Teachers association endorses two additional candidates

Sandy Belanger, a member of the Saugus Teachers Associaton, speaks as the moderator at an election forum held at James Foster Elementary School Thursday, September 13, 2018. Eddy Martinez/The Signal.
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The Saugus Teachers Association endorsed two additional candidates after Thursday night’s school board forum, which was hosted by STA union members and the California School Employees Association.

The teachers union had previously announced its endorsement of board member Judy Umeck, who’s running to represent area No. 2, but the STA declared Friday that it will also support candidates Sharlene Duzick of area No. 5 and Evan Patlian of area No. 1.

“We feel they are the best candidates to join our school board,” STA President Debbie Rocha said. “They’re both committed to kids and (are) active in our district.”

Union members said they appreciated the fact that Duzick and Patlian have been involved with the district prior to the election season and that they’ve been actively attending various school and board events.

They’ve done their homework and have realistic expectations, Rocha said.

“I was beside myself after I heard the news,” candidate Sharlene Duzick said. “Teachers are the individuals you trust with your kids, so I respect them tremendously and I value the fact that they’re choosing to endorse us.”

As a school board member, you are the biggest advocate for the children, she added. “The teachers saw something in us that leads them to believe that we have the best interest of the students at heart, and that’s powerful. It speak volumes.”

Like Duzick, Patlian said he was ecstatic and honored to have the support of the Saugus Union teachers.

“It means the world to me to have an endorsement from the teachers of this valley and community, because I truly believe with all my heart that they are the backbone of this community,” he said. “They spend all of their energy, time and hearts educating the future of this valley, country and world.”

Patlian said he looks forward to working with the district’s teachers to gain the trust of the community so he can proudly serve the teachers, students and parents beyond the election season.

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