Three ed board incumbents tout 90 total years of experience


There won’t be much competition for seats on the San Benito County Office of Education this June, as the only seats up for re-election will be filled by three incumbents.
County office board members’ responsibilities include approving the budget, developing policies, reviewing inter-district and expulsion appeals, adopting instructional materials and approving credentials for teachers and substitutes, according to the San Benito County Office of Education’s website. Here are biographies of the candidates:
Mary Anne Filice is the incumbent candidate for District 1, which includes most of the area around Spring Grove School. Filice has served on the board for more than 20 years, she said. SBCOE trustees like to pay attention to alternative education sites, such as San Andreas Continuation High School, Santa Ana Opportunity School, Pinnacles Community Schools and San Benito County Juvenile Court School, she said.
“As a board member, I really believe that a lot of people are paying attention to the districts, so we need to focus really on these alternative sites,” she said.
When asked about accomplishments during her time on the board, Filice highlighted that people know she is available “and that’s what I’m proudest of,” she said. Filice taught at Spring Grove School, and surrounding sites, for about 20 years before becoming a real estate broker and the owner of Mary Anne Filice Realty.
“When I left the teaching field I had this need to be involved in education,” she said. “My kids were pretty much through the system and on their own and I just needed to be back there and keep in touch with what was going on.”
Her goal for the coming term is for the board to continue to address county business with a focus on new regulations, such as the Local Control Funding Formula and the Local Control and Accountability Plan, which changed everything as far as how the budgets work, she said.
Guadalupe V. Candelaria is the incumbent candidate for District 2, which includes Aromas and San Juan Bautista. Candelaria, who has served on the board for more than 25 years, views her role as trustee to be part of her advocacy for public education, she said. She wants to advocate for quality education for all students in the county, including those in alternative education, special education and at rural schools, she said.
The board’s accomplishments during her most recent term include maintaining a healthy financial situation, staying up to date with state education codes, and advocating for a county with rural schools, school districts and alternative education programs, she explained. When asked about goals for the next term, she wanted to continue to provide similar services, she said.
“Well, we’re just moving on, continuing the same services that we’ve been providing and making sure that we stay on course and continuing with a vision of fairness and equality for all students,” she said.
Candelaria’s professional experience includes working as the office manager at the Mission San Juan Bautista and in local schools with the bilingual and migrant education program. She became interested in education as a young parent guiding her own children through the school, she said. She became involved in parent clubs and bilingual education, then remained involved after her children went to college, she said.
Patricia Ward is the incumbent candidate for District 5, which includes part of Hollister. Ward has served on the board for 44 years, she said. When asked about board accomplishments, the trustee praised the group for its work with alternative schools, keeping the budget in line and maintaining a respectful working relationship between trustees.
“One of the better things we’ve done is to make our alternative schools so good,” she said. “We have three wonderful alternative schools plus the juvenile hall we also are in charge of. And I really feel we have done these students a great service here.”
Ward ran a private daycare from her home, worked as a librarian and now is a co-owner of the San Juan Antiques & Collectibles in San Juan Bautista, she said. Her goals going forward are to continue the same good work of the board.
“I think just to continue to do the good job that we’ve done,” she said.

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