Fontana USD

Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/16/2013 09:36:15 PM PDT
Updated: 07/17/2013 12:38:54 AM PDT

FONTANA – In a lopsided contest, Fontana Unified School District voters ousted Leticia Garcia and Sophia Green, two controversial board members who raised the hackles of Mayor Acquanetta Warren, many district employees and parents.

“Our community came together as one,” said Jesse Armendarez, the quarterback behind the recall effort. “We brought people in the community together that never talked to each other before.”

“I think we have a well-rounded school board now and they are going to show us what they are made off,” he said.

Shannon O’Brien, who owns a non-profit business that contracts with several school districts in the Inland Empire, won Garcia’s seat on the board, while Ayanna Blackmon-Balogun won Green’s seat.

Blackmon-Balogun will start her 20th year with the Rialto Unified School District this fall. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Redlands.

Slightly more than 70 percent of the 3,851 voters in Tuesday’s special election voted in favor of ousting Green, while slightly more than 69 percent of 3,919 favored removing Garcia from the board.

“I am just so excited, there are so many emotions going on,” O’Brien said shortly after the results became public knowledge.

O’Brien said she and Blackmon-Balogun will likely be sworn into office on July 24.

Blackmon-Balogun said “said she is so excited. This is the third time I have run.”

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