Vizzolini, a retired instructor, director, principal and real estate agent was able to garner 61 percent of the vote while Garcia, a community organizer for the Diocese of Stockton, who has also worked with Mayor Luis Molina on youth issues, received 38 percent of the vote.
Vizzolini said it was apparent voters were looking for a more experienced candidate, noting that
he has served as Patterson High School’s principal until 2004, and spent 15 years in the Newman/Crows Landing School District. Vizzolini added that he looked forward to working with old colleagues in the education department.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of local education again,” he said. “The county office of education concentrates a lot on excellent programs that do a lot of work that local districts can’t,” he said. “They focus on students and people that can’t be covered because of the numbers at the districts.”
Vizzolini pointed to the Stanislaus County Office of Education’s efforts to honor veterans who served, but never graduated from high school with an honorary diploma as just one program.
Vizzolini said the board would be facing funding issues and how to best use resources over the next few years as new programs are implemented.
“There are going to be some important decisions made,” he said, stating he was looking forward to lending his expertise.
Garcia said that she was happy for the experience and understood it was her first election. She said she had not ruled out running for public office in the future, including Patterson City Council.
“I learned so much, having the practical experience was very educational, she said. “For the first time out, I think we did pretty well; especially for the time that we had.”
She congratulated Vizzolini and wished him well.
“I do plan on running in the future for school board, either in the county or locally. I would like to focus on education in the near future.”
Nick Rappley can be reached at 892-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.