SANTA CRUZ, CA — The Santa Cruz County Board of Education on Thursday, Oct. 19, is set to swear in Oscar Alvarez-Delgado, a 17-year-old senior from Pajaro Valley High School, as its first-ever student trustee, marking a milestone moment for the Board and Santa Cruz County school community. His appointment coincides with the swearing-in of a new Area 4 Trustee, Edward Estrada.
Alvarez-Delgado said his decision to apply for the position stems from a commitment to serving as a voice for underrepresented students. “I want to bring awareness of the issues faced by the Latino community and the underrepresented and begin to address why we have such a lack of resources, and then to be able to build those up,” he said. “I believe that if we are willing to face the underlying issues, then we can begin to resolve some of the inequities across Santa Cruz County.”
Alvarez-Delgado is actively involved in the Youth Led Leadership Alliance, a student leadership network facilitated by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, and is a current member of both Youth for Environmental Action and the Youth Mental Health Leadership Council.
The position of student trustee provides a platform for student advocacy and voice. Student trustees are recognized and seated as part of the Board and may present motions, make comments, ask questions of presenters, and cast preferential votes. Preferential votes are not counted in determining the outcome of items before the Board. The Santa Cruz County Board of Education adopted Board Policy 9150, creating the role of student trustee, in October 2022.
Set to be sworn in as Area 4 Trustee, Estrada has held a number of positions advocating for LBGTQ+ youth. He previously served on the board of GLSEN San Diego, was a member of San Diego Unified School District’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee, and was a youth ambassador for San Diego Pride. Estrada said he applied for the position to advance an educational system based on equity, growth, community development and innovation.
“I am deeply passionate about equity,” said Estrada, who works as a Housing Navigator at Housing Matters where he assists unhoused veterans. “I am committed to ensuring that every student in Santa Cruz County receives a high-quality education. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Board, as well as Dr. Sabbah, to implement policies and programs that address the needs of our diverse student population.”
Estrada moved to Santa Cruz in 2018 from San Diego to pursue his bachelor’s in politics from UCSC, and currently works as a Housing Navigator at Housing Matters supporting unhoused veterans.
The Santa Cruz County Board of Education is composed of seven elected trustees each of whom represents a designated area within Santa Cruz County.
Trustee Area 4 encompasses Live Oak, Soquel and Capitola. The Area 4 trustee seat was vacated by Rose Filicetti, who resigned from the Board on Aug. 31 citing personal health reasons. Estrada was selected for provisional appointment to the Board at its Sept. 21 meeting following a recruitment and interview process, and will serve out the remainder of the term until the next scheduled election in November 2024.
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Faris Sabbah commended the Board on its selections.
“Welcoming Oscar Alvarez-Delgado as the County Board of Education’s first-ever student trustee is a milestone moment in our work to center student voice in conversations about the future of education in Santa Cruz County,” Sabbah said. “I am also thrilled that the Board was able to select such a passionate and equity-driven advocate in Edward Estrada to step in and represent the school community. I congratulate the Board on both selections and look forward to working with our new trustees in the months ahead.”EVENT DETAILS
- WHAT: Santa Cruz County Board of Education Meeting
- WHEN: 4 p.m. Thursday, October 19, 2023
- WHERE: Board Room, 400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
- INFO: santacruzcoe.org/events/board-meeting-october-2023/