OUHSD board to welcome 2 new trustees

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Two challengers gained seats in the Oxnard Union High School District board of education race.

Beatriz Herrera, a professor and counselor at Ventura College, garnered the most votes in an election against three incumbents—Socorro Lopez Hanson, Wayne Edmonds and John Alamillo—to take one of the three open seats.

Another challenger, Karen Sher, a teacher at R.J. Frank Intermediate School in Oxnard, also topped the incumbents to take one of the three open seats.

Lopez Hanson and Alamillo lost their bids for reelection.

As of Thursday, Herrera received 19,754 votes, or just over 23 percent of the 85,768 votes cast in the race.

“I’m honored the voters put their faith in me as an educator,” Herrera said. “The message, to me, is that educators can be a member of the school board.”

Sher received 18,092 votes and said she’s excited to serve the community as a board member.

“I’m looking forward to doing great and wonderful things,” she said.

Edmonds, the only incumbent to win reelection, garnered 18,051 votes.

The 66- year- old said he initially ran in 2010 to make a difference in the lives of students and nothing has changed since.

“That’s the reason I ran this year,” Edmonds said. “I felt my work wasn’t done.”

Candidates had to hold off on celebration plans after a downed Ventura County clerk website delayed the release of election results Tuesday.

The website didn’t have preliminary results online until after 9 p.m., more than an hour later than planned.

Edmonds said when it comes to technology, glitches happen.

“I knew the county had gone to a new system, and evidently it couldn’t handle the capacity,” he said, adding that Ventura County was one of three counties in California to purchase the new system and each county had issues.

“I was delighted once the results were posted,” Edmonds said. “It was a sigh of relief.”

Sher, 44, said the delay didn’t faze her.

“I wasn’t worried,” she said, “I was just excited and wanted to hear the final count.”

Herrera, 49, said she went to the county office after she realized the delay was a systemwide issue.

She waited for each precinct to report the results and said she didn’t leave the office until nearly 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Herrera said she is looking forward to working with her fellow board members to find out the best way to serve district students, including getting college information out earlier.

She said getting students prepared for college is most important to her and she would “like to see (the district) build relationships with higher education institutions” in order to create an easier path for OUHSD students.

Sher said her first order of business is to take some time to celebrate the victory with her supporters. She said she is looking forward to her time on the board.

“I’m ready to be an active participant in decisions that are made on the board,” she said.

Edmonds said county staff has worked a lot on Common Core and said his goal for the district is to make the curriculum more meaningful and relevant to students.

“We want to prepare kids for college and careers,” he said. “We have a number of magnet programs in the OUHSD. . . . These programs provide for A-G requirements for students to get into (universities).”

Edmonds said the district is adding a “vocational relevance” to what students are doing in high school classes and linking it with internships.

“(The district is) doing a lot of things high school’s probably should have been doing in the past,” he said.

Lopez Hanson, who had served on the OUHSD board since 2002, was seeking her fourth term. Alamillo was in search of his second term. Both fell short at the polls.

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