Trustee settles back into role at Tracy Unified
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jan 09, 2013 | 2089 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two years isn’t much time when it comes to getting acquainted with an elected office.

But Kelly Lewis — who was appointed Jan. 3 to serve the remaining two years of retired Trustee Bill Swenson’s vacant four-year term on the Tracy Unified School District board — said a previous 12-year stint on the board should make his transition an easy one.

“If I were brand new, two years is too short, but all the time I’ve been on the board at the most it should take one to two meetings to get caught up,” said Lewis, who was sworn in during the Tuesday, Jan. 8, regular meeting.

“The first night I got the agenda it was pretty much like riding a bike,” he said before the Tuesday meeting. “I knew the issues, the student and administration issues. So it didn’t take long to understand what was going on.”

Lewis, 49, served on the Tracy Unified board from 1998 and 2010. He was appointed last week by a 4-2 vote of the trustees during a special meeting to replace retired board member Bill Swenson.

Swenson resigned Dec. 13 after 18 years as a trustee. He cited more time with family as his main reason for leaving his post.

To get a clearer picture of what the board is working on, Lewis said he has scheduled a meeting with TUSD administrators Friday, Jan. 11.

“I’m meeting with Casey (Goodall) and Shelia (Harrison) this Friday afternoon,” he said. “Then I’ll know the big issues. I’m guessing finance and facilities, and improving the educational experience for kids is always an issue.”

Although he doesn’t have any immediate goals, Lewis said he will re-evaluate his status after his first six months back in office.

“I don’t think I know enough right now,” he said. “I think we have a really good administration and a good board, and I just see myself as another member of the board to help out.”

Lewis said he resigned from the board in 2010 because his children were no longer in the TUSD system and that it was “time for someone else to have the fun.”

He said one of the reasons he decided to apply for Swenson’s seat is because an appointment is how he got on the board originally. He said he took over the two years remaining on the term of Suzanne Tucker in 1998 after Tucker was elected to the City Council.

As for seeking re-election in 2014, Lewis said he hasn’t yet made up his mind.

Lewis is married to Leslie Lewis, and together they have two children, Alyson, 23, a teacher at Tracy Learning Center, and Brent, 21, who is studying sports and entertainment facility management at Fresno State University.

Lewis said he attended California State University in Hayward for three years studying criminal justice, but never completed his degree. He is a graduate of the California School Boards Association’s masters in governance, which trains participants about the roles and responsibilities of school governance teams over nine sessions.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

Comments-icon Post a Comment
January 09, 2013
Kelly, I know ya will do a good job.

But I do wonder why thair was no outcry frum th public fer a special election ta be held similar ta th outcry regardin th City Council appointment that didn't pass by th voters.

Personally I am pleased at both results but can't help but wonder why one elected body, th City Counsel is so closely scrutinized while another elected body, th TUSD School Board, is virtually ignored in this respect.

Anyhoo, congratulations on yer appointment an I am confident ya will do a great job.

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