Zachary Avelar is the newest trustee on the Stockton Unified Board of Trustees.© [CLIFFORD OTO/THE STOCKTON RECORD FILE ] Stockton Unified School District’s Board of Trustees approved an ad hoc committee that will work to fill the vacancy on the board at a June 30 special board meeting.
The board voted 5-1 at a special meeting Friday to appoint Avelar to the seat left vacant when Candelaria Vargas resigned in June. Trustee AngelAnn Flores voted no.
The board said that Avelar's young age was a desired asset for the board. Trustee Ray Zulueta, currently the board's youngest member, said Avelar is "seeking to bring some youthful energy to the board." He added that this can help bridge connections to students.
Avelar told the board during his interview that his strengths are his youth, motivation and passion for "making Stockton a better place to live." He said that he is a community volunteer who works with the Salvation Army and Dark to Light Food Ministry.
Avelar said that he wants the "fighting and bickering" to stop among trustees and does not support the continued use of censures against trustees.
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"I'm not working for a charter school and I'm not on any person's team," Avelar told the board during his interview. "I'm on team SUSD and I'll work closely with the union, parents and my fellow board members. I love and respect SUSD teachers. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and work hard."
The board had no discussion regarding the other three candidates who were interviewed at the meeting, except by Flores.
She added that the community should be involved in the appointment of the trustee, although it is not required by law for the board to do so in this circumstance.
"I think that we should include public and community because at the end of the day it is a community who elected us, not people on the board already with their opinions and their desires of what they wanted on the board," Flores said at the meeting. "It was at the hands and at the feet of the community and its constituents and I think that the other candidates that are on this list should have a fair opportunity to be discussed as a possibility as well in regards to their answers, because everybody brought the answers to the table and we shouldn't just choose somebody based on age."
Board President Cecilia Mendez responded to Flores, saying that she did not discriminate against any other candidate and she listened "very (carefully)" to their responses to questions.
Avelar will serve on the board until 2022, when Vargas' term was set to expire. To continue serving on the board after this term expires, he will have to be elected.
This article originally appeared on The Record: 'Youthful energy': Zachary Avelar appointed to Stockton Unified Board of Trustees
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/youthful-energy-zachary-avelar-appointed-to-stockton-unified-board-of-trustees/ar-AAMLsLw870