Return to Headlines

Alisal USD bids farewell to departing trustees

Trustees and cabinet with diplomas

Administrators and officials of Alisal Union School District bade farewell to Trustees Guadalupe Guzman and Maricela Cruz during the regular meeting of the Alisal USD governing board meeting on Wednesday.

Mr. Guzman did not run for a second term after serving five years on the board. Ms. Cruz came in second on her re-election bid. Wednesday was the last meeting for both.

“I wanted to thank Ms. Cruz and Mr. Guzman for their dedication,” said Solange “Keiko” Inoue, president of California State Employees Association Chapter 577. “When you both started as board members it was a very difficult time. Both of you moved the district to a better place. I want to thank you for your dedication.”

Both Mr. Guzman and Ms. Cruz were elected to the Alisal USD board in 2013, at a very contentious time.

“I’d like to take this time to express my feelings to my community,” Mr. Guzman said. “It’s been five years, it was an awesome time to work for my community. I’m here because of them. At the beginning it was something very new to me, talking to my community and they gave me the opportunity to serve for our students. This is my last meeting and I’m leaving so happy. As a board … the main priority (was) student achievement, we want to be transparent to the community.”

Trustee Guadalupe Ruiz-Gilpas also thanked Ms. Cruz, Mr. Guzman, and Trustee Noemi Armenta, as they all got elected the same year.

“You made history, you paved the way so employees did not lose their jobs at the snap of fingers,” she said. “You fought to make things right. Marisela is inspiring to young women. You’re always fair, you speak what you speak because you love kids. The three of you took the bull by the horns, and did it so this board meeting can take place like it does now. It’s now peaceful and you paid a price, you and your family were attacked. You took that with your chin up and a heavy heart.”

Board President Fernando Mercado also thanked Mr. Guzman and Ms. Cruz for their service.

“From the beginning you faced many obstacles, many personal attacks against yourself and your families,” he said. “Thanks to your contribution we have expanded the Alisal Family Resource Centers, we expanded to have mariachi, drumline, a much need district office, we had the creation of Whole Child Department to serve the community and socioemotional needs of our students. These decisions you made and took on behalf of our students and should be celebrated. Being board members can be thankless job, but I’m here to thank you.”

Superintendent Héctor Rico thanked the departing trustees for the time they’ve given the community.

“I know sometimes it’s difficult, when you have little ones and they’re sick and you have to juggle that, it’s always challenging. The role we play is super hard but only together can we make a difference.”