Griselda Delgado, the principal of Hilltop Middle School, won the race for SWC Governing Board Seat #1 over former Sweetwater Union High School District Trustee Jaime Mercado and Chula Vista elementary school teacher Veronica Valdivia.
Delgado received 38 percent of the vote to Mercado’s 32 percent. Valdivia tallied 30 percent despite not campaigning.
“Students first” was the theme of Delgado’s campaign.
“My heart is with the students and I know whatever happens, it will always be with the South Bay students and their futures,” she said.
Delgado said she was thankful for the support she received.
“I felt loved and now it’s time to give back,” she said. “Now the work begins.”
Delgado was endorsed by the San Diego County Democratic Party, the SWC teachers union and three members of the SWC governing board.
Alejandro Orozco, chair of the faculty’s political action committee, said he was “ecstatic” about Delgado’s victory.
“It’s been a long day for me,” he said on election night. “I’ve been up since 6 a.m. on H Street holding up signs for Griselda.”
Governing Board Member Humberto Peraza said the race was close despite Mercado and Valdivia running without conducting organized campaigns.
“It’s surprising,” he said. “They run no campaign at all but get votes.”
Mercado said he is fond of Delgado and thankful for the positive tone of the campaign. He said he believes the new board is capable of making positive changes to SWC.
“I’m very pleased with the outcome of the election,” said Mercado. “I think it is a new day and they’re going to begin the building process.”
Governing Board Member Norma Hernandez said she welcomes Delgado to the team.
“I’m very proud of her, but also I think she is going to be a wonderful addition to our board,” she said. “We need somebody with the perspective of the secondary school. It takes people being involved and Griselda was able to get people behind her and involved in her campaign.”
Seat #1 was held for 16 years by Terri Valladolid, who said she decided to not run for re-election so she could spend more time with her family.
“I respected her,” said Peraza. “She was consistent in her thoughts and beliefs and while we may disagree, vehemently at times, you have to give her credit for what she has done for the college.”
Valladolid said she was confident the good work of the current board would continue and she spoke well of her successor.
“I think she will be very good for the board,” said Valladolid.
This was Delgado’s first time running for office. Dorian Delgado, 20, her eldest son and campaign treasurer, said his mother’s entrance into the political arena is just another step in her progression as an educator.
“I’m not surprised in her interest to get into politics,” he said. “She’s just trying to find ways to improve the educational system around her.”
Dorian Delgado is majoring in applied mathematics at SDSU.
Griselda Delgado is scheduled to be sworn in on Dec. 17.