Rafu Staff Report
In the Nov. 8 election for Orange Unified School District Governing Board, Trustee Area 1, Board President Andrea Yamasaki was slightly ahead of teacher and former clinical cancer researcher Angela Williams, 27,123 (50.73%) to 26,344 (49.27%) as of Nov. 16.
Close races may take weeks to declare and Dec. 8 is the last day for county elections officials to certify the results.
“The campaign is over and ballots are still being counted. I am cautiously optimistic and hopeful,” Yamasaki said on Nov. 12.
During the campaign, Yamasaki said, “Having had the privilege to serve the Orange Unified School District that served my own three children, I understand the enormous impact school board decisions have on our students, their education, and their future. I take this responsibility seriously, which is evident in the thousands of hours spent visiting school sites, meeting with parents, and engaging with members of our community. Parents and community members should have a voice on the board. I am that voice.
“I am honored to serve as the current president of the Orange Unified School District School Board. During my tenure as a school board trustee, I am proud of the accomplishments our district has achieved …
“Our students deserve access to a well-rounded education that includes the arts, technology, sports, and career pathways that will tap into their potential and prepare them to be college and/or career ready upon graduation.”
Williams said in a statement, “I’ve lived in our community for over 30 years and devoted my life to health and education. I began my career as a clinical cancer researcher at Children’s Hospital of OC (CHOC). My love for science and research quickly became a love for teaching high school students as I moved my focus from lab work to homework.
“I began teaching science at the high school level in 2012 and have spent the last decade pouring into my students. Because of my unique background, the district opened its doors for me to develop and implement a biotechnology pathway at Orange High School.
“My husband and children all graduated from the same OUSD schools I taught in, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the teachers that helped them achieve a quality education. “But as many of my colleagues know, the district has recently turned away from back-to-basics education. Instead, special interests and politics take precedence over parents. This shift in mindset led to school shutdowns that disproportionately hurt low income families and many students have yet to recover socially, emotionally, and academically …
“Student voices and concerns are heard in my classrooms. I’d be honored to have your support and your vote.”
Williams ran on a slate with educator and former pro athlete Madison Klovstad-Miner (Trustee Area 4), education consultant and former school board member Timothy Surridge (Trustee Area 5) and current school board member Rick Ledesma (Trustee Area 7).
Following are results for other Asian American candidates in Orange County.
South Orange County Community College District Governing Board, Trustee Area 6: Teacher Ryan Dack was far ahead of business owner Pramod Kunju, 31,424 (69.43%) to 13,834 (30.57%). Kunju is an executive board member of the National Diversity Coalition and a board member and past president of the Asian Business Association, Orange County.
Capistrano Unified School District Governing Board, Trustee Area 4: Gary Pritchard, college dean and former trustee, led with 9,100 (49.15%), followed by James Glantz, former vice president of a multi-billion-dollar company, with 7,818 (42.23%) and software developer Darin Patel with 1,596 (8.62%).
Garden Grove Unified School District Governing Board, Trustee Area 2: Incumbent Lan Quoc Nguyen led with 5,381 (51.28%), followed by educator and healthcare engagement manager Mark Anthony Paredes with 3,044 (29.01%) and parent Nicole Jaimes with 2,069 (19.72%). Nguyen is vice president of the board and a practicing attorney.
Orange Unified School District Governing Board, Trustee Area 7: Incumbent Rick Ledesma led with 27,827 (51.96%), followed by students with disabilities teacher Sean Griffin with 16,567 (30.94%) and engineer/businessman Mike Nguyen with 9,160 (17.10%). Nguyen has worked in the aerospace engineering field for 25 years and in real estate for more than 30 years.
Cypress School District Governing Board, Trustee Area B: Strategic technology leader and landlord Troy Tanaka was slightly ahead of Cypress City Councilmember Jon Peat, 1,036 (50.73%) to 1,006 (49.27%). The seat is currently held by Bonnie Peat, a candidate for City Council. Tanaka, whose family has called Cypress home since 1967, pledged to “fight for accountability, transparency and creating an environment where our teachers and students can flourish.”
Cypress School District Governing Board, Trustee Area C: Incumbent Sandra Lee, a board member since December 2014, was ahead of public health statistician Kyle Chang, 1,838 (69.65%) to 801 (30.35%).
Fountain Valley School District Governing Board: In a six-way race for three open seats, the top three finishers were incumbent Sandra Crandall with 9,767 (21.75%), education operations director Dennis Cole with 7,949 (17.70%) and business owner Phi Nguyen with 6,967 (15.51%). Certified music teacher Eileen Maeda was in sixth place with 6,437 (14.33%). Nguyen is vice president of Saigon Central Post Inc. and president of My Vietnam Inc. and Saigon Xpress Inc.