BOARD OF EDUCATION
Ikeda, Knudsen take top 2 school spots
It was a repeat performance yesterday as the top vote-getters for the Board of Education in the primary election were also the top vote-getters in the general.
But two incumbents lost their jobs.
Former board member Donna Ikeda and incumbent Karen Knudsen won two of three at-large Oahu seats.
But Kim Coco Iwamoto, a civil rights lawyer, won the third Oahu seat in a tight race against former state lawmaker Terrance Tom and two other candidates, including incumbent Darwin Ching.
In the race for the Central Oahu seat, Eileen Ishihara Clarke, a 63-year-old retired vice principal of Mililani High School, easily beat incumbent Shirley Robinson, 55.
In the Windward district, 60-year-old John Penebacker, former UH basketball star and board member, handily beat Kris DeRego, 24, whose campaign was marred by allegations of sexual misconduct and theft.
Penebacker said one of his priorities will be to end bullying at schools.
"My intent is to take disruptive students who need special attention out of the classroom and put them in a place where they can get special attention," he said. "So those who want to remain in the regular academic setting can get a sound education."
Knudsen, a member since 1990, praised Clarke and Penebacker, saying both would bring fresh leadership to the board.
"There's a lot of experience there," she said.
A sixth open seat at the board was automatically taken by incumbent Mary Cochran of Maui because she ran unopposed.
The 14-member nonpartisan board oversees the statewide Department of Education and sets policies for public schools.