13 Being Vetted To Finish Foster's Term On San Diego School Board
The San Diego Unified School District received 16 applications by Tuesday's deadline from people seeking to finish out Marne Foster's term on the Board Education. Three were ineligible because they don't live in the position the seat represents.
One of the applicants, LaShae Collins, is a state legislative staffer who previously filed to run for the office in the June primary election.
Foster resigned two weeks ago after pleading guilty to receiving financial gifts over the legal limit. She admitted that a benefactor gave her son money toward a theater camp in 2014 and paid for his airline tickets.
By law, Foster could only accept a gift of $460 per year, said Deputy District Attorney Leon Schorr.
Foster, 47, was accused of abusing her powers with her alleged involvement in a staff shakeup at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts; being secretly behind a $250,000 claim against the district filed by her son's father that accused the school of sabotaging the youngster's college plans; and holding a fundraiser to cover her son's college expenses.
She was ultimately charged with one misdemeanor count.
The board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Herbert Ibarra Elementary School, 4877 Orange Ave., to interview the candidates.
Others who applied are Brenda Campbell, Cathy Clady, Erica Dibello- Hitta, Rogelio Gloria, Marilyn Harvey, Lawrence Isom, Kenneth Malbrough, Aimee Nimitz, Raquel Nunez, Lionel Smith, Sharon Whitehurst-Payne and Jacqueline Young.
Board members plan to deliberate after hearing from the applicants before choosing three finalists. The final three will be allowed to speak again at a meeting on Feb. 23, when one of them could be selected for the seat.
"We're very interested in having an open and transparent process that allows for the best candidate to come forward," said School Board President Michael McQuary. "We hope by the 23rd we'll have a champion for the students in district E."
The seat representing Southeast San Diego is up for election this year, so board members opted against holding a special election to fill the position.
“It’s a big operation," McQuary said. "So we hope the person who is the interim and the one who wins the election are best qualified to do that.”
The district has 130,000 students across 200 schools.