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New Student Board Trustees

NEWS RELEASE: New Student Board Trustees Take Oath of Office
Posted on 06/26/2024

San Diego - Two new San Diego Unified Board of Education student trustees were sworn into office Tuesday night at the Eugene Brucker Education Center. 

The two student trustees, Joseph Cruz of Morse High School and Quinton Baldis of Scripps Ranch High School, will represent their peers throughout the district at board meetings, voting on agenda items and helping to shape San Diego Unified policy.

The incoming high school seniors have a lot in common – both now and regarding future ambitions. 

Cruz describes himself as service-oriented. He is a member of several campus clubs and organizations, including the mock trial team and JROTC, where he says student mentorship attracted him. A lifelong San Diego Unified student, he’d like to be a voice for all students across the district. 

“I’m going to do my best to be an accurate representation of who our students are, and what they want our district to focus on,” said Cruz, who added he’d like to attend West Point Military Academy and eventually become a lawyer. 

Baldis, like Cruz, has attended San Diego Unified schools since kindergarten. He, too, has been a leader on his school’s mock trial team and plans to pursue a law degree. 

In addition to volunteering at food banks, Baldis founded a not-for-profit organization called Equal Kicks, which collects soccer equipment and financial donations that are then supplied to under-funded communities. 

Mental health awareness, and early intervention, is something Baldis would like to focus on as a student board member. 

“I want to go after the root cause of mental health problems and work on preventative measures like getting students involved in clubs and communities on campus,” said Baldis. “Because once students are part of a home on campus, they’re going to have friends and common experiences and enjoy their academic career.” 

Baldis and Cruz replace Lincoln High School graduating senior Blessyn Lavender Williams and San Diego High School’s Matthew Quitoriano, who was term-limited after two years. The board paid tribute to the outgoing student trustees, and shared a video highlighting their tenures.

“Our student trustees offer a critically important perspective when it comes to shaping board policies and informing investments designed to improve academic and social emotional outcomes for students. Their voices remind us to center the needs and experiences of our diverse learners, and help our school board make thoughtful and strategic decisions,” Board President Shana Hazan said. “We’d like to thank Matthew and Blessyn for their meaningful contributions over the past year and look forward to working alongside Joseph and Quinton as we continue to build a school district where all students can reach their potential.”

As student board members elected to one-year terms, Baldis and Cruz will officially begin their duties on July 1, 2024. 

Media Contact: Public Information Coordinator Mike Murad, [email protected].