Local officials came out in full force to honor outgoing Ravenswood City School District trustee Ana Maria Pulido, after 12 years on the governing board, at a Nov. 17 school board meeting.
State Sen. Josh Becker, Sequoia Union High School District trustee Shawneece Stevenson, East Palo Alto Council member Antonio López and others spoke of Pulido's dedication to the district. Pulido said over the summer that she wants to explore other opportunities, personally and professionally, outside of the school board, and speakers noted that they could see her running for higher office.
Pulido described how the expectation when she joined the board was that there was little that could be done to improve the district but she "refused to accept that status quo that our students didn't deserve just as good as neighboring districts like Menlo Park and Palo Alto," she said.
"I wasn't afraid to confront that," she said. "I left Ravenswood drastically different from when I first got here."
She talked about bringing the arts, music, science programs and helping improve the district's finances. She joined the board in 2010 and is the spokesperson for the San Mateo County Community College District. She previously handled public relations for the Sequoia Union High School District. Before that, she was chief operating officer for local nonprofit One East Palo Alto.
The board presented Pulido with a trophy and passed a resolution honoring Pulido. The resolution noted that Pulido also helped launch the district's comprehensive middle school, Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School, makerspaces and more.
Board President Mele Latu thanked Pulido for giving the board her youth and making Ravenswood better than when she came.
Board Vice President Tamara Sobomehin said although she and Pulido butted heads, she came to appreciate Pulido's "strength and fire." She said she'd put a yard sign on her lawn supporting Pulido if she runs for another office.
Trustee Jenny Varghese Bloom said that she knows Pulido will "serve on many more teams" and that she will "continue to use her very strong voice" to represent people who are not always heard.
Two of Pulido's brothers spoke about her having been raised with four older brothers, so she was forced from a young age to stick up for herself.
Pulido said she endorsed incoming trustee Laura Nuñez for the board because she wanted a resident who is native to East Palo Alto on the board who knows the community.
Nuñez, along with Latu and Sobomehin (who were up for reelection) will assume their seats at a Dec. 13 meeting.
Watch a video of the meeting at which Pulido was recognized: