Recent Sonoma High grad files to run for school board seat
Jacquelyn Torres, a Class of 2019 graduate of Sonoma Valley High School, has filed to run for a seat on the Sonoma Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees in the Nov. 8 election.
“I am running to be the youngest and first Latinx trustee who is a first-generation college student, has learning disabilities and is part of the LGBTQ+ community,” Torres said. “As a recent product of this district, I am well aware of its shortcomings and will, therefore, help improve the system.”
Torres joins Joe Lemas and Celeste Winders as candidates who have filed for the Area 2 seat on the board.
Torres has served on Sonoma Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees’ local accountability plan committee, district curriculum advisory council, equity and inclusion task force and school district advisory council.
“I bring a strong work ethic and the ability to get things done,” she said. “The biggest qualification I bring is a deep understanding of this district and ways we can improve it not only as an alumnus, but as someone who served in various district groups.”
After attending Sonoma 4Cs preschool, Flowery Elementary School, Adele Harrison Middle School and Sonoma Valley High School, Torres completed coursework in administration of justice and paralegal studies at Santa Rosa Junior College. She then transferred to Dominican University of California, where she graduated with Latin honors and a dual honors degree in political science and history.
At Dominican, she wrote five higher education proposals, most notably the Undocumented Student Support Proposal, which established the framework for multiple $24,000 scholarships that support the recruitment and retention of undocumented students at the university.
“This was an important issue to me, since I have undocumented family members who do not have the opportunity to pursue higher education due to not qualifying for FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or other financial support, based upon their status,” Torres said.
She also was a student assistant at Dominican, as well as an intern for the school’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Torres, who also served as an intern for Sonoma Immigrant Services, is now completing a master’s degree in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania. She serves as vice president of the university’s administration for the Graduate School of Education student government and works as a student assistant Civic House, where her duties include overseeing the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project and the Penn Alternative Breaks Program.
“I am pursuing a career in education as a result of loving my experiences working with SVUSD and the Dominican University of California’s shared governance models,” she said. “Furthermore, as a product to this nation’s public K-12 public education system, I am eager to reform it, having experienced and witnessed its shortcomings.”
Reach the reporter, Dan Johnson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.