Teacher Tim Schneider will join the Whittier Union High School District board of trustees for the first time in December after getting the most votes – 4,876, or 37 percent of ballots cast – in Tuesday’s election. He joins incumbent Ralph Pacheco, who successfully ran for re-election. “I’m really excited to be the newest member to the Whittier Union family,” said Schneider, 61. “I know we’re all dedicated to making our students successful.” Schneider said his biggest priority as a trustee will be continuing articulation with Whittier Union’s five feeder elementary school districts – a task he had experience with as an 18-year trustee at the South Whittier School District. “Academic achievement is a consequence of all the things you should be doing to make students successful,” Schneider said. “And that’s what I want to continue at Whittier Union.” Despite the major administrative changes that have been made at the South Whittier School District, the makeup of the board will remain the same with Tuesday’s re-election of incumbents Jan Baird, 54, and Sharon Stys, 58. “I feel wonderful about the results,” said Stys, who has been on the board for 18 years. “I think it speaks to the people who want to see the district move ahead with this new superintendent (Erich Kwek).” Baird, the current board president, echoed that sentiment, saying she has “worked so hard as president to bring in this new superintendent, and we’re going to get our schools back on track.” email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “I’m not going to go in saying, `We need to do things a whole different way right now,”‘ Elbling said. “My No. 1 goal in the short term is to get into the flow of the established routines of the board and the district.” The East Whittier board should expect another newcomer to join the panel soon, although exactly who it will be is still up in the air. Second-place winner Michael Cirasole, 59, a business services consultant, is leading third-place finisher and teacher Carlos Aparicio, 28, by a mere 16 votes. That vote margin could disappear as county election officials count an unknown number of absentee and provisional ballots over the next couple of weeks. “I thought I had lost this morning, but now I’m excited to still have a shot at this,” Aparicio said. “It’s out of my hands now, and I have to sit back and wait and hope for the best – but it’s been a roller-coaster ride so far.” Most of the school board members who have won office at three local school districts will be newcomers to the governing panels – but they say that’s not going to stop them from digging into the challenges that lay ahead. Chief among those concerns is raising student achievement – a common goal at the East Whittier, South Whittier and Whittier Union High districts, where schools will be required to meet rising federal academic standards over the next seven years. But first and foremost, the school board newcomers say, they have to familiarize themselves with their fellow trustees and administrators. “Regardless of whether you’re a new or old board member, you have to work together to get things done,” said teacher Dimitri Elbling, 43, who received the most votes in the race for two board seats at the East Whittier City School District.