a daycare center, and a host of volunteer positions. All this experience ensures that she is the best candidate for this position as trustee.

Fernando Mercado
Candidate - Alisal Union School District Trustee Area 1

My name is Fernando Mercado, and I am running for the Alisal Union School District Trustee Area 1. I am a dedicated and passionate educator who is seeking to improve our community. I believe that delivering a strong educational foundation in our students from an early age will allow them to gain the necessary skills to become successful citizens.

I am an Alisal High School graduate. I attended Hartnell Community College and obtained my degree in History from UC Berkeley. I have been employed by the SUHSD for eight years as an educator, and over time, held various positions.


My background in the community, as well as my educational experiences, will allow me to make knowledgeable decisions that will have positive outcomes for our students, parents, and teachers alike. I am committed to ensuring that all necessary steps are taken in order to provide educators the necessary resources that will help them teach our growing community. I truly believe that with your help, we can continue to improve the quality of education in our District. I invite you to vote for me this November and show your support for a high quality education for all.

Adella Lujan

Incumbent - Alisal Union Elementary School District Trustee Area 4

Adella Lujan has lived in the Alisal Union School District of Salinas for over 40 years.  Both her children and grandchildren attended Bardin and Fremont schools.  She was also employed with the Alisal Union School District Migrant Education Program where  she retired after 35 dedicated years.

Adella has worked with many families and is aware of the educational, health, and housing needs of the community.  She has served on key committees i.e. curriculum, budget, contract negotiations, parenting and community involvement.  She has been awarded the CA state employee of the year in special services through CSEA.

Adella has completed the Masters in Governance program through the California School Boards Association, which is designed in taking your leadership knowledge to the next level. Adella has sat on the Alisal Union School District for the last four years.  During this time, a new school has been built under budget and school boundaries re-aligned.  She also took on the responsibilities as steward of The Little Free Library in her district. All students deserve a good education and Adella truly believes she can make a difference. 

Mayra Perez Diaz

Candidate - Greenfield Union School District

Greenfield has been my hometown for 23 years and the place where my husband and I decided to raise our three children. My passion in both professional and personal aspects has been to help others in need. I come from humble beginnings being raised by my grandparents who worked very hard in the fields to provide a better life for our family. Growing up, my grandparents instilled the importance to help others even though we did not have much to give because maybe one day we would be the family to need a helping hand.

With my professional experience in management roles in public and nonprofit sectors, I would be able to effectively administer the district budget to use monies wisely. I will also bring forth my leadership skills and diverse point of view, to help with the challenges the district may come across to make informed and objective decisions to benefit the academic success of our students. As an active parent volunteer in this district I am aware of parent, students and staff concerns; I will bring stronger advocacy for positive change with the sole purpose of moving this district towards quality education and services for our students.

John Ingraham

Candidate - Santa Rita Union School District

My wife Amber Ingraham and I have 3 children from ages 5 to 19.  I was born in the Salinas area and raised by my mother Donna Ingraham with help from grandparents Joe and Evelyn Williams. I attended school in the Santa Rita Union School District. After High School I attended classes at Hartnell while working full time.  I quickly worked my way through the ranks in the construction industry to become a Superintendent for a large builder in my early 20s. I’ve managed the construction of several thousand homes and multiple large commercial projects with the majority from San Jose to Greenfield. I moved on to a position as Land Development Manager working out of Ft Ord and managing projects from Gilroy to Soledad. I’ve lived on Harrison Rd in Santa Rita for 16 years and feel blessed to be working out of Monterey County where I can spend more time with my family and less time on the road.

Neil Patel

Candidate - Santa Rita Union School District

I believe a promise made should be a promise kept.  One year ago when I was appointed to the school board, one of the promises I made was to make our school district #1 in TECHNOLOGY.  I am proud to say that we are now #1. We are the only public school district in Monterey County to provide ALL of our middle school students with Chromebook Computers to take home. And ALL elementary students have either a Tablet or Chromebook Computer, for each of them in their classroom. We will shortly will have the fastest and most robust internet in the county. Promise Made, Promise Kept.

Jeff Gorman

Candidate - Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Division 3

Jeff Gorman was born and raised in Monterey, living most of his life here. Jeff was educated in local Monterey K-12 schools; he attended Monte Vista, Colton, and graduated from Monterey High School class of 1986. He entered University of California Berkeley as a freshman in the College of Chemistry before transferring to the College of Letters and Science earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.


Jeff is proud Cal Alum, and has served 12 years as the President of the Monterey Cal Club.


Jeff has been active in Monterey most of his adult life. He has served as a Board Member of the Armstrong Foundation and he is involved in Friends of the Hartnell Gulch.  For 13 years, Gorman has been a member of the Monterey Elks Lodge, currently serving on the Audit Committee. He is the President of the SERRA Club and has been an active volunteer with the Big Sur Land Trust.  He is also a trained volunteer member of CERT- Community Emergency Response Team.


Jeff married the love of his life Kathleen Waligora 13 years ago.  She has been teaching for the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District since 1997. Her parents have also had a hand in taking care of Monterey citizens for decades.   Kathleen’s father is Dr. Waligora, who has been in practice for over 50 years and her mother Peggy Waligora, is a retired MPUSD school nurse.

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