Special Education Technician, Community Activist Valentino Silva was born and raised in Stockton, growing up on the city’s east and south sides. He graduated from SUSD’s Health Careers Academy High School, where he served as junior class president and ASB president. He is currently pursuing legal studies at Humphreys University. By day, Silva is a special education technician. He is also an active community organizer: he serves as a current board member of Stockton Crime Stoppers and previously worked in the field for Susan Eggman’s state senate campaign and Jerry McNerney’s campaign for Congress. Silva says he is running to represent Trustee Area 3 because students deserve to be set up for success after they graduate, and he believes that this can be accomplished in part by supporting teachers and holding the district accountable. Silva has stated that, as a special education behavioral expert, he is able to see the impact of how education can transform lives. Silva’s campaign has identified six issues as top priorities on his website: Engage students and families in school and district decision making. Provide meaningful support to struggling school sites and escalate interventions if they do not improve. Invest in high-quality teacher residencies and other “grow-your” own models. Strengthen teacher monitoring and assistance to ensure every student has access to well prepared, appropriately placed, and effective teachers. Increase funding [...]
Nutrition Educator, Edible Schoolyard Project Shackelford is a lifelong Stockton resident, a nutrition educator with the Edible Schoolyard Project, an in-home caregiver, and active local parent and grandparent. She completed high school later in life by obtaining her high school equivalency degree before earning an associates degree, a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and certificates in human service work and drug counseling. While going back to school, she volunteered with her church teaching bible study, and worked as a tutor with Stocktonians Taking a Stand to Neutralize Drugs (S.T.A.N.D.). In November 2020, she is running to represent Trustee Area 1 on Stockton USD’s Board of Trustees. Shackelford has stated that completing her education in sociology and human services work in 2017 rejuvenated her interest in making sure students have access to a variety of opportunities and pathways to a great education. She believes that her life experiences give her an informed understanding of the unique needs facing Stockton’s Black, LatinX, and low-income youth, and says that she is running because she does not believe the district has made these underserved students enough of a priority. Shackelford has listed her top priorities on VotersEdge.org as working to make sure: Students are Prepared for College and Career (A-G for All) Students are Healthy and Safe in Our Schools Students are Lead by a Transparent and Accountable School Board [...]
Financial Coach & Community Activist Lavichia Jones is a native of Stockton, where she attended Lincoln High School and graduated from San Joaquin Delta Community College with a degree in business administration and management. Since 2014, she has worked at World Financial Group, where she is a full-service financial professional. Jones has 20 years of experience advocating for her community with multiple organizations, including her local PTSA, School Site Council, and Parent Advisory Committee. She has mentored and coached youth and has also worked with the Parent Leadership Training Institute. She says that this experience in support of the Stockton community has inspired her to empower her neighbors to use their voices to bring about universal change. As a candidate for Trustee Area 3, Jones believes that Stockton needs to establish programs to adequately equip students to achieve their goals regardless of their background. She says that her top priority as a new school board member will be to ensure the physical and emotional safety of students, teachers, and staff — whether it be safety from COVID-19, bullying, or abuse. Additional priorities that Jones has identified include: Build trust and safety -- around students, staff, and parents. Establish programs -- on entrepreneurship, ethnic studies, home economics, and financial literacy. Ensure every child’s future -- which should not be defined by their parent’s race, zip code, [...]
Independent Businesswoman & Community Volunteer Alicia Rico has lived in Eastside Stockton for over 30 years and is the mother of five children attending SUSD schools. By day, she is an independent businesswoman whose work includes beauty and cosmetics consulting. Rico has experience as a community volunteer and has served on School Site Councils and English Language Advisory Committees at three SUSD schools, holding positions as secretary, vice-president, and president. She has also served on the districtwide SUSD Parent Advisory Council and the District English Language Advisory Committee. Rico’s campaign to represent Trustee Area 3 is her second and follows an unsuccessful 2016 candidacy that included a push to improve campus safety and bring better opportunities for parents, students, teachers and district employees. As a new school board member, Rico says she will be committed to ensuring student's academic, social, and emotional success by providing the resources needed to graduate high school and be college and career ready. She is focused on aligning school budgets to the success of all students by providing the necessary instruction, intervention, and support needed during and after school. Additional priorities that Rico has highlighted include: My focus is to assure that the school budget is aligned to the success of all students by providing the necessary instruction, intervention and support needed during and after school. I’m committed to working [...]
