Excerpt from “Filipina: Leave Footprints that Last” by Hon. Thelma B. Boacin, DISRUPT 3.0. Filipina Women: Rising.
I am a member of the Governing Board of Trustees of the Berryessa Union School District in San Jose, California. All Governing Board of Trustees are elected by the voters every four years. I am the first Filipina elected to the Board and the only female of a five-member team. The most important responsibility of being a trustee of a school district is to be a leader and champion for public education. Four decades in public education as a teacher, a high school principal, an adjunct professor, and a professional coach for the Santa Clara County’s newly promoted school administrators have prepared me for this very critical decision-making body. I have great pride in what the team and district have accomplished together. My tenure as president and member of the Governing Board of Trustees have been built on trust and respect. Accomplishments this year to name a few:
- Selected a new superintendent (female)
- Developed and adopted policies, curriculum, and approved the budget
- Oversaw facilities issues
- Successful Implementation of the Bond ($77 Million) passed overwhelmingly by the voters to improve school facilities (completion 2019)
- Adopted collective bargaining agreements (two-year term) a rarity these days
- Continued strong Professional Development to implement newly adopted curriculum
- Approved and implement Dual Immersion Program (K-1st grade) Mandarin and Spanish
- Approved more intervention opportunities for struggling students
- Continued strong Professional Development for all teachers and staff
This past year, the Suspension Indicators for our students of almost 8,000 were in the Medium category. The district declined in this category by one percent overall. The following subgroups declined in the suspension category: English Learner, Asian, Filipino. The following declined significantly: Socio-economically Disadvantaged, Students with Disabilities, African American, Hispanic, White, and Pacific Islander.
On the English Language Arts (SBAC) test, all students scored high (16.2 points above Level 3). More work needs to be done with the Socio-Economically Disadvantaged students. They did not reach Level 3 but did increase by 3.3 points. English Learners increased significantly (by 32.6 points). On the Math test, all students scored high (9.5 points above Level 3. Subgroups increased their score this year: ELL, Socio-Economically Disadvantaged, Special Education, Asian and Filipino. The African American subgroup and English Learners increased their scores significantly.
As Governing Board of Trustees, we are committed to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and are accountability driven. We share strong beliefs and values about students’ ability to learn and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels. To continue supporting student success, the district (with Board approval) added critical personnel to support student’s academic, social and emotional well-being: social workers, counselors, psychologists, speech therapists, teacher assistants, translators, more hours for nurses, office assistants, custodial staff, ground monitors, etc. all to assist teachers, keep students safe and help them succeed. I would like to thank our district personnel, teachers and staff for their dedication to our number one client, our STUDENTS!
Hon. Thelma B. Boac
President, Governing Board of Trustees, Berryessa Union School District, San Jose, California
Professional Leadership Coach, Santa Clara County Office of Education
Filipina Women’s Network Board Member 2014-2018
FWN100(tm) U.S. 2007 And FWN100(tm) Global 2013
Thelma was born in the province of Bohol, Philippines. She came to America at the age of 10 and lived with her adoptive parents in Grover Beach, California. Her adoptive father, a World War II veteran, was one of the original manongs who immigrated to America in the 1920’s.
Thelma’s adoptive mother, her biological aunt, came to America as a young war widow. Both parents were active in community affairs. Thelma received her BA degree from San Francisco State University and MA degree in Educational Leadership from San Jose State University. Thelma retired after a 37-year career in education. She continued her dedication to education at San Jose State University and The National Hispanic University, where she was an adjunct professor and supervised and trained graduate students entering the teaching profession. Thelma currently is a professional expert coach to newly promoted principals and school administrators for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Thelma is seeking re-election after a successful four-year term on the Berryessa Union School District Governing Board of Trustees. She holds the distinction of being the first Filipina to be elected and the only female serving on the Board of Trustees, thus expanding her influence and commitment to youth and community. A sought-after educator and community leader, Thelma has been the recipient of many awards. She has been recognized by State legislative leaders and by various community organizations for her dedication to public service.