EDUCATION – MBUSD swears in three, says farewell to two trustees
by Hibah Samad
The Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board of Trustees said farewells to two board members at its December 14 meeting. Longtime board member Jennifer Cochran completed second term, serving nine years on the board. Board President Sally Peel served for a single four-year term.
It was an emotional evening at the MBUSD board room as community members, friends, and colleagues took turns at the podium expressing appreciation and commending the outgoing trustees for their leadership. Cochran was recognized by many for her institutional knowledge and history within the district and for being a champion for the community. Peel was thanked for her empathy and kindness.
Board members and Superintendent John Bowes thanked Cochran and Peel for their steadfast commitment to MBUSD sharing the impact they made on each of them. Both departing board members reflected on their departure.
Cochran said she never expected this time to be so emotional and appreciated past Board members and current ones for their ongoing support.
“The thing that I reflected on the most is that I appreciate learning,” Cochran said. “I appreciate learning with every single one of you in this room. For the last two decades volunteering in our schools I feel like I have continuously been learning.”
Peel expressed gratitude and pride for the work the Board of Trustees did together. She also said she was confident in the future of MBUSD because the incoming Board is “powerful.”
“I love our district, I love every school in our District, I love our administrators, students, and families,” Peel said. “We have the greatest people at our schools.”
Peel got emotional as she addressed the current board about the importance of continuing to invite the voices that don’t always get heard to be part of the conversation.
Peel administered the Oath of Office to new board members Wysh Weinstein and Tina Shivpuri, and incumbent board member Jen Fenton, who was reelected to a second term.
“MBUSD is an amazing district in a remarkable community,” Fenton said. “I am so honored to continue in this role and look forward to building upon the work of the previous board.”
After the swearing-in ceremony, cheers were heard in the boardroom, and after a brief reception, the new trustees took their seats to start the regular board meeting. They joined familiar faces on the dais. During the board reorganization, Vice President Cathey Graves was elected to serve as board president for the next ear. Fenton was appointed as vice president, and Weinstein elected as board clerk.
“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity,” Weinstein said. “I am looking forward to listening and also prioritizing what is best for our students. I believe my experiences as a classroom teacher and parent leader will serve me well as I make informed decisions. All of the work I have done has led me to this. I’m thrilled to get to work.”
“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to serve MBUSD in this capacity,” Shivpuri said. “I have high expectations of myself. I will continuously work to serve all in the MBUSD community for the betterment of our schools, students, employees, and families. I am extremely proud to join the existing board.”
Hibah Samad is MBUSD Public Information Officer. ER