Foss selected to fill vacancy on HUSD board

Mark Foss selected to fill vacancy on Hughson Unified board
Posted on 07/01/2021
Mark Foss

Mark Foss said he and his wife Amanda had discussed one of them serving on the Hughson Unified School Board someday. So, when a vacancy occurred this spring in the district they live in, they had a decision to make – who would apply for the position?

 

“There was a real excitement when we saw there was an opening,” said Mark Foss. “She’s an attorney. She’s very busy. I said, ‘I’m going to go for it,’ and she agreed.”

 

The family goal became a reality in June when the four other Hughson Unified trustees voted 3-1 to appoint Foss to fill the remaining 18 months in District 5. He replaces Cindy Cunningham-Gipp, who resigned in May when she and her husband moved to Modesto.

 

“I am honored to have been selected,” said Foss, a 2000 graduate of Hughson High. “This town and community have and will always have a place in my heart and because of that, my passion to make a difference will forever be present.”

 

Foss, his wife and their two children live on the same 4 1/2-acre ranchette that he grew up in. Son Colt will be a freshman at Hughson High this fall while daughter Brooklyn will be a sixth-grader at Hughson Christian. Both are accomplished students and active in youth sports.

 

“I have always had a passion for giving back to this community that gave so much to me and my family,” Foss said. “I have worked with Hughson youth sports for many years, where my staff and I took great pride in the athletic and personal development of our youth and I will continue to work with our youth for years to come.”

 

Foss works as a maintenance supervisor for an international food company based in Modesto, where he supervises dozens of people and manages a multimillion-dollar budget. He believes that business experience is important for a board member.

 

“The three most important things about the role of a board member are first, acting as a fiduciary for our community. Making sure we are listening to current issues and addressing them accurately,” he said. “Second, communicating within our board to create policies to help the future of our community. Lastly, helping maintain our facilities to allow our student population to participate in extra-curricular activities needed for their development.”

Foss intends to run for a full four-year term when his board seat comes up for election in November 2022. He said he comes to the board with no specific priorities other than to support the exceptional work by teachers and administrators at each campus.

“I have lots of potential goals for the upcoming year, but I am so new to the experience that I don’t want to speak to that quite yet,” he said. “I’m open for community feedback to address specific needs.”

He complimented district leaders for their approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hughson was one of the first schools in Stanislaus County to offer a hybrid model of in-person and distance learning to keep students in all grades engaged with their teachers. With the pandemic receding and instruction scheduled to return full time to all campuses this school year, Foss sees bright things for Hughson’s future.

“I believe that the communication between the board, staff, community and parents is great, but it can always grow,” he said, citing the importance of using technology to allow parents to reach out to the board when they have concerns.

“We should continue to stream the meetings and be transparent and approachable for staff and the community,” said Foss, adding that “being active in the community and attending community events breeds communication. Mingling with the community that you lead is a great way to gain their trust and allow for open-ended conversations.”

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