MUSD student board members installed
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera Unified School District Superintendent Todd Lile administers the oath of office to student representatives from left, Frank Jerik Santos, Ingrid Sosa Ramirez, Bianca Reyes-Ruiz, Genesis Guillen, Jossen Garcia, and Sebastian Zavalza during a board meeting on August 23.
Six students took the oath of office to become high school representatives on the Madera Unified school board.
They were sworn in by Superintendent Todd Lile in a regular meeting of the district’s trustees last Tuesday.
Sebastian Zavalza, Jossen Garcia, Genesis Guillen, Bianca Reyes-Ruiz, Ingrid Sosa Ramirez, and Frank Jerik Santos will become the next group of preferential voting members on the board, which means they can vote on agenda items, although their votes won’t affect whether items pass or fail. They can also submit items to the Board meeting agenda.
According to district officials, student board members provide MUSD trustees and the superintendent with information regarding student interests, concerns, diverse student populations and ideas. Outside of Board meetings, student board members will lead a student voice forum with classmates from their school and will also meet quarterly with the superintendent.
Madera High School
Sebastian Zavalza is a 16-year-old senior at Madera High School and was born in Palo Alto. He went to Lincoln Elementary School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School. He is involved in Link Crew, California State Federation, and the Class of 2023. This year he will play on the varsity soccer team. Trustee Zavalza is also a black belt in karate, which he earned when he was 10.
Madera High School’s alternate student board member is Jossen Garcia. He is a Madera native and a student of Madera Unified since kindergarten. He attended Parkwood Elementary, Eastin-Arcola, and La-Vina Elementary (grades 2-3rd and 5-8th). Now attending Madera High, Trustee Garcia has participated in various clubs and organizations such as California State Federation, Class of 2023, Mexican-American Club, Dreamers Club, Link Crew, and Mock Trial, holding leadership positions in the majority of them.
Madera South High School
Genesis Guillen is a student board member representing Madera South High School. She was born and raised in Madera and attended La Vina Elementary School. She is currently a senior.
Trustee Guillen participates in a variety of clubs, such as Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, Class Club of 2023, Link Crew, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and California Scholarship Federation. She hopes to return after graduating from college to work in the district and give back to her community.
Bianca Reyes-Ruiz is alternate student board member for Madera South High School. She was born and raised in Madera and attended Sierra Vista Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr Middle School, and is currently a senior at Madera South High School. Trustee Reyes has been involved in several extracurricular activities during high school. She was a member of the Class of 2023 club, serving as the Junior Class President, Link Crew, Student of the year for English and Spanish, and Future Farmer of America.
Matilda Torres High School
Student board member for Matilda Torres High School is junior Ingrid Sosa Ramirez who was born in Oaxaca, Mexico. She has been a resident of California and part of Madera Unified School District since 2017.
She has overcome the difficulties of language barriers and wants nothing more than to help those who are going through difficulties by getting to know them and their interests. She has demonstrated this through her involvement in several clubs such as Latinx Culture Club as the Vice-President, a Committee Chair Member of HOSA, Vice-President of the Science Club, and member of other clubs such as CSF. Trustee Sosa Ramirez has also demonstrated her hopes to help her community by being part of the SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco).
She has taken several honors, AP, and Dual Enrollment courses to prepare for her future in the medical field and helping those who need it the most.
Student board member for Alternative Education is Frank Santos, a 17-year-old who was educated in a Roman Catholic school operated by Franciscan Priests during his early elementary years in Manila, Philippines.
As a product of both Fresno and Madera Unified School District, he is currently a senior at Duane E. Furman High School. Throughout his student life, Santos has received numerous awards while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. They include Honor Roll Awards, two-time Lion of the Month, and a football coach’s award. He also received excellence in customer service in his part-time job in the service industry.
The student board members sworn in last week are the third set of student trustees to serve on the local school board. Only two students at a time will sit with adult trustees at any regular Board meeting.