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3 win seats on Holtville school board

November 07, 2001|By DORA DEPAOLI, Staff Writer

HOLTVILLE — Newcomer Joan Thornburg and incumbents Paula Daniels and George Morris claimed three four-year seats on the Holtville Unified School District board.

Thornburg finished with 495 votes, or about 20 percent of the total votes cast. Daniels, a four-year member of the board, received 461 votes, or nearly 19 percent of the votes. Morris, a 10-year board veteran, claimed 422 votes, or slightly more than 17 percent of the total vote.

"I am grateful that I won this," said Thornburg, 61. "It has been time for a change for a while and I think the voters recognized this. I would very much like to see us return to the spot that we used to enjoy, to be the best school district in the Valley, and I would work to see that happen."

Seven people ran for three seats on the board. Among the other first-time candidates, Steve Cato claimed 344 votes, or nearly 14 percent; John J. Hernandez received 183 votes, or 7.4 percent; and Paul James garnered 271 votes, or nearly 11 percent. Incumbent Bill Thornburg Jr. received 297 votes, or 12 percent.


Daniels, 50, said she would like to see the district "stabilize, with the same administrators and the same teachers. I would like to see us retain good employees. I hope that we are able to continue with our remodeling and improvements with our buildings."

Morris, 41, said he was "very happy" to be re-elected.

"I will work hard to keep the district on the positive path we are on now," said Morris.

In the last few years the district has gone through the reassignment of two popular principals, an unsuccessful recall of three trustees, "qualified" financial status and the removal of a superintendent.

The district recently hired Pat Maruca as superintendent and also hired three first-time principals. Last month the district was notified by the state that the long-awaited high school science building would become a reality by July. The Office of Public School Construction committed nearly $700,000 to the project.

Two years ago the state notified the district that it qualifies for a $9 million grant under the failed voter bond criteria. (The district tried unsuccessfully to pass a $9 million bond measure.) The reconstruction grant has not yet been funded.

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