Wendy Alexander/Madera Tribune File Photo
Then-Madera Unified School District Superintendent Ed Gonzalez administers the oath of office to elected board trustees from left, Ed McIntyre, Al Galvez, Brent Fernandes and Maria Velarde-Garcia during a meeting in December 2014. Al Galvez, in his third consecutive term as president of the Madera Unified School board, resigned from the board effective Thursday.
Al Galvez, in his third consecutive term as president of the Madera Unified School board, resigned from the board effective Thursday.
In an emotional announcement, Galvez informed the board that his father had suffered a serious heart attack and that he was removing himself from public activities to join his brothers in caring for their ailing father.
A groundswell of condolences was extended to Galvez by the stunned audience and fellow trustees.
Galvez was elected to the board in 2014, and in his second year on the board, trustees gave him the president’s gavel. This was repeated two more times — the only time in the history of Madera Unified that a trustee has served three consecutive years as board president.
Galvez ascended to the presidency of the school board in a time of crisis. Internal strife was rife among trustees and the relationship between the board and former Superintendent Ed Gonzalez had deteriorated to public bickering.
As Galvez moved to the president’s chair, the calming effect was felt immediately. With the departure of Gonzalez from the district and the elevation of Chief Academic Officer Todd Lile to the superintendency, mutual accord became the order of the day, and the board began to move with unanimity to solving the district’s problems.
Galvez came to the MUSD board after years of honing his political skills. In 2009, he was appointed to the Madera Unified Personnel Commission, and in 2012 was elected to serve on the Madera County Board of Education. Some of his other activities included president of the Foundation at the Fresno County Office of Education, a member of the Fresno Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and treasurer for the Foundation for the Fresno County Public Library.
Galvez ran unopposed for a seat on the Madera Unified school board in 2014, and at the time he was quoted as saying, “I don’t bring an agenda; I don’t bring ego, and I don’t owe anyone any favors. I just want to help build the reputation of MUSD. I want to make Madera Unified the leader that it should be so that when we talk about schools, it is not always about other schools.”
Local observers contend that Galvez continues to hold these sentiments.
In the June primary, Galvez ran for the District 2 seat on the Madera County Board of Supervisors. He lost to the incumbent, David Rogers.