East Side Union High School District trustee Lan Nguyen appears headed toward re-election, while newcomer Magdalena Carrasco is leading incumbent Patricia Martinez-Roach for another seat on the board.

A fourth candidate, retired district Principal Thelma Boac, trailed the others in the contest for two seats on the five-person board.

East Side runs 11 comprehensive high schools and a dozen smaller schools and is the largest high school district in Northern California.

Nguyen, 43, a program manager for the Santa Clara County Mental Health Department, was seeking his third term on the board. Wednesday morning he had received 29.98 percent of the vote, well ahead of Martinez-Roach.

Carrasco's lead over Martinez-Roach is slim, with some precincts and mail-in ballots still to be counted.

He said he would like schools to groom all students for college-preparatory courses and would focus on raising achievement among lagging students. He also would like the district to create a parent support center on each campus.

Martinez-Roach, a kindergarten teacher in the Franklin-McKinley School District, has served on the East Side board since 1994, except for a two-year hiatus. She said she helped start a program to identify and help students at risk of failure.

Carrasco, 45, a child development specialist at Gardner Family Health Network, had criticized the board for lacking urgency about students who are failing. She'd like to reduce class sizes and reinstate summer programs and library hours.

It appears that an infusion of cash and support from a pro-charter political action committee, Parents for Great Schools, helped Carrasco's campaign. The group, financed by a statewide charter school group and by high-tech moguls, contributed at least $37,000.

Boac, 62, a retired principal of Silver Creek High, advocated for more services for struggling students, beginning in elementary school. She also wanted more students to attend summer programs and would like to involve more parents in their kids' education.

Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775. Follow her at Twitter.com/NoguchiOnK12.