- Business Advocacy
The Alhambra Unified School District welcomed three new members to the Board of Education at their Dec. 15 meeting. Dr. Marcia Wilson, District 1; Ken Tang, District 2; and Kaysa Moreno, District 3, took the oath of office in a Zoom swearing-in administered by City of Alhambra Clerk Lauren Myles. The new members joined incumbents Bob Gin, District 4, who has served since 2002, and Joanne Russell-Chavez, District 5, a board member since 2014.
At the ceremony, Superintendent Denise R. Jaramillo welcomed the new members, “The community is fortunate to have a Board of Education of five members who are each so committed to what is best for our students, our families, and our AUSD employees.”
All three new board members are educators whose childhood experiences animate their work and achievements.
Raised by parents who met through the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee during Civil Rights marches, Dr. Wilson has the DNA for activism, volunteerism, and leadership. After earning her BA, MSW, and Ph.D. at USC, she has been an adjunct professor at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work for over 30 years. Dr. Wilson launched USC’s online MSW program. As dean of Pathway Innovation and Institutional Effectiveness at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, she is Dean of Equity Initiatives, including the Reentry Pathway, Employment and Career Success, and Strong Workforce Programs. An active booster parent, Dr. Wilson held multiple PTA leadership roles after her family moved to the district in 2000. Her sons graduated from Alhambra High School. Dr. Wilson’s focus is shared evaluation of data to ensure equity.
Mr. Tang’s journey to Board of Education member began as a 6-year-old with his parents and younger siblings aboard a boat fleeing Vietnam as the war ended. After 22 months of near-death experiences, his family was able to immigrate to the U. S. and eventually move to Alhambra. His father became blind, and his mother supported the family by working 16-hour days, earning a nickel-a-piece at a downtown L.A sweatshop. A Mark Keppel High School alumnus, Mr. Tang graduated from USC with a major in child development and became an elementary school teacher at Garvey School District where he currently teaches and does volunteer work. His area of interest is in student mental health. He is in the process of learning Mandarin and Spanish to better communicate with students.
For college math professor Ms. Moreno, the daughter of parents who immigrated to escape violence and war in El Salvador, it was her mother who inspired her to seize education as the achievement prize. A product of LAUSD public schools, Ms. Moreno is the first in her family to graduate from high school and college. As the El Camino College mathematics department chair for online learning, she pioneered their remote program before the pandemic. She is president of the Fremont Elementary PTA and a member of Los Amigos de Fremont booster club where her 6-year-old son is enrolled in the Spanish Dual Immersion program. With a focus on educational equity, Ms. Moreno advocates for bilingual learning. Her husband, Joshua Moreno, Alhambra High School chair of world languages, was AUSD’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.
“We warmly welcome Marcia, Ken, and Kaysa,” Mr. Gin told the three at the swearing in ceremony. “We embrace the opportunity to work together to build on the foundation for an equitable education and to tackle the challenges our students, families, and employees are navigating at this moment in history as well as the opportunity to create new possibilities for 21st century learning.”
Mrs, Russell-Chavez added: “I believe in change, and the new ideas that change brings I look forward to getting to work with our new board members.”
Every December, the five member AUSD Board elects a new slate of officers for the coming year. For 2021, Mr. Tang was elected to serve as board president, Dr. Wilson is vice president, and Ms. Moreno will be clerk of the board.