Eight run for new school board
by Jaclyn Hirsch / TP staff
Mar 12, 2010 | 2039 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eight people will vie for five seats on a new school board in Mountain House that would be formed if voters OK a move to give the community control of its own high school.

Three new faces — Jake Johnson, David Pombo and Micaela Vergara — have filed to run for a seat on what would be called the Lammersville Unified School District board. They join present Lammersville Elementary School District board members Ben Fobert, James Hiramoto, Atul Khanna and Shane Nielson and former school board member Matthew Balzarini on the ballot.

Mountain House residents will decide in a special election June 8 whether they want to break away from Tracy Unified School District and form a new district with its own high school.

Fobert said he wants to share his experience working in high schools with the new school board. He is a vice principal at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, where he has worked four years. Fobert, 33, has lived in Mountain House almost three years. This is his second year on the school board.

Hiramoto, 40, has served on the school board 1½ years and said he decided to run for a seat on the new school board because he wants to have a hand in establishing a high school in Mountain House. He has worked in public education for more than 15 years and now oversees psychology classes at Alliant International University.

Balzarini, 34; Khanna, 40; and Nielson, 39, are also eager to see a high school in Mountain House.

“I hope I get the opportunity to see the high school built,” Nielson said.

The current Lammersville school district has three elementary schools, a fourth under construction and another planned for 2012. The district has about 1,800 students and a budget of nearly $19 million.

Johnson, a new Mountain House resident, said he wants the opportunity to serve on the school board because he can use his business experience to help the district as it expands. Johnson, 33, moved to Mountain House in April and does product marketing for Intel Corp.

Pombo, a local farmer, said he has considered running for a seat on the school board for a while and saw this “exciting time” for the district as a good opportunity. Pombo, 49, has lived in rural Tracy his whole life, and his two younger brothers attended Lammersville Elementary School years ago.

Vergara, a fourth-grade teacher at Frederiksen Elementary School in Dublin, decided to run for a seat on the board because, she said, she has experience working with schools and wants to help build the district from the ground up. Vergara has lived in Mountain House for four years and taught in Dublin for five years. Her husband, Lem Vergara, is principal of Wicklund Elementary School and will be principal of Questa Elementary School when it opens in the fall.

The deadline to run for the new board was Friday.

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