SAUSD school board seat still up for grabs

We have all been so busy focusing on the replacement of Jose Solorio in Ward 1 of the Santa Ana City Council, that we have forgotten, seemingly, about the replacement of Sal Tinajero on the SAUSD school board. Time to start thinking about this again.

There are quite a few names being floated for the school board seat, including:

  • Oscar Garza – a Republican who served on the school bond oversight committee. He also worked with Tim Whitacre on the recall of former SAUSD trustee Nativo Lopez. Garza has an MBA and he works for the County of Orange. He ran for the school board before, and refused to do so this year. He also refused to back any of the Santa Ana City Council candidates this year – which I found odd. How could none of them be worthy of support? It makes me wonder if Garza is too cautious to be an effective trustee. Also, I wonder if school Board member Audrey Noji will back him, even though he has been a very vocal opponent of her friend and backer, Santa Ana Council Member Claudia Alvarez?
  • Tim Whitacre – another Republican who is best known for helping to recall Lopez. He is a realtor, but he also works on mortgages. I don’t know if he finished college, but he did serve in the U.S. Marines. He home schools his son. He also opposed the SAUSD school construction bond. He is known to be an ally of Rosie Avila, the school board member famous for telling us that God was mad at Santa Ana, or something to that effect.
  • Tino Rivera – he is still a Democrat, even though he told Whitacre he would become a Republican after the Santa Ana City Council election. Rivera lost his bid for Ward 2 however, so I guess he is going to remain in the Democrat column. Rivera is a graduate of local schools, and he runs a temporary labor company. I don’t think he finished college. His wife, Bertha, is on the SAUSD superintendent selection committee.
  • Sergio Verino – a Democrat, has also been mentioned. I believe he is allied with school board member John Palacio. He is a former employee of the school district, and a current Santa Ana city inspector.
  • Cecilia Aguinaga – a Democrat, ran for the school board this year, and somehow lost despite being supported by the teacher’s union. She has told me that she too wants to be considered for the current board vacancy. She has an associates degree from Santa Ana College, and her kids all attended private schools, or are now in college. Her husband owns a local business. She also works for the school district, I think the school police department.

Another name that I think merits consideration is Evangeline Gawronski, a candidate for Ward 2 on the Santa Ana City Council this year. She has over 20 years experience as a substitute teacher at Mater Dei High School.

I am told that SAUSD faces takeover by the state sometime next year, if they cannot get their act together, under the federal No Child Left Behind act. So whomever gets the appointment is in for a bad time. If the school district cannot right the ship, the entire school board will be forever known for this failure. This will be the end of their collective political careers. Now we know why Tinajero jumped to the City Council, and why school board member Rob Richardson wants to do the same, according to inside sources.

The next SAUSD school board meeting is coming up next week, on December 12. Don’t miss it – this could be an interesting meeting indeed. If the school board members cannot come to an agreement, we will be looking at yet another special election in Santa Ana.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.