Three challengers are expected to join the ranks of Oak Grove Union School District trustees.
Election results last updated by the county’s Registrar of Voters Office on Nov. 12 show Erin Lagourgue in the lead for a four-year term with 1,182 votes (31.12%). Lesley Jones leads a close race with 1,032 (28.04%) votes, only 157 votes separating her from incumbent Robbie Woosley for the second slot. Woolsey has 875 votes (23.778%).
Hannah Kallok surpassed incumbent Rahine Patel for a two-year term with 1,181 votes (59.92%) as of Thursday evening. Patel has 790 votes.
Sonoma County will certify the final vote tally by Dec. 3. While 100% of precincts have reported preliminary results, not all ballots have been counted from each precinct yet, as the office continues to verify and sort drop-off and mail-in ballots.
Lagourgue arrives in front as a parent of three in the district and a former police officer who now works as a private investigator. She also serves as board president of WillowSide Mutual Water Company. She said earlier in her campaign that she is motivated to address challenges with distance learning and build unity to serve students, families and communities in that order.
Lagourgue said she felt honored to receive such high support, while her excitement was tempered with the responsibility of the role.
“This is a really hard year to enter the school board, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” she said.
She said she felt determined to do well knowing not only are her children involved, but their friends and her friends’ kids, and that she was interested in regaining a sense of normalcy and face-to-face interaction for students.
“There’s so much that’s new this year, with life in general, but especially with the schools. I am trying to play catch-up right now, I’ve been reading board minutes, trying to figure out where everything’s at. I know that the budget is going to be a big one,” Lagourgue said.
Jones approaches the board with financial experience as a chief compliance officer ensuring firms follow government regulations and policies, with two children in the district. She wants to address Zoom fatigue in students, support teachers and preserve the Oak Grove visions for engagement with the arts, stewardship of the environment and more.
Jones said, “I’m really excited about it and I think most of the thanks goes to the current and retired teachers of Oak Grove and Willowside that really spread the word and did a great job campaigning for us” regarding her likely appointment to the board.
She said watching the results come in was “scary” but also exciting and that she was happy to see the candidates endorsed by teachers emerging victorious. As for the weeks ahead until the county confirms the election results, Jones said, “Well, gotta let the process play out sometimes. I’m ready to go.”
Kallok comes to the school board as a board member of the Graton Green Group and parent of two children in the district, with goals of using her collaborative skills honed by over 15 years in the restaurant industry to build bridges in the school community and stay true to the district’s values around the arts, the environment and celebrating diversity.
“I stayed up late on Tuesday, and I think it was about 1 a.m. and I was finally like, ‘I need to go to bed,’” she said, keeping an eye on her race as well as the presidential and Senate elections.
“I was definitely paying attention and feeling good and feeling excited about just our school board race,” Kallok said, although she was mindful that the results are not official yet. She said she was excited to serve the community and to have received so much support throughout her campaign.
Kallok said the three candidates anticipated to join the board were invited to a teacher’s union meeting over Zoom where the educators shared key issues and concerns.
All three projected victors were endorsed by the Oak Grove Union Elementary Educators Association, and are on track to take the seats of incumbents Brian Jacobs, Woosley and Patel.