Questionnaire Responses

Ellen Minetto

We reached out to just about every candidate that we ranked with a questionnaire specific to the office they are running for. Here are the answers Ms. Minetto provided.

Ms. Minetto is a non-partisan. She's running to represent District B on the Washoe County School Board.

Tell us about your background. What are your qualifications for this position?

I am the current school board trustee for district B and am a retired WCSD music teacher. I taught music for 31 years, with 29 years in Washoe County. In 2018, I decided to run for school board so I could serve the community and the schools. Being an educator, I understand what it is like to be a school teacher and use that previous experience in making my decisions on the board. Being on the school board since 2019, I can testify there is a learning curve with this position. With my experience I have gained on the board, I hope to continue representing Sparks and Sun Valley.

Do you agree or disagree with the measures taken by state officials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? What do you think should have been done or done differently?

As a school board member, I heard a lot of public comment in regards to COVID-19 protocol. I know that a lot of the public was not happy with the safety measures like face masks and social distancing, but I wanted to make sure the students got back to the classroom as soon as possible. As a result, the school district maintained the safety measures mandated by state officials, so the students were able to be in the classroom where they ought to be. I did not agree with all the mandates made by the state, but I knew the students needed to be in class with their teachers again. I am proud of Washoe County School District schools that were opened in the 2020-2021 school year, while many school districts remained closed.

Many voters are unhappy with our public school system. What policies or actions would you prescribe to repair or replace the existing system? Do you support “school choice” policies such as educational savings accounts? Why or why not?

I am in support of parents making the decisions regarding their children's education. They are responsible for their children, so have the right in making decisions regarding their education. Generally, there are more resources available in public school for students.

Please briefly describe your political philosophy. What are your guiding principles?

As a school board member, I know that the government has many requirements and mandates on public education. I would like to have less mandates, especially since many mandates that come from the government are not accompanied with funds to accomplish them.

Many voters are concerned about inflation and its impact. What could be done at the state or national level to address the root causes of inflation or mitigate its impact on the public?

As a school board member, I cannot provide a statewide solution to inflation. I do believe that the bigger government should address the cost of gasoline, which impacts the price of all goods as well as shipping. When something that is essential for our economy is outrageously high, it has a domino effect on other costs.

What are the biggest issues facing Washoe County schools, and how would you address them?

The biggest issue facing Washoe County schools is the staffing shortage. We are currently having issues getting teachers hired and retaining them. We also have issues getting enough bus drivers to get students to school. More funding from the state would help that greatly, since more competitive wages will lead to more people being hired and being able to retain those employees.

Some parents are concerned about “mission creep” in education. How should teachers handle topics like race, sex, gender, and identity in the classroom?

It is the teacher's job to love their students and make sure the students feel secure and belong. No child should feel bad because of race or gender or learning disability. Every student deserves to be treated with dignity.