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School District Welcomes Meza
Voters appear to have returned two incumbents and one of two challengers in the race for the Riverbank Unified School District board, although the results are yet to be declared official by the Stanislaus County Elections Office.

According to the latest figures including mail in votes totaled Friday, incumbent trustee Ron Peterson garnered 985 votes or 31 percent of the total to lead the four-way race. Newcomer Elizabeth Meza placed second with 873 votes (27.62 percent) and Peterson's fellow board member Egidio "Jeep" Oliveira retained his seat by winning 729 votes (23.06). There were three seats available, with four competitors running.

"I'm very humbled and very excited to be working alongside everyone on the board. I am looking forward to making an impact," said Meza, adding she will attend a training course in San Diego starting Dec. 2 and expects to be sworn into office at the Dec. 15 board meeting.

Meza said at a candidate's forum that she is a wife, mother of two daughters in the local school system and a Riverbank resident of 14 years. She has worked in the schools as a volunteer for many years, serves as the Parent Teacher Association treasurer at California Avenue School and is studying political science at Stanislaus State University.

Another challenger, Cohen Blount, ran fourth and failed to win office with a vote of 558. A Stanislaus State student, Cohen is the son of the late Patricia Blount. He ran before for a seat in 2007 at a time when his mother was still serving on the board.

Peterson is retired after teaching history and coaching basketball at Riverbank and Turlock high schools for 36 years. Together with CASA Del Rio Director Esther Rosario, he led a campaign to get a local bond issue passed to replace the local high school's gym and build a new elementary school.

Oliveira is an RHS graduate and former star athlete and coach there who is now an officer of a property management company.