Los Nietos race an upset in the making?

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WEST WHITTIER – In a hotly contested race for three board seats in the Los Nietos School District, challengers Art Escobedo, Grisel Vasquez and Diana Villalba were leading incumbents Gloria Duran and Cathy Martinez in early election returns Tuesday.At the neighboring Little Lake City School District in Santa Fe Springs, two new board members will join the school board. Challenger Gina Almanza-Ramirez was heading the pack late Tuesday.During the campaign for the Los Nietos school board, Duran and Martinez said the district has made strides in test scores over the years, including Rancho Santa Gertrudes Elementary being named a California Distinguished School.But the challengers disagreed, with Escobedo saying any new board member must break the cycle of low expectations and improve the reading scores of the district’s 2,300 students.Vasquez agreed that the board needs to be held accountable for student performance, while Villalba said she felt it was time for a change on the board.Escobedo, Vasquez and Villalba appeared to be running on a slate, sending out joint mailers to unseat appointed incumbent Martinez and 16-year board veteran Duran.At the Little Lake City School District, four names were on the ballot but incumbent Hilda Zamora withdrew from the race in October. The other two candidates were Ronald Gonzales-Lawrence and Mercedes Uribe .Almanza-Ramirez campaigned on bettering the district’s safety and emergency readiness training, raising student achievement and expanding after-school programs.“I’m just very excited and grateful for the volunteers who believed in me and my issues that I was supporting,” Almanza-Ramirez said. “I’m very fortunate to have wonderful support of the residents in Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs.”If elected, Gonzales-Lawrence said he would help establish a nonprofit organization to raise money for the district and raise enrollment by recruiting the children of people who work in Santa Fe Springs but don’t live there.Uribe worked for the Little Lake district for about five years and volunteered as a PTA president. [email protected]@sgvn.com(562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 or Ext. 3026last_img

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