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San Diego School Board President Faces Challenger

San Diego Unified School District board President Kevin Beiser addresses a cr...

Credit: Milan Kovacevic

Above: San Diego Unified School District board President Kevin Beiser addresses a crowd of supporters at Athens Market Taverna in San Diego, June 3, 2014.

Voters will decide Tuesday whether the president of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education will serve another term, of if a district advisory committee chairwoman and former scientist should take over his seat on the dais.

Incumbent Kevin Beiser picked up more than 68 percent of the vote among the city's northeastern neighborhoods in the June primary election. Challenger Amy Redding, who chairs a district advisory group that advises the board on financial decisions regarding helping disadvantaged students, garnered around 32 percent of the vote.

Only residents in sub-district B, which includes Scripps Ranch, Tierrasanta and San Carlos, voted for their representative on the school board in June, but because the top two vote-getters advance to a runoff, voters across San Diego will decide whether Beiser or Redding will be elected.

Beiser's list of accomplishments in his past four years on the board included spearheading an effort to spare visual and performing arts programs from budget cuts, implementing an anti-bullying policy and working to get air conditioning installed at the hottest campuses.

The Sweetwater Union High School District teacher and former county Math Teacher of the Year said if he is elected to a second term he will work to keep class sizes low; protect art, music and career vocational education; and improve graduation rates.

Redding, a mother of two San Diego Unified students, a former biotech research associate and Parent Advisory Leaders Group founder, said that if she is elected she will make student-focused decisions and work to rebuild the district's financial stability. She'll also advocate for school safety and security.

In her various roles in the district, Redding has pushed for more money to be used at school sites, for district officials to be more transparent in their dealings with parents and taxpayers and worked to get a $2.8 billion capital improvement bond passed.

Retired teacher Michael McQuary is running unopposed to represent areas along the coast, Linda Vista and parts of downtown San Diego. The post is currently held by Scott Barnett, who has opted against seeking reelection. Barnett has endorsed Redding over his colleague Beiser.

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