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By Julian Peeples

Some people are just born to lead. This has to be why educators across the state are rising to serve their communities in the midst of multiple crises that threaten our collective health, safety and future prosperity. They’re campaigning for election like never before, finding new and creative ways to reach voters while maintaining safe social distancing and healthy practices.

We’re shining a light on some of these dedicated educators running for election during this chaotic time – leaders who are rising to defend our students and fight for the schools and community colleges they deserve. Here’s the next in this series: Lucy Ugarte.

Lucy Ugarte

Candidate for: Chula Vista Elementary School District Board of Education

Experience: 30 years in education, teaching English and health; currently an ELD curriculum specialist and interventions resource teacher in Sweetwater Union High School District; Sweetwater Education Association site rep.

Why: I have advocated for students, teachers, parents and community for more than 20 years, and I want to further serve my community. I want to empower the voices of students, teachers and staff to be fairly represented in board decisions, strengthen public education, develop transparency, and improve communication within the school district.

Top issues: Transparency, empowerment, and social and economic justice. Education takes place in the classroom between students and staff. Students should be the focal point of school board decisions. Empowering and taking care of teachers who are on the front lines of education is the best way to empower and take care of students.

Distance campaigning: Campaigning during this time has been via social media platforms, virtual meet and greets, and drive-through fundraising. I am attending numerous candidacy forums and Democratic clubs virtually to speak and present my platform.

Choosing to lead now: Children learn what they see and live. It is important for our young people to see a successful Latina from their community advocating for them and empowering them to do the same for themselves.