New Year 2023

Happy new year! 2023 has started off well for our Mt Diablo school board, thanks to the hard work of staff and teachers as well as parents and community.  Trustee Nzewi is now our school board President, and Trustee McFerrin is Vice President. I’m thankful to President Nzewi for opening our first board meeting with a thoughtful land acknowledgement to show respect to our Native American community.

Here are a few highlights from the January 18th meeting:

  1. In efforts to attract and retain quality staff, our board focused on increasing salaries especially for our lowest paid workers. We:
    • approved a tentative agreement with CSEA (CA School Employees Association) for the 2022-25 collective bargaining agreement, 
    • approved salary increases & schedule updates for Food & Nutrition staff,
    • approved summer school higher compensation rates,
    • approved salary schedule adjustment for school principals & administration.
  2. We approved a 5 year contract to improve our district website. (Thank you to all who submitted feedback along the way!) The new site will include:
    • User friendly design with search
    • Improved ADA accessibility
    • Mobile friendly app
    • Integration with ParentSquare & calendars
    • Translation into more than 100 languages
    • Aiming to launch by July 1, 2023
  3. And we approved audits for the district, charter schools, and bonds - all of which showed overwhelmingly that funding is well managed and spent appropriately in MDUSD

Anonymous Reporting System Chosen

Dr Clark added a link to his Superintendent Goals here on the website. One of these goals has been to implement a districtwide anonymous reporting system that includes 

  • alignment with Collaborative For Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) social-emotional learning standards,
  • multiple language access to report tips via phone, app, and website, 
  • trained crisis counselor response 24/7.

Thanks to all who contacted our board to prioritize this!  Dr Clark reported at the January board meeting that after researching various options, the district has contracted with the Sandy Hook Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, which includes all of the criteria that you requested.  Planning and setup begins this spring, with the system aiming to launch for the 2023-24 school year. 


Did you see the new addition to our Board meetings page? It is the “Trustee questions and staff response”, which had been recommended by community members. 


Both Student Trustee Navaflores and I spoke at a recent Concord City Council meeting in support of a city ordinance to stop the sale of vape & flavored tobacco that targets youth.  I’m grateful to LGBTQ Minus Tobacco and all the organizations that provided key data that led the city council to vote 5-0 to direct staff to draft the ordinance.  Our MDUSD Board had passed a resolution in 2020 asking all cities in MDUSD to take this action, and it’s good to see Concord stepping up now to follow suit along with Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill.

Coming up

The next school board meeting is this Wednesday, February 1, 2023. We welcome your input via email or in person! See details at 

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Swearing In Ceremony Tonight

Tonight our Mt. Diablo Unified School District board meeting includes my swearing in ceremony for a second term, alongside Linda Mayo and Debra Mason.

You’re welcome to come in person, or watch online!

It begins at 6pm, and will be held at our school district Board room at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord CA 94519

We will also have our board reorganization (voting for President/Vice President for 2023), a report on the first interim financials, and more.

See full agenda and how to watch/participate here:

Many thanks for your all of your support of our schools,

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We won!

We won!
Much gratitude to every single person who endorsed, donated, walked, talked, hosted, posted/waved signs, texted, and voted in support of my re-election to the Mt. Diablo Unified School District school board.
And thank you to my husband Sandy and our kids, for your unwavering support of my time & energy spent on organizing for our schools & community.
Thank you to my mom, Mary Kay Melton, the unofficial campaign assistant and party planner extraordinaire who persuades her whole community to engage & vote.
Thank you to my stellar all-volunteer campaign leads who dedicated so much time to managing every detail these last few months:
  • Aasim Yahya, Campaign Manager
  • Erin Roeder, Treasurer
  • Amanda Regenstein, Field Director
  • Michelle Alas, Communications Director
  • Sam Benabou, Data Guru
  • Julie Contreras, Graphic Designer
  • Lorena Pena, Translator
  • Aleah Clark, Student Fellow
This landslide victory was made possible by each and every one of you coming together for the vision of welcoming, safe, inclusive schools for every Mt Diablo student. And now our coalition working to realize that vision is broader & stronger for it.

My deepest gratitude for going on this journey with me,

p.s. I also want to say thank you to Herbert Lee for entering this race. Having an opponent gave us the opportunity to be on the ballot and  therefore to engage voters this election season in deep conversations about how to best support our local public schools.

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Have you voted yet?

Have you turned in your ballot yet?

My husband and I used to have a tradition of taking our kids with us to the polls, and now we just walk over to the ballot drop box down the street at the Ygnacio Valley library. We voted last Monday!

Turn in your ballot ASAP to make sure it gets counted. There's a drop box at the Clayton library too!

There are so many convenient ways to vote:

Please share: 

Your voice is powerful! Here's an image for you to text or email to your network. Just write in the link to, and add your reason for voting for Cherise to make it even more impactful. 

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