San Diego Unified holds election for new student school board trustees
A two-day election in the San Diego Unified School District begins Thursday; not for adults, but for thousands of high school students who will choose two new members to represent them on the school board.
Lea Nepomuceno, a graduating senior from Scripps Ranch High School, and Matthew Quitoriano who attends San Diego High School, were sworn in on June 28, 2022 as student trustees.
Quitoriano is running for re-election along with four other students including Blessyn Lavender Williams from Lincoln High School, Andrea Fernandez from Mira Mesa High School, Mena Vo from Patrick Henry High School, and Michael Kozma from University City High School.
Since she is not a candidate, Nepomuceno offered support and advice to the candidates looking to replace her.
“ [I suggest to] have your priorities, everything you do on the board, backed by your values. Not only your personal values but the values that encouraged you to run," she said.
The student candidates are campaigning for positions on the board that do not pay and do not come with voting power.
The purpose of the student trustee is to provide students with a voice on the Board of Education.
The job requires plenty of unpaid work that includes knowing about issues and keeping up with the board’s agenda along with school work.
The five adult voting trustees are given a monthly stipend of about $1,400.
Legislation to compensate student board members is making its way in Sacramento.
Assembly Bill 275 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.
“This is real work and students have real needs, and so we have to elevate that conversation for adequate compensation for these young people and the service that they give," said Richard Barrera, who has served on the board since 2008.
The election for the 2023-24 Student Board Members begins on Thursday, April 27 and closes on Friday, April 28 at 5 p.m., with voting open to all high school students across the district.
Students will receive individual ballots from the secured ElectionBuddy platform via their student email on the days of the election.