The Sun Voter Guide

Breaking down Stanislaus Co.’s school board races

Modesto City Schools District

Two seats are contested for the Modesto City Schools District Board of Education on the November ballot. 

Area 3 representative Chad Brown and Area 7 representative Adolfo Lopez are running unopposed. 

That leaves longtime Area 1 member Cindy Marks and Area 5 member Charlene West as the two incumbents who are facing challengers. 

Marks, who has been on the board since 1997, is being challenged by Maria Elena Magana, a current member of the Salida Union School District board. 

Marks is a supporter of Measure L, the $198 million school bond measure that will provide improvements for classroom infrastructure and equipment updates. 

She has also served as the president of the California School Board Association and has worked to further career-building skills with the Linked Learning Alliance.

Magana has made a career working in education, including with Modesto City Schools, and she is also a supporter of Measure L. 

But she feels the district is not doing enough to secure school campuses, according to McClatchy. 

For Area 5, West was first elected five years ago and has nearly two decades of experience as a counselor with Sylvan Union. 

Her opponent is Jolene Daly, a marriage and family therapist who has been a candidate for Congress and State Senate in the last couple years. She told McClatchy that she opposes Measure L and questioned why the district has not budgeted for the improvements. 

Turlock Unified School District

The Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees has four seats up in the November election. 

For Area 2, incumbent Lori Carlson is running against Shenique Teixeira Borunda, and executive assistant. 

Voters in Area 3 will vote to keep Trustee Kenneth Howenstine in for the remainder of the short term he was appointed to or replace him with Paola Madlonado-Padilla, district mother. 

The Area 4 and Area 6 races feature two candidates that were backed by the local Republican Party recently.

Trustee Mary Jackson is running for reelection against Jeff Nichols in Area 4, and Area 6 Trustee Jeffrey Cortinas is challenged by teacher Rupinder Singh Jagbal. 

Nichols and Cortinas recently took part in a forum hosted by the Stanislaus County Republicans where they both expressed their desire to keep schools open during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ceres Unified School District

Area 3

  • Valli Wigt, incumbent
  • Mariah Jaquez, administrative assistant/student

Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District

Area 2

  • Paull Wallace, incumbent
  • Don Cabral, firefighter

Area 5

  • Vernon Snodderly, incumbent
  • Frank Rivas, warehouse supervisor

Oakdale Joint Unified School District

Area 1

  • Michele Manuel, mother
  • Clayton Schemper, fire captain/instructor

Area 4

  • Diane Gilbert, incumbent
  • Joshua Randol, father correctional officer
  • Shirrelle Moore-Mmasi, community volunteer

Area 5

  • Lauren Dutch, mother/farmer/salesperson
  • Bill Duvall Jr., businessman/rancher

Riverbank Unified School District

Area 2

  • DeLayne Coker, retired transportation coordinator
  • Katie Wedge, parent

Shiloh School District

Vote for two: 

  • Nicole Morris, incumbent
  • George Avila, dairyman/farmer
  • Lindsay Meikle, appointed incumbent
  • Shellie Quadros, mother

Sylvan Union School District

Area 3

  • Christine Harvey, incumbent
  • Cassandra Gamez, mother/utility worker

Area 5

  • Cyndi Lindsey, incumbent
  • Joni Griepp, mother/registered nurse
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.