The Washoe County School District hasn’t been without its share of turmoil in the past few years, be it the controversial ouster of former superintendent Pedro Martinez or ongoing budget woes. This election cycle, the school board has three open seats being vied for by eight candidates. Here is a breakdown of where they stand.


District F has three people running for one seat, and the district itself represents the Eastern half of WCSD. According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, current representative Veronica Frenkel will not be seeking reelection.

Jacqueline Calvert works as a food server and volunteers with the WCSD Read to Succeed program. She has never held office before. Calvert wants to see parents taking a larger role in their children’s education. Politically, she is aligned with Democrats.

Jeffrey Church is a law enforcement consultant and a retired Reno Police sergeant. He has no previous affiliation with WCSD. He wants to follow the value of the United States Air Force, in which he was a reserve member of, with those values being: Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. He is politically a Republican but takes a nonpartisan stance on the position.

Ryan Gonda is a trust officer and has served on the board before in District C in 2016. Gonda seeks to make sure the district maintains a level of accountability. Gonda aligns himself with the Republican party.


District C covers the Spanish Springs and Cold Springs area, North of Reno. There are two candidates running for the open seat there.

Andrew Caudill is an assistant athletic director at the University of Nevada, Reno. Caudill wants to take a bottom-up approach which focuses on allocating tax dollars more wisely. Caudill has no previous experience with WCSD but works for the Nevada System of Higher Education. He politically aligns himself with Republicans.

Debra Feemster is an education consultant and was formerly a principal at three different WCSD schools. She was also first Director of Equity and Diversity for WCSD. She wants to support students who need extra help on an individual level. She aligns herself with the Democrats.


District B covers the Sparks area and has three candidates running for office. The previous representative, John Mayer, will not be seeking re-election.

David Morlet is a wastewater operator for Sparks. His goals include being a voice for parents of children currently in WCSD. He has not worked for WCSD before and is nonpartisan.

Dian Vanderwell works for the Northern Nevada Apprenticeship Coordinators Association. She serves as the chair of the Sparks Planning Commission and the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Commission. Vanderwell wants to represent students that don’t seek a path to a four-year degree after high school, advocating for apprenticeship programs. She is nonpartisan in political affiliation.

Ellen Minetto is a music teacher with WCSD. She has no prior political experience but has taught with WCSD for 29 years. She wants to represent the students and parents that she has taught over her career with WCSD. She is politically aligned with the Republican party.

All summaries of candidates were based on a questionnaire sent out by The Reno Gazette-Journal that the candidates filled out themselves.

 Joey Lovato can be reached at and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.