The Board of Directors advises the Executive Cabinet on effective ways to continue achieving the mission, vision and goals of the California Student Board Member Association.
2019-2020 Student Board Member for California State Board of Education
Brenna Pangelinan was the former Student Board Member on the California State Board of Education (SBE), appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom, and served from 2019-2020. Brenna served as the sole student on the SBE. In this position, Brenna represented all 6.2 million students in California’s public education system, and played a key role in the discussions that guided the work of the California Department of Education. Prior to serving on the SBE, she was the Student Board Member for the Sweetwater Union High School District from 2018-2019. Brenna is also on the Board of Directors for the organization GENup, a California based, student-led social justice organization that fights for the betterment of California’s education system by empowering youth voices. Brenna is an outspoken leader and community organizer in her area and often fights for student representation, student voice, and student agency. She is currently a first year at Brown University and hopes to integrate education policy into her college education.
2019-2020 Student Board Member for Los Angeles Unified School District
Frances Suavillo was born and raised in the Philippines, where she was first exposed to the urgency for equity in education. Ever since she moved to the United States in 2010, she has dedicated her academic journey to fighting for student representation and student voice. She became a student-leader in her community and on her school site, Carson High School. She was the editor-in-chief for her complex yearbook for two years in a row. She was the president of the California Scholarship Federation and Share the Love, a club she founded that helps the homeless in the Los Angeles area. She served as the sole Student Board Member for the Los Angeles Unified School District in her senior year, 2019-2020, representing over 600,000 students. She used her platform to speak up for students and make sure that student voice was present at the table when decisions concerning student life were being made. She was fortunate enough to study at Harvard University for a summer program and saw the need for socio-economic representation in prestigious universities, further fueling her passion for the fight for equity in education. She will be attending Stanford University in the fall.
Executive Director of GENup
Alvin Lee has been deeply involved in California education policy since 9th grade and envisions an interconnected education system where student voice and leadership help drive policy creation. Prior to becoming engaged in ed policy, Alvin interned for then-candidate Gavin Newsom and State Assemblymember Kansen Chu. In both capacities, he helped with policy and legislative research, sparking his interest for public policy and community organizing. In the fall of 2019, he organized youth-led marches for education in three cities (Oakland, SF, San Jose) for the Schools and Communities First Ballot Initiative. After getting involved in local school district issues, board disputes, and helping organize with his local teacher unions; he teamed up with the leader student organizer from the OEA teacher strikes Lauren Kahn to start GENup: a statewide, student led organization that strives to advocate for education reform through the power of youth voices. GENup now operates more than 85+ chapters across CA and has more than 2500 student organizers and student leaders. GENup has been spearheading the fight for youth-voice in California’s education system with various initiatives like the Student Bill of Rights Campaign, Closing the Digital Divide, AEGIS coalition, Save Ethnic Studies Now, and the State Seal for Civic Engagement. Alvin is also a co-founder of the California Student Board Member Association.
2019-2020 Student Advisor for Capistrano Unified School District
Genavieve Koenigshofer is a founding member of CSBMA and served as the 2019-2020 Student Advisor to the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees, representing over 50,000 students. In this role, she prioritized diverse student voices by founding the first CUSD Student Advisory Council and becoming the first student representative on the CUSD Cultural Proficiency Task Force. Genavieve has also acted as the Operations Vice President to Congresswoman Katie Porter’s Youth Advisory Board and is currently Chief of Staff of GENup, where she oversees all Directors on the Executive Team and coordinates GENup’s operations. Genavieve is a freshman at University of California San Diego pursuing a double major in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience and Political Science: Public Policy.
2019-2020 Student Board Member for Sweetwater Union High School District
Ethan Collier-Moreno is the 2019-2020 Student Board Member for the Sweetwater Union High School District and is the first openly-LGBTQ+ person to serve the role. He was also a Top 6 Candidate for the Student Member position for the California State Board of Education. As a member of the Board of Directors, Ethan directly advises the CSBMA Executive Team regarding their projects and initiatives to ensure that they are representative and inclusive of all Student Board Members within the state of California. Having been involved with several organizations and years of activism experience, Ethan garners the necessary experience for this role and hopes to help CSBMA achieve its goals in its fullest capacity. Outside of his activism, Ethan is currently a senior at Hilltop High School who enjoys dancing and writing. His goal this year is to assist CSBMA with expanding into diverse communities and establish Student Board Member positions across all school districts in California.
