El Cerrito resident Tom Panas was chosen as the president of the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education by his colleagues on Wednesday night.
Panas was first elected to the Board in 2016 and is the 26th person to hold the position since 1970. Panas said he intends to continue his focus on closing the achievement gap, supporting and building trusting relationships with parents and employees, and ensuring the fiscal health of the District.
“It is a privilege to be selected to serve as Board president,” Panas said. “I look forward to working closely with my colleagues and all of the stakeholders to continue our focus on improving outcomes for our students.”
Board Bylaws grant the president the authority to preside over Board meetings, consult with the Superintendent to prepare the Board’s meeting agendas, appoint and dissolve committees subject to Board approval, call meetings of the Board, and represent the District as governance spokesperson, in conjunction with the Superintendent.
Panas has a long history of community involvement in the city of El Cerrito, being named to its Wall of Fame in 2014. He has been intimately involved in supporting the El Cerrito library and has played an active role in that city’s historical society.
He lives in El Cerrito with his wife and two sons, who both attended District schools.
The Board also selected newly elected trustee Stephanie Hernandez-Jarvis to serve as its clerk for the next year.
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