Two newcomers have held their leads to fill two contested seats on the Sequoia Union High School District's governing board, according to according to semi-official results posted by the San Mateo County Elections Office on Thursday, Nov. 5, afternoon.
With nearly 70% of votes counted, Rich Ginn, a parent and business owner, pulled ahead in the race for the Trustee Area C seat, which represents Woodside, West Menlo Park and Portola Valley, with 37% of the vote. Incumbent Georgia Jack, who initially led on election night, has nearly 35% of the vote, while Shamar Edwards, former TIDE Academy principal and current Sunnyvale Middle School principal, has 28%. These results include all ballots except for provisional ballots and a portion of vote-by-mail ballots.
Ginn said in an email Wednesday that although the race is too close to call, he would like to thank all those who supported his campaign.
District residents, for the first time, voted based on the geographical area of the school district they reside in.
Candidate Shawneece Stevenson has nearly 71% of the vote in Trustee Area E, which includes Menlo Park neighborhoods east of Highway 101 as well as East Palo Alto. Jacqui Cebrian, who dropped out of the race in September to support Stevenson, has garnered 29% of the vote.
"Tonight was an amazing night for me," said Stevenson in an email. "I am at awe of the blessings and opportunity to serve our students of the district and thank you to East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and North Fair Oaks/Redwood City."
Cebrian remained on the ballot, as the San Mateo County Elections Office's deadline for candidates to withdraw had passed. Cebrian explained that she dropped out of the race because she believed Stevenson, as a Black woman, would better represent the area.
Incumbent Carrie Du Bois is running uncontested to represent Area B, which includes Redwood City, Belmont and San Carlos.
Board President Allen Weiner, whose term ends in December, did not seek reelection.
The new school board members will be tasked with helping hire a replacement for Superintendent Mary Streshly, who resigned in September following a call by the district's teachers union and 22 school administrators for her firing.
The county will update the vote count at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9.