Two new faces elected to college district board

By William Dudley

EL CAJON–The Republican wave sweeping over the United States in last Tuesday’s elections did not reach the Grossmont-Cuyamaca  Community College District Board. Voters elected Deborah Justeson and Edwin Hiel to the GCCCD Board of Governors, rejecting two Republican-endorsed candidates in the process.

Hiel was elected to Seat 1 with 52.19% of the vote, defeating Leland R. Ping and Ryan Lee Baker. He will take Seat 1 being vacated by Deanna Weeks.

Justeson won Seat 2 with 55.83% of the vote over Orrin Kole, and will replace Rick Alexander on the Board of Governors.

Incumbent Gregg Barr ran unopposed for Seat 3.

Both Justeson and Hiel were endorsed by and received financial support from the American Federation of Teachers Local 131, the union that represents faculty at Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. They were also backed by the San Diego/Imperial Counties Labor Council and the San Diego Democratic Party.

Kole, an Iraqi War veteran, is a member of the San Diego Republican Party Central Committee. Ping ran with the endorsements of Republican Assemblyman Joel Anderson and the Republican Party.

Justeson and Hiel both have ties to Grossmont College. Justeson has been an adjunct instructor in the Mathematics Department. Hiel was a counselor for international students at Grossmont; he now works for San Diego City College.

The next meeting of the GCCCD Board is Tuesday, November 16, at the Student Center in Cuyamaca College. Prior to the meeting, there will be a farewell reception at the Student Center for the outgoing board members Alexander and Weeks.  Grossmont students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend. RSVPs are requested and should be sent to

Justeson and Hiel will be sworn into their new positions at the Board’s December 14 meeting.

In other Grossmont-related election news, Ernie Ewin was re-elected to a seat on the La Mesa City Council. Ewin is the executive director of the Grossmont College Foundation.

Dudley is a student in Media Comm 132

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