Marks takes control in Trustees Area 4

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Lisa Marks was firm yet humble in running a successful campaign for the Hollister School District Trustees Area 4 seat.

Lisa Marks won’t declare victory until the final results are released on Friday, but a win seems all but certain as she holds a near 15-point percentage lead over Rob Bernosky. With 1,860 votes (57.3 percent) to Bernosky’s 1,382 votes (42.6 percent), Marks, a part-time project manager for ROI Communications, expressed words of wisdom in talking about what lies ahead as she becomes the representative for the Hollister School District Trustee Area 4.

When appropriate, Marks will meet the other board members, the superintendent and has a desire to engage with Bernosky, who has history and experience in the district. In short, Marks displayed humility as she ran her campaign, emphasizing the importance and value of teachers and students alike.

“If I had a campaign slogan, it would be I’m committed to the students because it’s all about the students,” she said. “I also value in a different way the teachers and the part they play in creating the best educational experience for children, because if you don’t have well informed teachers who are empowered to do their job well and are not excited to be in the classroom, it’s going to be hard to give children a real positive experience.” 

Marks said she was willing to not only listen to differing opinions, but embrace them as an opportunity for growth. 

“I will be a voice for my constituency,” she said. “The only reason I got into this was to give back to a community that has given me so much.”

San Benito County Board of Education, District 1

Elizabeth Zepeda Gonzalez wasn’t in a celebratory mood even when Tuesday night’s “semi-official” results came in from the San Benito County Registrar of Voters. With 14 of 14 precincts reporting, Gonzalez had a strong enough lead in the Board of Education District 1 race that a victory looked all but assured. 

“I’m happy with the results, but there is also a lot of work in front of us,” the 2012 San Benito High graduate said. 

Gonzalez earned 47 percent—2,264 of the votes cast—to unseat longtime incumbent Mary Anne Filice (37 percent, 1,784 votes), who had run unopposed for this seat for the last 20-plus years. Gonzalez said she’s been “heavily involved in the community since I was a youth,” and her acts of service intensified once the coronavirus pandemic arrived. 

Gonzalez dropped off food boxes and distributed face masks to farm workers, who have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19. She also chalked up her win to spreading her message via electronic flyers and on social media platforms like Facebook. 

“That and making person-to-person (introductions at a distance) and phone calls,” she said. “I wanted to get the word out to the community in the work we do, which is helping the community.”

Hollister School District, Trustee Area 2

Elizabeth Martinez engineered a commanding victory, garnering a whopping 74 percent of the votes (1,845 votes) to easily outdistance Leonard Espinoza, who totaled 650 votes (26 percent). Martinez previously served two terms on the Hollister School Board and is the president of the California Schools Employees Association chapter 173.

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