Wednesday Mar 11 2009
School Board appoints new member
By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
With strong Lincoln ties, Terry Gage, 44, wants to help the Western Placer Unified School District Board be successful. Gage was appointed to the board on March 4, after outgoing board member James McLeod was recognized for his service. McLeod resigned in January, citing his upcoming retirement as an engineer for the city of Lincoln and his recent dealing with a long illness and death in the family. Board member Ana Stevenson nominated Gage to the position. “I was very impressed with her,” Stevenson said. “She is extremely articulate, a Lincoln resident, went through Lincoln schools, was involved in 4H and I thought it would be nice to have the perspective of another woman with kids in the district on the board. She’ll be great.” Gage and her husband of 15 years, John Gage, have three children, 13-year-old Sean, 11-year-old Lauren and 9-year-old Michael, who attend district schools. “I don’t have an agenda,” Gage said. “I just want to help the district.” Gage fully supports the high school farm, which is used to teach students about agriculture and farming by real farming tasks. “I do feel strongly about the farm,” Gage said. “It gives kids a lot of opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.” Gage graduated from the district’s Lincoln High School in 1982, where she was involved with Future Farmers of America and 4H. “There’s a lot of opportunities for kid to learn and develop skills (in Western Placer),” Gage said, adding that learning how to speak in front of an audience is one of those skills that many students are not inherently good at but learn from the district. Gage works as president of the California Agricultural Aircraft Association, a nonprofit trade organization that helps members stay current on legislative and regulatory issues. Gage, though not a pilot, is still up-to-date on all the laws and procedures. Additionally, pilots come in for the 20 hours of continuing education required every two years. The pilots participate in several activities, including applying seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and working toward mosquito abatement, according to Gage. Before starting with the association in 2000, Gage worked in sales and marketing. She has a degree in business administration from California State University at Sacramento. When Gage and her husband bought their first house in 1996, she was pleased it was in Lincoln, less than two miles from the property on which she grew up. “Lincoln is my hometown,” Gage said. “It’s always where I wanted to come back to.” Gage is still involved with 4H, serving as the Beef Leader – helping youth who show calves – and as the Mount Pleasant 4H group’s community leader. Gage said she brings a number of assets to the board. “I have public policy experience and I’ve managed the budget for the association,” Gage said, adding that the association’s budget was much smaller than Western Placer Unified School District’s “but it still represents a fiscal background.” Gage isn’t daunted by the uncertain economic times. “I just feel that people who can help provide guidance should step forward, especially in uncertain times,” Gage said. “I’m really excited about the school district, the increase in test scores and the great staff. They are all working for the kids and I’m honored to be able to serve with them.” Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.