Adonis Galarza-Toledo ’20, who graduated from Cal State San Bernardino in June and served as president of the university’s Associated Students Inc., was elected to the Coachella Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees District 3.

Galarza-Toledo, who was the incumbent as he was appointed to the school board in July, received 5,393 votes, or 56.6%, while his opponent, Thomas Tortez Jr., received 4,136 votes, or 43.3%, according to the election results posted by The Desert Sun newspaper.

The district’s Area 3 takes in the rural community of Oasis, where Galarza-Toledo grew up, and the Salton Sea in Imperial County. Galarza-Toledo took over the seat for his older brother, Neftali Galarza, who stepped down from the board and was a candidate for the Coachella City Council. The final results have yet to be posted regarding the city council race.

Galarza-Toledo, who was profiled in The Desert Sun, is a first-generation college graduate and was awarded a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a minor in Spanish.

He said that he believes his entire educational career – academically and his involvement in university activities and student associations and ultimately as ASI president – helped prepare him to serve on the Coachella Valley Unified School District.

“I sure believe that serving as president of ASI gave me key skills that take others a while to learn. For example, listening to constituents and identifying needs, working with administration to implement solutions, and advocate effectively,” Galarza-Toledo said. “More than anything, being involved as a student leader equipped me with the appropriate tools and perspective necessary to advocate effectively and get things done as a school board member.” 

As of 2018, the CVUSD has a 97.6 percent Hispanic/Latino student population; 53.6 percent are English learners.

Galarza-Toledo said many of the major issues the district faces are beyond the scope of public education. For example, the lack of infrastructure technology such as Wi-Fi towers and proper wiring. Other major issues are access to potable water and limited community resources.

“As a school district, we have to be extra creative to ensure that we deliver the same quality of education as other school districts,” Galarza-Toledo said. 

The Coachella Valley Unified School District serves a 1,250-square-mile area, including the city of Coachella, a portion of Indio, south of Avenues 48 or 49, and Salton City in Imperial County. The district consists of 14 elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, one continuation high school and one adult school.