Fresno Unified board’s extremes could be headed for ouster

Fresno Unified School District could see two new trustees elected to the Board of Education, courtesy of the ousters of the extreme ends of the school board.

At least one new trustee on the board, however, is certain. 

Retired school psychologist Susan Wittrup is wiping the field with Area 7 Trustee Terry Slatic and two other competitors. 

With nearly 6,500 votes, Wittrup has amassed 57.26 percent of the total, compared to 26.39 percent for Slatic. 

It’s a large enough for Wittrup to knock out the embattled Slatic after one term on the board. 

A major surprise in the FUSD board races comes in Area 4, where Trustee Veva Islas holds a tiny lead against challenger Karen Steed, a retired teacher. 

Islas’s lead in the latest update from Fresno County, which came Tuesday night, was only by a margin of 25 votes. 

Isals leads 41.92 percent to Steed’s 41.23 percent, while Michelle Scire grabbed nearly 600 votes so far to siphon off around 16 percent of the vote. 

Both candidates will have to wait for the straggling mail-in ballots to arrive to gain clarity on the race. 

Similar to Area 7, the race to represent Area 1 was also a blowout. This time, though, a current trustee will stay on the board. 

Trustee Keshia Thomas has nearly 75 percent of the vote, with the other quarter going to challenger Wayne Horton. 

With nearly 2,800 votes cast, Thomas holds a 1,300 vote advantage over her opponent.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.