Parish Administrator & Youth Minister Gabriel Casillas is a Stockton native and husband who works as a parish administrator and youth minister at St. Bernadette’s Church. In addition to his work with the Church, Casillas is active in Stockton charities and is a firm believer in serving others with zeal and compassion. Casillas says he is running to represent Trustee Area 4 because he believes the school board is divided and must reunify, work together, and place student needs first. He also believes that Stockton must do more to prepare and protect youth from the many challenges and negative influences of our current society. He believes public educational institutions are the cornerstones of society and have the ability to truly mold the future of communities. Additional priorities that Casillas has identified include: Addressing obstacles students face outside the classroom -- including broken home environments, lack of basic resources, mental health issues, and influences that can lead to criminal behavior. Thinking beyond the academic -- to prepare students to be ethical, free thinking, happy, and healthy individuals. Leaving no students behind -- by providing outlets and resources to help all students who are struggling, and by not labeling students “troubled” or “bad.” Going beyond college preparation -- and preparing students to be successful in all aspects of life. Sources:  Photo Source: “Gabriel Casillas For [...]
Education Support Services Entrepreneur Ray Zulueta, Jr., is a fourth generation Stocktonian, husband, and father of three. Zulueta and his siblings each attended Nightingale Elementary, Hamilton Middle, and Franklin High School in Stockton, and both his mother and grandmother were employed by SUSD. Zulueta graduated from the University of the Pacific with a degree in communication and media studies in 2013. He proceeded to hold various jobs, including as a project coordinator with the NAACP, that he says led him to realize his passion for education. Today, he owns an educational support services business that serves the Stockton community. Zulueta has said that his experience meeting with administrators, teachers, parents, and students has revealed that members of the SUSD community do not feel heard or connected. As a new school board member representing Trustee Area 4, he promises to hear and connect the community. Additional priorities that Zulueta has highlighted include: Promoting technical education and craftsmanship in schools - by bringing back classes like woodshop, engineering and agriculture. Expanding resources to support the expression of cultural identity - by growing access to counselors, interventions, and spaces to allow students to express who they are. Community policing and outreach - that supports building positive relationships, without but does defunding the police. Restorative justice practices - to inform staff on culturally supportive best practices. Frequent sanitation of [...]
Peer Recovery Coach Patricia Barrett is a peer recovery coach campaigning to represent Trustee Area 1 on Stockton’s school board. In March 2020, she campaigned unsuccessfully to represent Stockton City Council District 6. Barrett does not appear to have filed a candidate statement, nor does she appear to operate a website or social media profile associated with her campaign. She shared her top priorities with VotersEdge.org as the following: Oversee that every student receives an education to their level of learning to ensure all teachers and parents have a strong ear to listen to encourage a superintentent to continue for years with transperancy and support to maintain a super school district Candidate registration filings indicate that Barrett can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding her campaign. Sources:  “Crowded Candidate Field For All Three Open Stockton Unified Board Seats,” 209 Politics, August 7, 2020.  “Candidate Statements,” San Joaquin County Registrar Of Voters.  “Candidate Contact List,” San Joaquin County Registrar Of Voters.
San Joaquin A+ CEO, Don Shalvey, interviewed about the challenges facing students in the Central Valley as schools re-open
Our CEO, Don Shalvey, and Stockton Unified Interim Superintendent, Brian Biedermann, were recently invited by EdSource to participate on a podcast discussing the multiple challenges facing the Central Valley as school re-opens for the fall.
After more than 50 years in public education, veteran educator Don Shalvey is returning to his early stomping grounds in education to head an organization dedicated to improving the education outcomes of students in California’s Central Valley. Shalvey will become executive director of San Joaquin A+, a nonprofit organization based in Stockton that was founded in 1996, and is devoted to improving education and workplace outcomes for students in the region.
We encourage friends of San Joaquin A+ to contact us if you are interested in putting a San Joaquin A+ license plate on your car. We will reward those we see driving around with their San Joaquin A+ license plate by posting their photos on the website and with a surprise gift. Thank you to all those who have already participated!