Carrie Coscarella-Mattix, running unopposed for the District 1 seat on the Salida Board of Education, was appointed to that seat two years ago.
Two seats were open at the time, and Coscarella-Mattix said she thought that with her life experience, education and passion that she would be a good fit on the board.
She has three sons who attend school in the district.
Upon her appointment, the board had to tackle facility use fees, and then COVID-19 made for a large learning curve, she said.
“I can honestly say that I am more confident and outspoken for what I can do best for our students, teachers and the community today. I have the dedication, time and energy that it takes to be on the board,” she said.
Helping students reach their education goals and to be successful after high school is important to her.
She said success is different for each student and it’s important to have alternate pathways to attain their goals, via traditional avenues like associate and four-year degrees, or trade certifications, a gap year, military or straight to the workforce, and knowing whatever option they choose they will be successful.
Her experience on the board has shown her that increasing salaries and procuring affordable housing, all while being fiscally responsible, are tricky.
“It is complex and necessary to keep the remarkable district staff to stay in the area. This is an absolute need for retention,” Coscarella-Mattix said.
She is also focused on mental health.
“Being able to respect each other when views differ and put politics aside when looking for solutions to complex situations is vital to be on the board of education.
“I am blessed to have had the opportunity to continue to serve on the Salida Board of Education as District 1 representative,” she said.
Coscarella-Mattix has a long history in the Salida area. Her family has been in the area for more than 100 years.
“I was raised in Salida, and I am a Spartan through and through,” she said.
Salida has not always been home. She said her travels and work experiences with other cultures and perspectives give her the ability to put aside preconceived beliefs and value other opinions.
Graduating from Salida High School in 1991, Coscarella-Mattix went on to two different colleges and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
She has been a registered nurse for more than 25 years and said she is a dedicated lifelong learner.
“I seek out new experiences and challenges – for example, District 1 representative,” she said.
She and her husband, Buel, have been married for 15 years. Their sons Ryus and Fletcher are 12½ and son Jarrek is almost 11. All three attend Crest Academy.
“Salida has two great middle schools to choose from, and they each picked Crest after much deliberation and for different reasons. We would have been happy with either choice they made,” Coscarella-Mattix said.
Two boys are in the Gifted and Talented program in math and another has some learning issues.
“There are struggles and challenges to both, and being able to recognize that enables me to see their strengths and weaknesses and to be able to work in them and bring that same awareness to others,” she said.
Coscarella-Mattix and her husband own Mountain Air in Salida, and she said she understands the struggles of living and working in the district.
“Ever since my boys were little, my husband and I have been engaged in their activities, from flag football to middle school tackle football, T-ball to live-pitch baseball, wrestling, circus and trapeze, hiking, camping, basketball, piano and guitar lessons, and Cub and Boy Scouts,” she said.
Cocarellla-Mattix is the chairperson for Boy Scout Troop 60 and Buel is scoutmaster.
She also enjoys taking pictures for herself and other parents.
“I want to do the best I can for my home and community, she said.