President Jeanette Vazquez of the Fullerton Elementary School District Board of Trustees resigned from her position (effective immediately) during the August 11 Board meeting. Following this announcement, the Board was re-organized with Hilda Sugarman serving as the new Board president, and Beverly Berryman serving as Vice President. The seat vacated by Vazquez will remain unfilled until the November election. She represented District 5. As of August 12, only one candidate, Leonel Talavera, has qualified to run for that seat. The seat will be filled in December, following the election.
Vazquez, who is also a full-time teacher, posted the following message on social media on August 12:
“It is with a heavy heart that I share my decision to resign from the Fullerton School Board. I did not come to this decision lightly. As a family member and teacher, I understand the impact this pandemic has had on our community and in the educational setting. Continuing online instruction this fall is no easy task for our students, teachers, and families. As I prepare to fully emerge myself in the educational setting as a teacher and learner, I believe it is best for me to step down for the remainder of my term. I am deeply grateful for the support I received from family and friends when we began our campaign 4 years ago. To the community members of Area 5 and Fullerton families, I thank you for your support. I am proud of the work we have advocated for in the last 4 years for our local neighborhood schools and remain committed to advocating for educational equity in our community.”
During her tenure as Board President and as a Board member, Vazquez was a strong advocate for equity and justice for all students. She brought forth a resolution in support of Black Lives Matter, which sparked long discussions about institutional racism and necessary changes. As a result of this, the District will be creating and implementing Ethnic Studies curriculum in the future.
After explaining her choice to resign, Vazquez quoted South American educator Paulo Freire. “Education is an act of love, and thus an act of courage.