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By Julian Peeples

Across California, educators are rising to answer another call to public service – by running for election to school boards this November.

Seeking to bring their knowledge and experience about schools and education to school boards in their home communities, these educators are stepping up to build the schools all students deserve as elected policymakers. We’ll be spotlighting a number of educators running for school board here at the digital home of California Educator as the November Election approaches.

Meet one of these education champions: Erika Zamora, a school counselor and member of Alvord Educators Association, who is running for Val Verde Unified School Board.

Why are you running for school board?

I grew up in this district. I’m invested in Val Verde, not just as a former student, employee and parent, but as a community member and educator. As a union member, I am passionate about protecting students and educators’ rights. I am a strong supporter of public education and know first-hand the challenges we face in our schools. I’m an advocate for students and educators, and I believe I need to do more for my community.

What are your top priorities for the school district?

More school counselors, psychologists and mental health support for all students TK-12. Take a deep look at the district police department to see how the expenditure improves our schools. We owe it to our students to be more mindful of policing in schools and addressing the school to prison pipeline Continue collaboration with the Val Verde Teachers Association, CSEA and the district.

Why did you decide that now is the time to serve your community as an elected official?

Being involved in CSEA from 2000-2015 allowed me the opportunity to know what it meant to work collaboratively for a common goal. Being active in CTA has opened up doors into advocacy not just for school counseling but for all educators, both classified and certificated. As the chair of the CTA Student Support Services Committee, I have been able to work alongside fellow educators from across the state to support and push for legislation and policy that is student centered and protects our public schools. As an NEA director, I have had the honor of lobbying at the national level in DC. And now that my kids are a bit older, and I have more experience, I feel it’s time to serve my community.

What would you like to say to your fellow CTA members about running for elected office?

Do it! I believe that the ones making decisions must listen to educators. Who better to decide what is best for the students and our schools than educators? Public schools have been under attack for too long and it’s time that educators have a seat at the table, if not now, when?


Twitter: @Erika4ValVerde

Facebook & Instagram: @ErikaForValVerde

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