History made, one upset in school board races

REGION — History was made and an upset of sorts occurred in the elections of two of the region’s largest school districts.

San Marcos Unified School District voters elected the board’s first Hispanic representative when they elected Stacy Carlson to the board. She and Pam Lindamood won the two seats that were up for grabs, besting Jean Diaz in the process.

Carlson, who runs a science grant-writing firm, finished with 34.65 percent of the votes cast.

She said for a district that is 46 percent Hispanic or Latino students, the historical significance is profound.

“It is important for the Latino students and families to look at their leadership and see themselves represented,” Carlson said. “In those terms, it is thrilling to have won and made history in the process.”

Lindamood, who was appointed to the board in 2013 to complete the term of Sharon Jenkins, who now serves on the San Marcos City Council, was the election’s leading vote getter with 39.35 percent of the votes.

An incumbent was toppled in the San Dieguito Union High School District race, as voters elected Maureen “Mo” Muir to the board along with two incumbents, John Salazar and Amy Herman, while incumbent Barbara Switzer Groth finished in fourth place in the race for three seats. Groth had held a seat on the board since 1998.

Muir, a current member of the Encinitas Union School District board and wife of Encinitas City Councilman Mark Muir, expressed gratitude to the voters. She finished as the highest vote getter, garnering 18.23 percent of the votes cast in the 7-person field.

“I am so happy that people came out and were so gracious to help me out and support me,” Muir said. “I am honored to have received so many votes from voters and I plan to take an active role in making sure our schools are safe, fiscally sound and making sure our kids are able to reach their fullest potential.”

Muir said that she believes it was her campaign’s personal touch that allowed her to connect to voters. She said she spent countless hours speaking to voters during house-to-house precinct walks.

“A lot of parents were surprised just that I was there, and on Tuesday many of them told me they voted to me because I came to their house to find out their opinion,” Muir said.

Muir’s campaign message was to ensure that every district dollar possible is being prioritized into the classrooms, to keep a watchful eye over the district’s ongoing Proposition AA building campaign and also to ensure the district was proactively listening to the community, as opposed to reacting to protest.

Calls to Groth were not returned at the time of publication.

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