News

High school district board candidate drops out of race, citing need for more elected 'voices of color'

Jacqui Cebrian withdraws and endorses Shawneece Stevenson for SUHSD Area E

A person walks down a hallways at Menlo-Atherton High School on March 16. Jacqui Cebrian, a candidate for the Sequoia Union High School District school board, which governs M-A and other local high schools, has announced that she is dropping out in order to support candidate Shawneece Stevenson. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Jacqui Cebrian, a candidate for the Sequoia Union High School District school board Trustee Area E, has announced that she is dropping out in order to support candidate Shawneece Stevenson instead.

In an email on Sept. 11, Cebrian explained her reasoning for dropping out of the race, saying that she believed Stevenson, as a Black woman, would better represent the area, which includes Menlo Park neighborhoods east of Highway 101 as well as East Palo Alto.

"It is my belief that Shawneece Stevenson is the right choice to represent Area E for this moment in time," she said. "I think she brings a different experience to the position than I do, and I believe there need to be more voices of color on our elected boards. After all of the learning I've done on the topic of anti-racism since I first read Jason Reynolds' and Ibram X. Kendi's book 'Stamped: A Remix; Racism, Anti-Racism and You,' I knew I could not ask my friends and family for money to support a campaign that, if successful, would result in the opposite of what I thought was right," she said.

Cebrian said that she had met with Stevenson three times before making her decision, and her website now includes a statement supporting her along with a link to Stevenson's website.

Only two candidates had filed for the one open seat in Trustee Area E, leaving Stevenson as the only candidate in the race. Cebrian's name will still appear on the ballot, as the San Mateo County Elections Office's deadline for candidates to withdraw has passed.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Almanac Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

Stevenson is a first-time candidate in the district who has lived in East Palo Alto for 22 years, according to her website. "As a proud parent of three Ravenswood School District graduates, two of whom currently attend Menlo-Atherton, I am passionate about quality education for all students," she said on her website. "I believe in equity and supporting diverse learners, especially those with learning differences and special needs."

Sequoia Union High School District operates the local comprehensive high schools Menlo-Atherton and Woodside, as well as TIDE Academy. In the upcoming election, residents will vote based on the district they reside in.

In her statement, Cebrian acknowledged her supporters and asked for them to support Stevenson. "I appreciate so much the support of my family, friends, colleagues, and community members," she said. "I'm so proud to be a resident of Belle Haven and I'm sorry to let them down by leaving the race, but as I promised I would do as a trustee, I weighed all the information and made what I think is the best choice."

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews, Facebook and on Instagram @almanacnews for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

High school district board candidate drops out of race, citing need for more elected 'voices of color'

Jacqui Cebrian withdraws and endorses Shawneece Stevenson for SUHSD Area E

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 6:28 pm

Jacqui Cebrian, a candidate for the Sequoia Union High School District school board Trustee Area E, has announced that she is dropping out in order to support candidate Shawneece Stevenson instead.

In an email on Sept. 11, Cebrian explained her reasoning for dropping out of the race, saying that she believed Stevenson, as a Black woman, would better represent the area, which includes Menlo Park neighborhoods east of Highway 101 as well as East Palo Alto.

"It is my belief that Shawneece Stevenson is the right choice to represent Area E for this moment in time," she said. "I think she brings a different experience to the position than I do, and I believe there need to be more voices of color on our elected boards. After all of the learning I've done on the topic of anti-racism since I first read Jason Reynolds' and Ibram X. Kendi's book 'Stamped: A Remix; Racism, Anti-Racism and You,' I knew I could not ask my friends and family for money to support a campaign that, if successful, would result in the opposite of what I thought was right," she said.

Cebrian said that she had met with Stevenson three times before making her decision, and her website now includes a statement supporting her along with a link to Stevenson's website.

Only two candidates had filed for the one open seat in Trustee Area E, leaving Stevenson as the only candidate in the race. Cebrian's name will still appear on the ballot, as the San Mateo County Elections Office's deadline for candidates to withdraw has passed.

Stevenson is a first-time candidate in the district who has lived in East Palo Alto for 22 years, according to her website. "As a proud parent of three Ravenswood School District graduates, two of whom currently attend Menlo-Atherton, I am passionate about quality education for all students," she said on her website. "I believe in equity and supporting diverse learners, especially those with learning differences and special needs."

Sequoia Union High School District operates the local comprehensive high schools Menlo-Atherton and Woodside, as well as TIDE Academy. In the upcoming election, residents will vote based on the district they reside in.

In her statement, Cebrian acknowledged her supporters and asked for them to support Stevenson. "I appreciate so much the support of my family, friends, colleagues, and community members," she said. "I'm so proud to be a resident of Belle Haven and I'm sorry to let them down by leaving the race, but as I promised I would do as a trustee, I weighed all the information and made what I think is the best choice."

Comments

Elizabeth Ouren
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 17, 2020 at 12:39 pm
Elizabeth Ouren, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2020 at 12:39 pm

I admire Cebrian for making this decision and putting her beliefs into action. I have known Shawnneece for over 15 years and she is a wonderful, caring person and I believe she be a great addition to the Sequoia Union High School District school board.


margomca
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 17, 2020 at 12:47 pm
margomca, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2020 at 12:47 pm

This is wonderful! I'm sure the students of color, as well as caucasian students will benefit from the decisions of a more diverse board. I don't know either of these 2 ladies, but I will vote for Shawneece. Kudos to Jacqui. I'm sure you will be there to support her.


Joan
Registered user
Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 17, 2020 at 1:19 pm
Joan, Atherton: West Atherton
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2020 at 1:19 pm

I know Shawneece and think she will make a wonderful board member for the new Area E! I also know Jacqui and admire and respect her decision and her reasoning. Our community is lucky to have both these women involved in our schools!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.