Yosemite Unified board incumbents poised to hold on to their seats

Two Yosemite Unified School District Board of Trustees incumbents are on track to win reelection.

Trustees Stacey Montalto, of Oakhurst, and Monika Young Moulin, of Ahwahnee, had leads over their opponents late Tuesday night. Montalto holds the Area 4 seat and Moulin Area 5.

The latest results show Montalto is ahead with 721 votes over challenger Shawnessy Gaynor’s 660. Moulin boasts an even stronger lead, with her 883 votes ahead of challenger Jennifer Mills’ 612.

Montalto has only held her post for a little under a year, taking over for Joe Smith, who retired.

But the new face has experience working in education and the community. She was a member of the Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary School District Budget Committee, spent five years as board treasurer for Pacifica Community Charter School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, was a founding member and secretary of the YHS International Baccalaureate Parent Organization, and both founder and president of the YHS Band Boosters.

Moulin served a full term and last November was one of 40 individuals in the California education arena selected from an applicant pool of 150 to serve as a member of the California Content Library review teams.

These elections come in the midst of a recovery period of YUSD. The school’s budgetary issues pushed the district into a state of unrest in which 17 positions including teachers, a counselor and an alternative education principal were cut for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Then in February, there was an attempt to recall Board President Tammy Loveland and trustee Christine Wilder.

Most recently, though, Mike Berg, interim superintendent of YUSD, has begun work to repair the financial damages of the past year. In October, the district reached an agreement with the Yosemite Unified Teacher’s Association and the Yosemite-Coarsegold Chapter No. 698 of California School Employees Association for three-year contracts that feature a 2.5 percent salary increase retroactive to July 1.