HAYWARD -- New and returning Hayward school trustees vowed Wednesday to work as a team and leave behind the bickering and divisiveness that has plagued the board.
"We need a change of culture," said trustee Luis Reynoso, whose heated exchanges with outgoing President Jesus Armas often reflected previous board divisions. Reynoso was elected to a second term in November while Armas did not run.
New board member John Taylor agreed that the divisiveness must end. "We're a team; all of us have made that commitment," he said. He also promised to work with the district staff and not micromanage.
One of the first orders of business Wednesday was to elect board officers. The process, while not completely smooth, was free of any verbal jabs.
Current board Vice President Lisa Brunner called for nominations for president. After no one spoke up, she nominated herself, but there was no second. Newly elected member Annette Walker then nominated Will McGee.
McGee, who has served on the board since 2010, was elected with three yes votes; Brunner and Reynoso abstained.
The five-member board chose Walker as vice president of the five-member board, with four yes votes and Reynoso again abstaining. Taylor was voted in as clerk, with four yes votes and Reynoso abstaining.
Walker and Taylor replaced Armas and Maribel Heredia, who also did not run for re-election.
Before the new trustees were sworn in, the outgoing trustees reflected on the progress the district has made during their terms and a remnant of the previous board's acrimony cropped up.
As Heredia was speaking, a voice yelled from the back of the room, "Get out of here, Heredia!" The comment came from Audie Bock, newly elected to the Fairview Fire District board and a former assemblywoman who ran for the Hayward school board in 2010, losing to Brunner and McGee. She also was campaign manager for Reynoso's failed run for Assembly in the June primary.
Later, during public comments, Bock apologized for her outburst.
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.