The new West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education was sworn in yesterday to lead our district forward in 2017. We’re excited for this board, and to welcome the two newest members, Tom Panas and Mister Phillips. Panas and Phillips join current board members Elizabeth Block, Valerie Cuevas, and Madeline Kronenberg.

Our school board is leading a school district that is poised to rise after past challenges. The recent election showed there is strong public support for improving district accountability, creating better educational outcomes, supporting students beyond the classroom, and making sure every child in every neighborhood has access to a great school.

Improvement is a big task, but we are confident that our new board will work together on behalf of our students, and continue pushing for progress and lasting change. President Block and fellow Trustees Cuevas, Kronenberg, Panas, and Phillips make up a diverse WCCUSD school board. Each member now brings a unique experience to a board dedicated to improving the quality of education for our kids:

  • Elizabeth Block has over 30 years of experience in Bay Area schools as a principal, special education administrator, and school psychologist. After serving as Board Clerk in 2016, Block was elected from her peers to serve as President in 2017.
  • Valerie Cuevas was the first Latina elected to the WCCUSD Board of Education. She brings with her a wide range of national, state and local experience in education policy. Cuevas was elected from her peers to serve as Board Clerk in 2017.
  • Madeline Kronenberg has over 30 years of experience in adult education and as a career/technical teacher in East Bay public schools. She received the Adult Education State Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003.
  • Tom Panas brings a deep financial background and experience with the WCCUSD bond program and budget. He has lived in West County for more than 40 years, always contributing to community organizations. In 2014 he was recognized in El Cerrito’s Wall of Fame for his community service. Tom has two boys who attended WCCUSD K-12 schools.
  • Mister Phillips is an attorney and former educator, and parent of a WCCUSD student. He has served on public and private boards, including the Richmond Promise Ad-Hoc Committee. He is a fourth-generation resident of West County and lives in Richmond with his wife and 3 young children.

We look forward to seeing this new school board work in partnership and as a unified team to take on the challenges in our district and lead the charge in improving outcomes for all of our students in West Contra Costa.

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