First 5 San Bernardino is pleased to announce Ted Alejandre and Gwendolyn Dowdy-Rodgers, EdD, have been appointed as new commissioners with the organization whose sole purpose is to help young children ages prenatal to 5 years old get a quality start in life. Two commission seats were vacated recently after the passing of longtime community leader Dr. Margaret Hill who served the organization as a commissioner for eight years, and with the January 2022 term end for Jorge Escalante after serving for over two years.
These appointments were approved by San Bernardino County’s Board of Supervisors on March 29, 2022. At First 5 San Bernardino’s first in-person commission meeting in over two years, Alejandre and Dowdy-Rodgers were sworn in by the organization’s Executive Director Karen E. Scott during the April 6, 2022, monthly meeting.
Alejandre is the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools who provides advocacy, leadership and services for and on behalf of more than 406,000 K-12 students attending public schools in San Bernardino County. A retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, Alejandre is nearing the end of his second four-year term, serving as the county’s 34th superintendent after being elected to office in June 2014.
Dr. Dowdy-Rodgers currently serves as a community development specialist for Pacific Clinics (formerly known as Uplift Family Services), advocating for mental health services and resources on behalf of foster youth. She also is the president and CEO of Arrowhead United Way, a member of San Bernardino City Unified’s Board of Education, and is a delegate for the California School Board Association serving on the legislative committee. Dowdy-Rodgers founded the Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation, an organization that mentors young women ages 12-21 to reach their highest aspirations.
“I am thrilled that the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has selected Ted and Gwen to serve on the Children and Families Commission – First 5 San Bernardino,” stated Scott. “Their knowledge of the community and experience with children brings invaluable expertise to our Commission. We look forward to collaborating as we work to improve the health and development of young children and their families,” Scott concluded.
The First 5 San Bernardino Commission is comprised of seven members and includes a San Bernardino County Supervisor (Joe Baca, Jr.), the San Bernardino County Public Health Director (Joshua Dugas), San Bernardino County’s Assistant Executive Officer for Human Services (Diana Alexander) and four at large members from the community (Elliot Weinstein, MD, and Gary Ovitt). The commission meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 3:30 pm (unless otherwise noted).