Voters opt for experience on school board

They return incumbents, reject slate challengers

With the Chico Unified School District being threatened by state takeover, voters chose to go with experience, returning two incumbents to the Board of Trustees and also electing a long-time former school employee.

The top vote-getter was incumbent Andrea Lerner Thompson, with 14,178 votes as of Wednesday (23.79 percent). She was followed by Eileen Robinson, with 13,499 votes (22.65 percent) and fellow incumbent Kathleen Kaiser, with 9,012 votes (15.12 percent). Lerner Thompson and Kaiser are Chico State University professors; Robinson is a retired attendance clerk at Pleasant Valley High School who served several terms as president of the classified-employees union.

Voters chose them over three political newcomers—Sean Worthington, Erik Lyon and Dean Stefanides—who ran as a slate allied with the local Republican Party.

Robinson (pictured), who notes she “probably [hasn’t] missed a board meeting in 20 years,” said her highest priority will be to get the district’s deficit spending under control while protecting it from further program cuts.