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Two longtime Oxnard Union board members set to retire

Steve Stocks and Dick Jaquez, headshots.
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Longtime educators Dick Jaquez and Steve Stocks will retire from the Oxnard Union High School District board of trustees this month.

Stocks, a member of the board since 1988, spent 36 years with the high school district as a teacher and administrator.

Jaquez, a coach and teacher for more than three decades, was first elected to the six-member board in 2000.

Jaquez, the board’s president, chose to retire this year to pursue a spot on the Oxnard City Council.

“It was just time to make a change,” said Jaquez, who was born and raised in Oxnard. “I put in 12 years and want to do something different.”

He did not win the election.

Jaquez began his career in the district in 1970 at Rio Mesa High School, where he taught social sciences and government, and coached the football and basketball teams.

Jaquez moved on to work in the district office before running for the board, which oversees seven high schools and Jaquez 16,000 students.

Jaquez said he considers his time with the district a success. The 69-year-old Oxnard resident said he spent his Stocks time on the board trying to keep the basics in mind.

“Our budget was balanced; our employees were compensated, and our youngsters learned,” Jaquez said.

Stocks entered the district in 1952 as a teacher at Oxnard High School. The 87-year-old said Oxnard was the only school in the district and had 1,400 students that year.

“We’ve made a lot of progress since then,” said Stocks, laughing. “It’s been challenging, but it’s been fun. I can’t say I regret a single moment.”

Stocks said he is retiring from the district to let in a new wave of board members.

“I just figured that I’ve done my duty for teachers, students and education,” Stocks said. “It’s time to let someone else take over.”

Stocks taught at Oxnard and Port Hueneme high schools, served as principal at Channel Islands High School and was an administrator in the district office.

Gabe Soumakian, district superintendent, said Stocks and Jaquez were his mentors when he joined OUHSD.

“It’s nice to have board members who understand the history of the district,” Soumakian said. “They have a lot of memories and history to bring to any conversation.”

Jaquez said since he didn’t win a seat on the Oxnard City Council he will spend as much time as possible with his family.

“I’ll just try to make my grandchildren sick of me,” Jaquez said. “I want to be around my family.”

Stocks said he plans to spend some of his retirement at his family’s property in Montana, where he has an ATV, a tractor and a saddle, but no horse.

“Oxnard is my home,” Stocks said. “I don’t plan on leaving. I’ve been here for too long.”

The two new board members, Steven Hall and Gary Davis, will be sworn in at the next board meeting on Dec. 12.

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