Sonoma Valley High School Class of 2019 graduate Jacquelyn Torres filed for a seat on the Sonoma Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees in the Nov. 8 election.
“I’m running for being the youngest and first Latinx admin who is a first-generation college student, has learning disabilities, and is part of the LGBTQ+ community,” Torres said. “As a recent product of this district, I am well aware of its shortcomings and will therefore contribute to improving the system.”
Torres joins Joe Lemas and Celeste Winders as candidates who have filed for the Zone 2 seat on the board.
Torres has served on SVUSD’s Local Accountability Plan Committee, District Curriculum Advisory Council, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, and School District Advisory Council.
“I bring a strong work ethic and the ability to get things done,” she said. “The greatest qualification I bring is a deep understanding of this district and the ways we can improve it not just as an alumnus, but as someone who has served in various district groups.”
After attending Sonoma 4Cs Preschool, Flowery Elementary School, Adele Harrison Middle School, and Sonoma Valley High School, Torres took courses in administration of justice and paralegal studies at Santa Rosa Junior College. . She then transferred to the Dominican University of California, where she graduated with honors in Latin and a double honors degree in political science and history.
At Dominican, she authored five higher education proposals, including the proposal to support undocumented students, which established the framework for several $24,000 scholarships that support the recruitment and retention of undocumented students in college. .
“This was a significant issue for me as I have undocumented family members who do not have the opportunity to pursue higher education as they are not eligible for FASFA. [Free Application for Federal Student Aid] or other financial support, depending on their status,” Torres said.
She was also a student assistant at Dominican as well as an intern for the school’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Torres, who also interned for Sonoma Immigrant Services, is currently completing a master’s degree in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the vice president of university administration for student government at the Graduate School of Education and works as a Civic House student assistant, where her duties include overseeing the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project and the Penn Alternative Breaks Program.
“I am pursuing a career in education because of the love of my experiences working with SVUSD and the Dominican University of California shared governance models,” she said. “Furthermore, as a product of this country’s K-12 public education system, I am eager to reform it, having experienced and witnessed its shortcomings.”
Contact the reporter, Dan Johnson, at [email protected]