Latest News

Modesto school board member to run for county education seat

Modesto City Schools Trustee Kim Spina says she will jump into the County Board of Education race, bringing competition to usually unchallenged seats and leaving the city schools contest with only one committed candidate for three seats.

“I’ve loved my tenure at Modesto City Schools and I appreciate working with my colleagues on the board, but this is an opportunity to have a broader scope,” Spina said this morning.

Spina, 51, said she also wanted to spend more time with her family. Her father is recovering from a stroke, and her husband and two sons were each gravely ill during the last two years.

“The Modesto City board can be a full-time job. I don’t know how I made it through. I wasn’t going to quit early, but there is no way I’d do that again. Leaving Stanford (Medical Center) to get back for a board meeting, you start weighing what’s really important,” she said.

Retired educator Norm Lee also has filed a statement of intent to run for the District Area 3 seat now held by Zella M. Gharat, who has not filed for re-election. Without an incumbent running, the deadline for filing would extend to Wednesday.

Spina’s decision to not run as an incumbent extends the filing period for the Modesto City Schools election to Wednesday. The three at-large seats to be filled are those of Spina, Steve Grenbeaux and the vacant seat of Gary Lopez, who resigned July 12.

Grenbeaux is the sole candidate to have submitted candidacy papers of the three Modesto City seats as of Wednesday night, when the county elections site was last updated.

Immigration attorney Solange G. Altman and Josh Vander Veen, who ran for the board in 2009, also have pulled papers.