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Chanthabandith appointed to Vallecitos School District board

Ritsa Chanthabandith has been appointed to the Vallecitos School District board to fill the vacancy for the Trustee Area 5 seat.

The Vallecitos board meeting Tuesday, April 9, included a 3-0 vote to appoint Chanthabandith to the vacant seat. The Trustee Area 1 seat is still vacant; Chris Howells resigned from the board effective Feb. 12 after moving out of California. Chanthabandith will serve until December 2024, although she can seek a full four-year term in the November 2024 election.

“She has a couple of students in the district, and we’re excited for that representation,” Meliton Sanchez, superintendent of Vallecitos School District, said.

The district’s Trustee Area 5 seat had been vacant since Melissa Cox resigned from the board due to family reasons in March 2023. Trustee Area 5 is in the western part of the district. In March 2023, the school board voted 4-0 to approve the provisional appointment process to fill the vacancy.

Section 5091 of the California Education Code stipulates that if the vacancy is not filled within 60 days the County Office of Education superintendent shall call an election unless a waiver from the State Board of Education is granted, and in May 2023 the school board requested the waiver which is intended for situations such as a lack of applicants rather than for a deadlock in which no applicant receives the necessary board majority to be appointed.

Chanthabandith has lived in the Vallecitos School District for the past two years. Although she has not previously held public office, she is the pageant director for the nonprofit Lao Community Cultural Center of San Diego and has been involved in that Laotian cultural organization for more than 10 years.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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