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Morgan Hill
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December 11, 2023

Five new faces elected to MHUSD school board

Morgan Hill Unified School District’s governing body will welcome five new faces to its dais after the conclusion of the Nov. 6 election.

First-time candidates Vanessa Sutter, Wendy Sullivan, John Horner and Carol Gittens all won their respective trustee area seats while newcomer Heather Orosco ran unopposed in the fifth seat and did not appear on the election ballot.

Vanessa Sutter

They join Board President Mary Patterson and Vice President Teresa Murillo.

The next scheduled school board meeting is Nov. 13, which will be the last one for the current board. The five new trustees will be sworn in at the Dec. 4 meeting.

Sutter, a 43-year-old mother of four and Student Services Advisor, was nearly left off the ballot after failing to file by the candidate deadline this summer. However, she won an appeal, which was based on being given inaccurate information about that deadline by staff at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

On Tuesday’s election night, Sutter won more than 61 percent of the vote to defeat

Wendy Sullivan

Angelica Diaz, who ran MHUSD school board for a second time. This is a two-year term serving the Trustee Area 5 district after former trustee Tom Arnett resigned from the board earlier this year. The other four seats are four-year terms.

In the closest school board race, 45-year-old Wendy Sullivan—a mother of three and longtime school site volunteer— earned 38 percent of the votes to edge 59-year-old Peter Mandel (35.9 percent), a former MHUSD trustee looking to return to the board after a more than six-year hiatus. The other candidate in Trustee Area 1 was 39-year-old Emma Nunez, who received 26 percent of the tallied votes.

In another tight race in Trustee Area 2, Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce President

Carol Gittens

John Horner, 57, earned 39 percent of votes to defeat 47-year-old executive Tara Bevington (34 percent). This was a four-candidate race with Enrique Navarro-Donnellan, the youngest candidate at age 24, earning 13 percent and realtor James Dill taking 12 percent.

Santa Clara University Professor Carol Gittens, 49, was a runaway candidate in Trustee Area 4, where she earned 53 percent of votes ahead of opponents

Jill Provencal (32 percent) and Robert Guynn (14 percent).

Rossi defeats Borgioli for county school board seat

John Horner

In a contentious battle between two Morgan Hill residents, Santa Clara County Board of Education incumbent Claudia Rossi defeated first-time challenger Gino Borgioli for the Trustee Area 7 seat.

Rossi, a registered nurse and mother of two, won 56 percent of the votes ahead of retired business consultant Borgioli (44 percent) to earn her second four-year term on the county board.

Claudia Rossi

Rossi previously served on the MHUSD board from 2010-2014. Borgioli is finishing out his final days of a four-year term on the same local board, where he was elected in 2014.

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