6 Compete for Redding School District Board Seat


Two women and four men have filed applications for the Redding School District board position that opened up when President Rein Stolz stepped down last month.

The board will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Sept. 20 in the district office on East Bonnyview Road to interview and vote on candidates. On Aug. 23, trustees selected Heather Kelnhofer to fill the spot vacated in June by former trustee Don Wilkins.

Here’s a brief description of the six candidates, with links to their full applications:

Priscilla Brutlag

Redding resident Brutlag is a retired science teacher from the Enterprise Elementary School District who conducts science workshops and does substitute teaching. She has a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in Illinois and an M.A. in Education from Simpson University. She is an active community volunteer who has lived in the Redding School District since 1987. She has grandchildren attending district schools.

Todd Gandy

Gandy, a dentist, grew up in Redding and graduated from Enterprise High School. He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from U.C. Davis and received a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from UOP School of Dentistry. Gandy and his wife, Stacy, have two young daughters who will be students in the Redding School District through eighth grade, he notes on his application.

Stephen Martinez

Martinez, who moved to Redding in 1998, works for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. as manager of the Northern California Office Services organization. He leads a team of six supervisors and 134 union-represented clerical employees throughout 26 counties. He has been on the boards of several sports and community nonprofit groups. He and his wife, Patricia, have three children, all of whom attended Redding School District schools. Martinez earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from San Diego State University.

Dick Riis

Longtime Redding resident Riis and his wife, Muriel, have two sons who attended schools in the Redding School District. Riis said he wants to help with the educating of students and help oversee that district funds “are used properly.”

Susan Wallick

A 20-year Shasta County resident, Wallick is the chief business official of the Bella Vista Elementary School District. She and her husband have four daughters. Wallick, who lives in Palo Cedro, has worked for schools since 1996, including at the Shasta County Office of Education. Prior to that she was a 911 dispatcher with the Redding Police Department. Wallick has served on the Shasta County Grand Jury.

Michael Wharton Jr.

Wharton, a Redding resident and Chico State business graduate, has a career background in sales and marketing. After earning a teaching credential through Simpson University, he taught school in Red Bluff for three years. Wharton and his fiancée, who has two children in the Redding School District, coach Westside Redding Little League.


Stolz, a longtime board member, resigned amidst controversy surrounding the Aug. 4 arrest of his wife Wanell, a district employee, on suspicion of stealing and embezzling more than $13,000 from a parent club and school.

Wanell Stolz, 51, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. She is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday with a preliminary hearing scheduled for the following day. Her attorney, Joe Gazzigli, did not return a call last week. Calls made Friday to the deputy district attorney in charge of the case also were not returned.

Candace L. Brown has been a magazine and newspaper journalist since 1992, including eight years at the Redding Record Searchlight, where she reported on public safety, the environment and special projects. She can be reached at candace@snowcrest.net.

Candace L. Brown
Candace L. Brown has been a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor since 1992, including eight years at the Redding Record Searchlight. She lives in Redding and can be reached at candace.freelance@gmail.com.
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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Adrienne jacoby says:

    Knowing candidate Priscilla Brutlag, allow me to say a word or six about her. I taught with her for many years and i always found her to be fair and extremely honest and, above all, placed the educational welfare of the student first and foremost. I believe that bringing her scientifically oriented, analytical mind to this position would be of immense benefit to the community.

  2. Avatar pmarshall says:

    all of the candidates sound very good. It will be a difficult choice.

  3. Avatar Sywatson says:

    I think Todd Gandy is an excellent candidate.He has good analytical, leadership and collaborative skills to move the district forward, which is something is important.. He does not have a single-issue focus but rather is interested in the success of all students in the district.
    He chooses to send his children to their neighborhood school, which if others would follow his example all local RSD schools would be better funded and we would see fewer pink slips for staff.
    Todd will be serving the needs of all of the redding school district students, regardless of their abilities and backgrounds
    He has a professional, poised demeanor and is respectful, he spends time on the school campus and has volunteered his dental services pro bono to students.
    As a school board member I believe that Todd will, first and foremost, look after the interest of children, taxpayers, and the community, These are challenging times for public education, and even more challenging is the work of local school board member and I know Todd Gandy would be a great addition to the board , He know's that Education is not a line item in our school board’s budget – it is the only item.

    I encourage all RSD parents to attend the next board meeting when they interview all the candidates, it is important that you advocate for your child's education