Four trustees, two of them newly elected, were sworn in to the San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Education on December 13.
Former trustees Dr. Gwendolyn Dowdy-Rodgers and Dr. Barbara Flores were thanked for their service and leadership and were presented special framed resolutions, photo collages, and a commemorative trophy.
In November Dowdy-Rodgers was elected to represent Area D on the San Bernardino County Board of Education.
The Board welcomed newly elected trustees Mikki Cichocki and Mary Ellen Abilez Grande. Bursts of applause followed as returning Board members Danny Tillman and Abigail Rosales-Medina were sworn in and took their seats on the dais. The two newcomers, as well as Tillman and Rosales-Medina, were elected in November.
An hour-long reception attended by more than 100 people preceded the swearing in.
The Board also held its annual organizational meeting Tuesday, re-electing Dr. Scott Wyatt to his second year as Board president and Tillman as vice president.
Although new to the Board, the new trustees are very familiar with SBCUSD, having dedicated their educational careers to teaching the children of San Bernardino and Highland for decades.
Cichocki recently retired from SBCUSD after a long and successful career in and out of the classroom. A former elementary school teacher and graduate of the District, Cichocki most recently worked for the Positive Youth Development Department as a member of the District’s student Attendance Review Board and was part of pioneering work to reduce bullying and expand restorative justice practices.
Grande, a graduate of San Bernardino Valley College and Cal State San Bernardino, also taught in the District, working with older special education students at Anderson School. Her three daughters graduated from District schools.
Proud to be “someone with actual on-the-ground, in-the-classroom experience with students and parents day in and day out,” Grande is a proponent of community-centered schools and increased parent engagement, believing that “parents in San Bernardino would benefit from exposure to opportunities in training, internships, and even apprenticeships in the skilled trades, just like our high school students do.”