4 finalists selected Foster’s school board position

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San Diego Unified School District Board President Marne Foster

SAN DIEGO — Four finalists were selected Wednesday night in the search to select a successor to Marne Foster, who resigned from the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education.

The finalists are Brenda Campbell, LaShae Collins, Erica Dibello-Hitta and Sharon Whitehurst-Payne. They were selected from a group of 10 candidates who addressed the board for three minutes each.

Two ballots were taken at a special, two-hour meeting that was held at Herbert Ibarra Elementary School in City Heights, where dozens of District E residents turned out.

The board had previously voted to allow three candidates to move forward.

Campbell is a retired administrator for San Diego City Schools; Collins the district director for Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego; Dibello- Hitta, a native of Argentina who came to the U.S. as a sixth grader, teaches English as a second language to adults in the Sweetwater Union High School District; and Whitehurst-Payne is a retired teacher and administrator for the San Diego Unified School District .

Collins and Whitehurst-Payne are running for the seat in the June primary. Because the seat representing Southeast San Diego is up for election this year, board members opted against holding a special election to fill the position.

“It’s time for us in Southeast San Diego to stop remediating our students,” Whitehurst-Payne said. “Let them know there is a bigger world out there.”

Campbell had a similar sentiment in her remarks to the board.

By Paul Levikow,   City News Service