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Voters elect three DUSD trustees, TID director
Turlock resident Claudine Pacheco brought her two children, Daniela Pacheco and Ryan Pacheco, with her to the polls on Tuesday in hopes of showing them what the voting process is like and to encourage them to get involved when they are old enough to vote. - photo by ALYSSON AREDAS / The Journal

It didn’t take long after receiving news of her re-election to the Denair Unified School District Board of Trustees for incumbent Kathi Dunham-Filson to know exactly what she wanted to accomplish during her next term.

“I want to continue to increase enrollment and continue to help Denair grow academically,” said Dunham-Filson. “I plan to continue serving DUSD by listening to the stakeholders and community members, by doing my research, and making sure that I am educated on all issues that are presented.”

Dunham-Filson also said that she hopes to see the “tug of war” between DUSD and housing developer Ronald Katakis of RBK Development, Inc. come to end in favor of the school district. Katakis petitioned earlier this year to change the boundary line between DUSD and Turlock Unified School District in order to send potential Denair students to Turlock instead.

Incumbent John Plett was also re-elected to the DUSD Board of Trustees on Tuesday, as well as newcomer Ray Prock Jr. Plett said that he hopes to continue to improve the academic quality of the District by including more advanced placement classes, vocational opportunities and extracurricular activities.

“All four of my children went through Denair schools and now I have grandchildren attending,” said Plett. “I want Denair schools to provide the best possible education for my family and all families in DUSD.”

Prock Jr. said that he looks forward to being a part of the team that will help DUSD rebuild and continue to move forward. With both of his children attending Denair schools, Prock Jr. said that he hopes to further his involvement in the educational process of DUSD.

“I’ve seen the turmoil the District had to go through the past couple of years and now we’re recovering from it,” said Prock Jr. “I hope to continue to bring Denair back to the community I know it can be.”

The Denair school board race is the main reason that Claudine Pacheco came out to the polls this year. Pacheco said that although she is a Turlock resident, she resides in DUSD boundaries.

“There are some people who are running for Denair that I just really believe in,” said Pacheco. “I want to see all their hard work come to fruition. They are always going to do their best for our children and the community.”

Pacheco, who said that she votes every year, said that she believes voting is how someone can make a difference in their community and how they can truly “make their citizenship count.” She also brought her children, Daniela Pacheco and Ryan Pacheco, along with her to the polls to show them what the voting process is like.

“I don’t want them to be intimidated,” said Pacheco. “I want them to know that this is how they can get involved.”

In Turlock Unified School District, incumbent Barney Gordon ran unopposed for Trustee Area 1, incumbent Frank Lima ran unopposed for Trustee Area 5 and newcomer Ken Malech ran unopposed for Trustee Area 3. Anthony Silva was appointed to serve Trustee Area 7 last month after no candidates filed to run before the deadline in August. 

In Chatom Union School District, incumbent Steve Soderstrom ran unopposed for Trustee Area 3 and incumbent Daniel Costa ran unopposed for Trustee Area 4.

Turlock Irrigation District Director Michael Frantz will embark on his seventh year serving on the board following his re-election for Division 1 on Tuesday. Although he is hoping for rain, Frantz said that he will continue to help TID work diligently and efficiently with water during the ongoing drought. He said that he also looks forward to playing a supportive role in the Don Pedro Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing process.

 “It feels great to have the support of the community,” said Frantz. “I look forward to four more years.”

Incumbent Rob Santos ran unopposed for the TID Board of Directors Division 4. 

The election results are preliminary, following a final count. Official results can be found at