San Diego Unified student trustees elected for the next school year
High school students across San Diego Unified cast electronic ballots last week that included five candidates for the two school board student trustee positions.
The results were announced Friday.
One of the winners was Blessyn Lavender Williams, 16, a junior at Lincoln High School with a 4.3 GPA. She is a varsity athlete, co-president of an organization that empowers young women of color. She is clear on her agenda for the next school year.
“What I want to get accomplished is to make sure all of my fellow students have a voice. That there’s someone on this board that’s looking out for them and for all fellow students to get prepared for their future lives," Lavender Williams said.
She was surprised with the news of her election, which she learned of at a school pep rally Friday morning.
Lea Nepomuceno, the outgoing student board member, led the district’s team notifying the winners. At the Lincoln pep rally, Nepomuceno was joined by fellow board trustee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne.
The other winner is Matthew Quitoriano, 15, an incumbent student member who was re-elected to his second term. The San Diego High School sophomore is known on the board for his bow ties and strong support for student mental health programs.
“We talk about grades and so many other aspects of school that are defined by the mental state of people. It all comes down to having a trusted adult on campus. I think we can do a lot to cultivate safe spaces on our campuses," Quitoriano said.
Both students are also committed to the passage of California Assembly Bill 275, which would give school districts the option of paying student trustees. It would not require compensation or set a specific pay rate. That proposal is now with the state senate for consideration.
The two student trustees-elect will be sworn in at the end of June. Their term officially begins July 1, just in time for the new school year.