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2019-2020 Student Board Member for Albany Unified School District
Michaela Klein Weinstein is a Bay Area teen who served as the Student Board Member of the Albany Unified School District for two years. During that time she got involved with the California School Board Association, Evolve CA, and the California Association of Student Councils, connecting student board members across the state and providing training so they could thrive as representatives. This year, she’s taking a gap year to work and travel. In her free time she loves writing, talking about the philosophy of ethics, and making sushi.
GENup Associate Director of Outreach
Dana Agbede is the Associate Director of Outreach for GenUp, where she works to mobilize 70+ local chapters and numerous partner organizations around education policy initiatives. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Student Board Member Association. She utilizes her background in student-led activism to advise the Executive Cabinet Dana is deeply committed to education policy. At GenUp, she serves on the executive cabinet of the East Los Angeles chapter, of which she was a founding member, as well as the statewide executive board. Outside of CSBMA, she is active in policy debate and advocating for students with learning disabilities. Currently, she is a finalist for the Los Angeles Unified School District student board member position. When she isn’t fighting for a more equitable education system, Dana enjoys listening to music and bullet journaling.
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GENup Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships
Saanvi Arora is on the Board of Directors of the California Student Board Member Association. In this role, she advises the CSBMA Executive Cabinet on their initiatives and liaises between this group and the GENup Executive Team. Other than CSBMA, Saanvi enjoys volunteering with local and national electoral campaigns and mobilizing youth to participate civically through a number of youth-led groups. Outside activism, Saanvi is a junior at Harker who enjoys research, playing basketball, and scrolling through Twitter (for educational purposes, of course). Her goal this year is to provide a platform for students to broaden their civic perspectives and take part in political organizing through education and advocacy.
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2019-2020 Student Board Member for Sacramento City Unified School District
Olivia Ang-Olson served as the 2019-2020 Student Board Member on the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) Board of Education. Olivia has been involved with a number of local and state non-profit organizations since high school and continues much of her advocacy work currently. As a Student Board Member, Olivia organized a forum series to collect student input on District-wide practices. She visited school sites and worked with students across SCUSD’s schools to form recommendations presented to the SCUSD Board of Education and Superintendent. In her tenure, Olivia successfully fought for a number of reforms, including an end to a District-wide SRO contract, improvements in student information privacy on transcripts, and administration changes at her own school site. In working with youth leaders across the State, Olivia is continually inspired by the opportunity to advance positive change alongside fellow advocates in the areas of public education and youth representation. Olivia is currently a first-year at Yale University.
2019-2020 Student Board Member for Glendale Unified School District
Maria Akhverdyan has been involved with the Student Advisory Council at Glendale Student School District for the past three years. Maria serves on the Board of Directors for the California Student Board Member Association, providing insight towards decisions made in the organization. She continues her efforts towards the improvement of her community through countless hours of community service at the local hospital, city council meetings, the Glendale Educational Foundation, an intern with Adam Schiff, and at her school campus with clubs and as ASB President. Outside of her professional capacity, Maria enjoys hiking with her poodle and playing tennis with her friends. Her goal is to unify student board members across California by bridging together resources and a means of communication.
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2018-2022 Board Trustee for the San Leandro Unified School District
James is a current student of San Francisco State University, on track to obtain a Bachelor’s in Political Science with a Minor in Humanities. A Gator of over three years, he is also an instructor at the University’s Experimental College with the goal of some day becoming a lecturer in the School of Humanities & Liberal Studies. He will soon be working toward an MA in Humanities.
As a current student and vocal advocate, he understands that our public education system is the foundation of our community, our society. James also believes that our schools can and will be the driving force for cultivating the next generation of local, state, national, and world leaders. As a nonprofit executive in a variety of government & community relations and marketing roles, James represents his fellow student body as well as the students and community of San Leandro. His passion for education and for student engagement is what has driven his career. James has worked with/for the SF State Foundation, Associated Students at SF State, San Leandro 2050, the Office of Assemblymember Rob Bonta, and the Office of Senator Nancy Skinner.
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