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Latinas join Alvord, Riverside school boards

Georgina Ramirez seeks to highlight strong programs in the Alvord Unified School District; Noemi Alexander is the first Latina elected to Riverside Unified School District since 1992

Georgina Ramirez begins her term as Area 1 Trustee for the Alvord Unified School District on December 15.
Brenda Flowers

On Thursday, December 15, 2022, both the Alvord Unified School District and the Riverside Unified School District swore in newly elected board members Georgina Ramirez and Noemi Alexander, respectively, during their regularly scheduled board meetings. 

Georgina Ramirez

Alvord Unified School District, Area 1

Ramirez, who was sworn in by Ward 5 Riverside Councilmember Gaby Plascencia, serves Area 1 of the Alvord Unified School District, which covers Rosemary Kennedy Elementary School, Twinhill Elementary School, Valley View Elementary School, and Loma Vista Middle School. Ramirez, who won the election with a vote of 35.57% over two other candidates, is the mother of two, a business owner, and community leader. She most recently served as the director for Equity and Access for the Alvord Unified School District.

In her role as a board member, Ramirez said she hopes to foster more community engagement and highlight the strong programs that the Alvord Unified School District has to offer.  

“I think the district has a lot of great programs, but I don’t think they get enough notice. I feel that needs to be a priority,” she said in a phone interview prior to Thursday’s meeting. “My biggest priority when I was running was to bring more community engagement, focus on safety, and elevate the district, too. I think that’s part of community engagement.”

Credit: Brenda Flowers
Georgina Ramirez begins her term as Area 1 Trustee for the Alvord Unified School District on December 15.

Ramirez said that the decisions the board makes affect everyone; students, staff, and the surrounding neighborhoods so engaging local communities around the schools and hearing their voices is important, especially since it’s their tax dollars that fund improvement projects. 

“We do a good job of hearing from students, teachers, staff and parents, but when you’re talking about school improvements the entire community has to take pride in it,” she said. 

Ramirez concluded by saying she looks forward to begin working and collaborating with her four other board members to do what is best for students and to showcase what Alvord has to offer. 

“We have great teachers, great staff, and rigorous programs,” she said. “I want to move forward to do what’s best for students at all times.”

At the Thursday night meeting, the Alvord Unified School District also elected new officers including Robert Schwandt as president; Carolyn Wilson, vice-president, and Georgina Ramirez, clerk.

Dr. Noemi Alexander

Riverside School District, Area 1

Noemi Alexander, who was sworn in by her husband Dex Alexander to serve Area 1 of the Riverside Unified School District, is a college professor, Spanish language translator, and a mom to children currently attending RUSD schools. Area 1 covers: Alcott Elementary School, Victoria Elementary School, Woodcrest Elementary School, Kennedy Elementary School, Twain Elementary School, Franklin Elementary School, Miller Middle School, Earhart Middle School, Martin Luther King High School, and Poly High School. 

“I am completely honored that the constituents of trustee Area 1 trusted me enough to vote me into this seat,” Alexander said. “I’m very grateful for all of the community that supported me and believed in what we were about.” 

Credit: RUSD Media
Dr. Noemi Hernandez-Alexander begins her term as Area 1 Trustee for the Riverside Unified School District

During the campaign Alexander said that she talked to many parents, educators, and spent a lot of time talking to kids, something she said that made a profound impact on her.  

“Talking to them really shaped my heart and reminded me that the reason why I’m doing this is to serve kids. I have kids in the district, so I have real skin in the game. It really matters to me that we carefully think about what’s best for kids and how best to equip and empower them for the future and how to keep them safe.” 

In her role as a board member, Alexander said that she wants to make sure all students get what they need to be successful. 

“That’s where equity comes in. Not everybody needs the same thing and so equity is about paying attention to the needs of individuals and groups alike and doing your best to provide for those needs,” she said. “As both an educator and a parent, I have empathy for the need for parents to be involved in their children’s lives and I also understand the need for educators to be equipped and have the support they need to teach well. I hope to be the bridge builder between educators and parents, the community, and the school district. I’m hoping to lead from the middle.” 

Financially, Alexander said she wants to be sure the district is accountable and transparent in all financial dealings in a way that best serves students. 

“I’m 100% committed to finding the straightest line from the funding source to the child,” she said. “I want to be sure we do our best to make sure that the most dollars have the greatest impact on our children. Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our students receive the highest quality education possible, that they are safe, and prepared to be an integrated member of society.”

Riverside Unified School District also selected new officers. They are: Dr. Angelo Farooq, president; Dale Kinnear, vice president, and Tom Hunt, clerk.

Note: Noemi Alexander is married to Dex Alexander, Partner at Black Roses which publishes The Raincross Gazette.