Swearing In Ceremony
This week the City of Elk Grove welcomed three well-known school officials back to the EGUSD Board. With right-hands raised, Dr. Crystal Martinez-Alire, Bobbie Singh-Allen, and Beth Albiani were sworn in as EGUSD Board Trustees for their second terms in office.
Beth Albiani currently serves as Board Clerk. According to the EGUSD website, “Her involvement in Elk Grove Unified schools has been about promoting excellence and opportunities for all students.” She represents Trustee Area 5.
Dr. Martinez-ALire represents Trustee Area 2. According to the EGUSD website, her key mission is “advocating for the rights of underrepresented youth.”
Bobbie Singh-Allen is a former EGUSD Board President. She represents Trustee Area 4.
Voters in Elk Grove first elected the trio to the EGUSD Board in 2014. Important to note, all three women ran unopposed in the 2018 election cycle. Therefore, the three EGUSD Board members did not appear in the November election ballot because there was no need since there were no challengers. Together, Martinez-Alire, Singh-Allen, and Albiani represent three of the four women on the EGUSD Board.
Afterwards, an entourage which included friends, family, and community members joined the new members to take pictures and commemorate the occasion. Also, several local elected officials, including Elk Grove City Council Members Stephanie Nguyen and Darren Suen, were in attendance.
City Council member Suen ran for Elk Grove Mayor in 2018 but was defeated by incumbent Mayor Steve Ly. City Council Pat Hume will take Suen’s place as Vice Mayor of Elk Grove.
First of all, Bobbie Singh-Allen, is the Trustee of Area 4, which encompasses Lakeside, Stone Lake and Laguna communities in Elk Grove. She was endorsed in her campaign by man present and past elected officials. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Ami Bera, a local U.S. Congressman, and former Mayor of Elk Grove Gary Davis have all endorsed Bobbie Singh-Allen.
Having immigrated to the United States at a young age, Bobbie has devoted her self to being an active member of the community, as well as a leader in education. While, as a former member of the Elk Grove Food Bank’s Board of Directors Singh-Allen helped provide emergency food and services to the community. With her efforts children the EGUSD also received clothing and uniforms through the Clothes Closet. As a member of Laguna Sunrise Rotary, in 2011 she helped organize the first ever American Sikh Day at the State Capitol in response to the tragic shootings of two elderly Sikh gentlemen in Elk Grove.
Above all, as an advocate for children and parents, Singh-Allen does forums to speak with parents and address their concerns regarding their children. Furthermore, she takes the time to listen to school issues such as bullying to broadening funding to race relations. Important to note, in a previous EGUSD Board meeting where race relations was discussed Singh-Allen said she wants to educate children’s hearts and minds to grow up to be respectful and kind. She wants Elk Grove schools to teach about the beauty and benefits of diversity.
In a statement, Singh-Allen mentioned the extensive support she had received from the community and how she wanted to serve out this term. “I am honored to serve for another four years. Tonight, I had tremendous support from the community who attended the swearing in. I had family, friends, local elected leaders, teachers, and more. The highlight was my parents being able to participate via FaceTime from India. My husband made that happen. I want to serve with humility, compassion, and dedication”.
Dr. Crystal Martinez-Alire
Area 2 Trustee is Dr. Crystal Martinez-Alire. In 2014, she won the victory over three competitors and became the first Native-American elected to Elk Grove Grove Unified School District Board.
Martinez-Alire had served as a student representative in the District’s Indian Education program while in high school. Dr. Martinez-Alire is a graduate of Florin High School. She was involved in the District’s Head Start program for over a decade. Also, she enjoyed providing services to low-income families and students. Crystal is proud to be a member of of the federally recognized Miwok tribe.
Martinez-Alire’s campaign emphasized quality education for all students and working with members of the community as well as specific stakeholders. Her area 2 communities are Camden and North Laguna and neighborhoods close to Kerr Middle School and Monterey Trail High School.
Even more, she’s thrilled about the possibility for growth and says it is an honor to continue to serve as school trustee. Above all, it is her wish to give back to the Elk Grove Community. In addition, she wants to make sure to pay particular attention to Native American students in need.
Martinez-Alire is knowledgeable about the district and it’s operations and is familiar herself with its services and programs. Much of this is thanks to her experiences during her first term. Now, she realizes how imperative it is to maintain a learning environment that’s upbeat for every student.
Last but not least, the Trustee representing Area 5 is Beth Albiani. She was unopposed when she ran for the seat in 2014. If the name sounds familiar, it is because she’s the daughter-in-law of Katherine Albiani. A local middle school bears her name and Katherine previously served on the board for 18 years.
Albiani’s area is Sheldon, Old Town Elk Grove as well as Wilton communities. Most noteworthy, Albiani is a former Elk Grove teacher. Prior to becoming a trustee, she volunteered with the District’s GATE program and served on the District’s Finance Audit Committee. Beth served on the district’s committee to create an educational equity plan. Furthermore, she also supported the creation of Elk Grove Unified’s Family and Community Engagement office. This office connects EGUSD to parents and local businesses.
Albiani’s campaigned attempted to show the work that the Elk Grove Unified School District does. More importantly, it served as an opportunity for Albiani to learn and listen to the community and public about priorities in the future.
Also, her first term was the beginning of her work. Albiani is thankful that this second term allows her to continue the work she began in her first term.
Public Comments At The EGUSD Meeting
While it was all smiles during the swearing-in ceremony, the mood quickly sobered as EGUSD Board members again faced sharp criticism from the public. Specifically, Elk Grove parents voiced their concerns over reports of racial bias against African-American students. Parents also raised the issue of bullying in Elk Grove schools.
In addition, several parents and community members expressed concern over possible changes to the EGUSD curriculum. According to some parents, the changes expose children to issues of sex and sexual orientation too early.
Similarly, other parents argued for the removal of language regarding sexual orientation altogether.
Needless to say, Singh-Allen, Albiani and Martinez-Alire will be at the center of big issues facing Elk Grove Schools, including race and educational equity. However, each of them has their work cut out for them.
Later in the meeting, the Board elected Chet Madison Sr. as Board President.
Madison Sr. has been active in the district for over 40 years, including serving as Board President in 2005, 2012 and 2013. He also served in the U.S Army and is a Vietnam Veteran.
The next EGUSD Board Meeting is scheduled for January 15, 2019.