The Faces Behind the Ballot

Everything to know about the upcoming School Board Elections.


The fight for a seat on the School Board of Tahoe Truckee Unified School District has kicked off to a start as the election’s candidates have recently been announced. There are currently three seats open on TTUSD’s School Board with six candidates running. On the Left-wing side are Patrick Mooney, Dianna “Dee Dee” Driller, and Denyelle Nishimori, and opposing them on the Right-wing are Richard Ludke, Heather Whitney, and Shannon Hansen. 

The candidates running will be representing their designated Trustee Area. Candidates must live in the Trustee Area that they are representing; however, in this election, all voters in the school district are allowed to vote for all Trustee Areas, not strictly their own. Mooney and his opposing candidate, Ludke, are running for, and if elected will represent, Trustee Area 1. If elected, Nishimori & Whitney will represent Trustee Area 4, while Miller and Hansen will represent Trustee Area 5.

Following the announcements of the beginning of their campaigns, the Statement of Candidate for each running official has been announced. Each statement of the Candidate highlights the qualifications/experience, priorities, and some background information on each candidate thus far and is expected to continue in depth throughout the election, and its process. 

The following is only a section from each candidate’s Statement. The full statement for each candidate that is running can be found with other local election information here

Mooney – 

“As a retired TTUSD teacher of 34 years, my varied experiences as a teacher, coach, and athletic director give me unique insight into the many complex educational, financial, and staff issues facing our district. I have three children who have attended TTUSD schools since kindergarten – two who have graduated and one who is still enrolled. I am deeply vested in this district’s success.”

Ludke – 

“I was born to a family of teachers and have been a Truckee resident for 25 years. With my teaching credential, I have served the youth in our community through student teaching at Truckee Elementary, serving as a Big Brother, and volunteering in youth programs throughout Nevada and Placer Counties.”

Nishimori – 

“As a leader in our local government working in our community for the past 21 years, and as a mother of two children in TTUSD schools, I will serve as your trustee to push for continued excellence in our school system. I was given the opportunity through the public school system to be the first person in my family to attain a Master’s Degree largely due to the strength of the teachers and administrators who advocated for their students and created a positive learning environment.”

Whitney – 

“I am passionate about public education, as a parent of a 7-year-old in the school district, we as a community need to be educated and advocate for what is best for our children. They are the future of this world we live in; they need the ability to learn and think for themselves.”

Driller – 

“My commitment to our community and school district runs deep. I have been a resident of the West Shore for 34 years and part of the governance team for the past 12 years. My prior work on the Board has been positive and our TTUSD schools are thriving. We have managed to dramatically improve our facilities and programs while recently navigating through some turbulent times.”

Hansen –

“My name is Shannon Hansen and I am running for Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District’s School Board. My husband and I are raising four, third-generation children in Tahoe City. I served on the School Board for Tahoe Community Nursery School for the past 7 years and was acting Board President from 2019-2022, during the pandemic.”

As the Election continues and as each running candidate’s campaign progresses the information will, as well as any election updates.