Here are the school board seats up for grabs in the Palm Springs area
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Here are the school board seats up for grabs in the Palm Springs area

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Residents who want to serve their communities as school board members can begin filing next week. A total of 12 elections will be held on Nov. 5 for Coachella Valley public K-12 and community college boards.

The Riverside County Presidential Nomination Period for the 2024 General Election will begin on Monday, July 15 and end at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 9. Nominations may be submitted by mail or in person at the Riverside County Registrar of Voters’ Office located at 2720 Gateway Drive in Riverside.

Similarly, the filing period in Imperial County will begin July 15 and run through Aug. 9. Applications can be submitted to the Imperial County Registrar of Voters’ Office at 940 W. Main St., Suite 206 in El Centro.

To serve on the school board, a qualified candidate must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the state, a resident of the school district, a registered voter, and not be disqualified by the constitution or state laws from holding civil office. The newly elected trustees will serve four-year terms overseeing the policies and procedures of their districts, beginning in December.

Information for families studying in public schools: Will Coachella Valley Schools Start Later in August 2024? Here Are All the Start Times

Important information for students regarding holidays: Here’s When and Where Kids 18 and Under Can Get Free Meals in the Coachella Valley

Three seats up for election in College of the Desert (Desert Community College District) in November 2024

This November, College of the Desert will have three of its five trustee positions up for grabs, representing the following areas:

  • Trust Area 2 (Desert Hot Springs, Thousand Palms, Sky Valley, Indio Hills, Desert Center, Sun City, Cactus Summit and part of Palm Desert): Vice President Beatriz Gonzalez has served as director of this area since 2020.
  • Trust Area 3 (Palm Springs and part of Cathedral City): Ronald Oden was appointed to this position in 2023, following the resignation of Fred Jandt.
  • Trust Area 5 (Indio, Bermuda Dunes, La Quinta and parts of Palm Desert): Chairwoman Bonnie Stefan has served the area since 1999.

More: College of the Desert selects firm to lead director search

Four seats up for grabs in Coachella Valley Unified School District on the November 2024 election

The Coachella Valley Unified School District has a seven-member board, the largest in the desert. Four seats will be open to candidates. Some trustees represent areas that overlap in the East Valley with other school board members:

  • Trust Area 1 (Coachella): Trinidad Arredondo has served the area since 2020, along with Board Chairman Joey Acuña Jr. (Acuña is seeking election to the California State Assembly to represent District 36.)
  • Trust Area 2 (Thermal): Jesus Gonzalez has served on the board since 2020. Official Silvia Paz also represents Thermal.
  • Trust Area 3 (Oasis and Salton Sea): Adonis Galarza-Toledo served on the board since 2020 before resigning at the end of June.
  • Trust Area 4 (Mecca and North Coast): Jocelyn Vargas has also served on the board since 2020. She ran unopposed and was automatically given the seat.

More about local school boards: Coachella Valley Unified School Board Member Resigns

More about local school boards: Coachella Valley Unified School Board Names Frances Esparza Its New Superintendent

Three seats up for grabs in Desert Sands Unified School District on November 2024 election

Three seats on the five-member Desert Sands Unified School District board will be up for election, representing the following areas in the Central Valley:

  • Trust Area 1 (Palm Desert): CEO Kailee Watson has served on the board since 2022, following the resignation of Wendy Jonathan.
  • Trust Area 3 (La Quinta): Since 2020, Vice President/Secretary Tricia Pearce has served as the area’s representative.
  • Trust Area 4 (Indio): Linda Porras, first elected in 2016, ran unopposed in 2020.

More: Desert Sands Unified School District to Create New Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for Existing and New Bonds

Two locations to open in Palm Springs Unified School District

The Palm Springs Unified School District board of education is made up of five elected trustees in the west valley, with two seats up for grabs:

  • Trust Area 1 (Thousand Palms and portions of Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage): President Madonna Gerrell has served on the board since 2016.
  • Trust Area 2 (Cathedral City and some areas of Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage): Board member Sergio Espericueta was elected in 2020.

More about local school boards: Palm Springs Unified School District seeks voter approval of $465 million school bond

More about local school boards: Palm Springs becomes first district in Coachella Valley to pay student board members

Jennifer Cortez covers education in the Coachella Valley. Contact her at [email protected].