‘Faces You Can Trust’ candidates respond to criticism

Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT – School Board candidates Rachelle Hicks, Chelsey Rios and Janelle Jones have responded to critical reaction to a Facebook graphic that included the slogan, "Vote for Faces You Can Trust." The image had been called out by other school board candidates, with critics suggesting use of a racial dogwhistle.

The online image which drew criticism.


The unedited response, which includes candidate statements:

“When Change is a Must Vote Faces You Can Trust,” was a slogan that is in reference to our “familiar faces” in the community. There was no intent for anything other than that. We three candidates are familiar in the community and are trusted by many to represent the interests of the children. It is unfortunate that it has become easier to have the courage to make such assumptions about people's character and intent virtually rather than call them and have a conversation.  When voting on November 3rd, each person should make their own choice on which candidate they trust to make the best decisions for our local children. Our individual candidate statements have been included to allow voters to make an informed decision.


Rachelle Hicks (Candidate for the MUSD Board of Trustees)

Chelsey Rios (Candidate for the MUSD Board of Trustees)

Janelle Jones (Candidate for the NHUHSD Board of Trustees)

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Rachelle Hicks - Candidate for McKinleyville Union School District (MUSD) Board Trustees

My name is Rachelle Hicks and I am running for McKinleyville Union School District Board of Trustees. I am running for this position because I believe that ALL children should have access to quality public education. I believe in high quality instruction and an educational experience that focuses on the whole child. I will promote educational programs that are based on data and will strengthen the social and emotional development of each student.

I am a Humboldt County Native and have lived in McKinleyville for over 20 years. My husband and I both graduated from McKinleyville High School and choose to raise our three children here. I am a Humboldt State University graduate and have spent many years contributing to our local Humboldt County community. I have served on multiple youth sports boards, and currently serve as the McKinleyville Little League President.

As a full-time working mother with three young children, I understand the importance of quality education and having a safe place for children to learn and grow. That is what our public schools must provide. I will advocate for accountability, data driven decision making, and equitable resources for all students. I have a passion for the youth in our community and I hope I can count on your vote in November!

Chelsey Rios - Candidate for McKinleyville Union School District (MUSD) Board Trustees

My name is Chelsey Rios and I am running for the position of McKinleyville Union School District Board (MUSD) Trustee. Many reasons have shaped my decision to run, the most important being that I want success for ALL students in our district and this begins with equity and fairness. I am a mother, wife, minority, leader, mentor, and a qualified candidate for this position.  As a born and raised Humboldt County native, I am motivated to serve my community as a school board trustee because my husband and I are invested in remaining in a community where our children can thrive academically and emotionally, just as we did.


I am passionate about trades and agriculture education; I spent my childhood in 4-H and FFA and continued my passion in my career as a heavy civil construction manager.  While I promote traditional education; I am a strong advocate for hands-on instruction and trade school curriculum for our children. My experience as an instructor of Construction Management at College of the Redwoods, as a mentor for the Humboldt County Office of Education Trades Academy, and my personal experiences in Humboldt County education have prepared me for this position of integrity, trust, and decisiveness. These three traits are the expectations that I have for myself, our school board, administrators, and educators when decisions are being made about our children’s education.


I want to boldly advocate for students regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, or orientation. I want to be the voice for children who need someone to speak up for them and not be afraid to share perspectives that will help shape decisions that will impact our entire student population. I would be proud to bring a rich and diverse viewpoint to our school board.


I will be committed to reviewing board policies to ensure that our school district is focused on improving student achievement and accountability. I am enthusiastic about using data to monitor our continuous improvement and transparency towards our community. I look forward to collaborating with staff and the community to maximize student success.

Janelle Jones - Candidate for Northern Humboldt Unified High School District Board Trustees


My name is Janelle Jones and I am excited to announce my candidacy for the NHUHSD School Board! I am a true Humboldt County Native and descendant from the Hupa, Yurok, and Karuk peoples. I have lived in McKinleyville for over 20 years and own a small business that promotes self-improvement, health and fitness. My husband and I, both graduates from McKinleyville High School, have three sons and 21 nieces and nephews who attend Northern Humboldt schools. As both a parent and a community advocate, I am dedicated to ensuring that our youth have the best opportunities for quality education, growth and development. I will proudly represent all children in the Northern Humboldt District and will fearlessly advocate for equality in our schools. I hope I can count on your vote in November.


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