The Executive Cabinet serves as the head organizational body of the California Student Board Member Association and supervises the day-to-day operations of CSBMA. It is made up of elected and appointed representatives who are currently serving on their district’s board of education.
Zachary Patterson is the Student Board Member of San Diego Unified School District representing over 100,000 students. Zachary is a cofounder and the current President of the California Student Board Member Association. In this capacity, he oversees day-to-day operations of the association and works to facilitate the connection of student board members. Zachary has been involved in student activism for many years. He was first elected to represent the students of San Diego Unified School District in October of 2019. However, his work to expand student representation started in 7th grade, and culminated three years later with his election to the school board. He is the first student to ever be elected to the San Diego Board of Education, holding the title of Student Board Member. Outside activism, Zachary is a Junior at University City High School who enjoys running and surfing. Zachary’s goal this year is to ensure that Student Board Members have the knowledge and connections necessary to meaningfully contribute to their school board.
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Emily Bylsma is the Student Board Member of the Poway Unified School District, in which she represents over 30,000 students, K-12. Emily is excited and grateful to be the Policy Director of the California Student Board Member Association. Within this position, she establishes CSBMA’s legislative goals and works towards their fulfillment. Emily’s passion for student leadership and positive change runs deep, and this is reflected in her multitude of organizational involvements, including involvement in GenUp, Diversify Our Narrative, ASB, Anti-Defamation League and even Local Political Campaigns. Beyond her work in social justice, as a Senior at Poway High School Emily loves to explore downtown San Diego, drink RedBull and post very mediocre Tik Toks. Emily hopes that this year CSBMA can influence districts and schools across the state to consider and adopt policies that directly benefit their students, and address student need, especially in such a time of inequity and unrest.
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Ela Ruf is the treasurer on the CSBMA executive board. She is a sophomore at Nordhoff high school in the Ojai Unified School District. This is her second year serving as a student board member on the Ojai Unified School District Advisory board. She loves to play sports and is deeply invested in her school’s music program. Her hope for this year is to create an environment where students can make the changes they want to see in their school districts.
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Calvin Yang is currently in his second term as a Student Board Member of Hayward Unified School District and is the Secretary of CSBMA. He facilitates the communication efforts within CSBMA and supports any Student Board Members in need of help. As a Student Board Member, he has advocated for the improvement of classroom learning resources, in order to increase the efficiency of students’ learning environments, and conducted surveys in regards to the equity of students at school. Calvin Yang’s hobbies include reading and swimming and he is a student at Hayward High School. He works to achieve his goal of having every students’ voices be heard and recognized throughout America.
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Michelle Alas is a senior at Northgate High School and the inaugural Student Board Member for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, representing 30,000 students. As Policy Director, Michelle works in tandem with legislative offices, writes proposals, and synthesizes information to present in the legislature. She also chairs the CSBMA Policy Committee, where Student Board Members from across the state can learn policy nuance and authentic government work for a more equitable California education. Michelle has been an advocate for education equity for over a year, having been recognized as one of the top three 2020-2021 State Student Board Member finalists, serving as Policy Director for GENup, and serving as Region 4 President of the California Association of Student Councils (CASC). At her school, Michelle is involved in Parliamentary Debate, Model United Nations, as well as Sports Medicine, and enjoys reading and running with her cross country and track teams. Michelle is an ardent advocate for student representation, social justice, and democracy, and is attending Brown University in the fall. She is excited to make fair education accessible to everyone in her district and the state of California.
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Director of the Take A Seat Campaign
Brian Lin is the Student Board Member of Alameda Unified School District representing over 9000 students. Brian is the director of the Take a Seat Campaign and the chair of the Expansion Committee of the California Student Board Member Association. He oversees the Take a Seat Campaign which works to orient prospective student board members that are interested in being placed on their local Board of Education. Brian has been involved in student activism for many years and was first elected to represent the students of Alameda Unified School District in June of 2019. He’s very passionate about current issues in his community and has worked with many community members, district staff, teachers, parents, and students to advocate for the restoration of his school library, provide more learning opportunities through dual enrollment in community colleges, and promote mental health resources across his school campus. Brian is a Junior at Encinal High School who loves playing Basketball and watching Netflix. Brian’s goal this year is to ensure that prospective Student Board Members have the resources and materials necessary to be placed on their local school board.
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Director of Student Board Member Resources
Léo Corzo-Clark is a senior at Albany High School and Student Board Member for Albany Unified School District, representing just over 3,500 students. As Director of Student Board Member Resources for CSBMA, Léo is chair of the Curriculum Committee, which works to research and develop resources for student board members across California to teach them everything they need to know about what a student board member must do to be effective. Although only appointed to the Albany Board of Education this year, Léo has been involved with his School Board for many years as the first student representative on his district’s Local Control and Accountability Planning Committee and as a member of his high school’s Student Body Leadership. Besides his involvement in CSBMA and local politics, Léo is a Star Wars enthusiast and singer in two choirs and an a cappella group. Knowing that not everyone is as fortunate as he is to have so much experience working in my district before being appointed to my School Board, his goal this year is to ensure that every Student Board Member is confident in their knowledge and capable of making meaningful change within their district.
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Director of Partnerships
Director of Communications
Henry Mills has worked in student and district leadership since middle school and he is honored to be serving as the CSBMA director of Communications. Henry is currently a junior at Almeda High School and in his second year as being the student representative to his school’s PTSA, SSC, and the Alameda Unified School District Board of Education. Henry has spent his time on the school board advocating on behalf of his peers and encouraging the district to partner with students to achieve a high quality and equitable education for all. In managing CSBMA’s communication, Henry hopes to help connect student leaders across the country with one another, and create an environment where students can safely collaborate on ways to better their districts and communities.
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Director of Northern Local Relations
Isaiah Christopher Carter has been on the Board of Education for Travis Unified School District for three years now. He is involved with many Non Profit Organizations and has lots of experience in leadership and public speaking. Isaiah has been an active ASB Executive Member for all 4 years of his high school career. He has started a new branch of leadership for his high school called Student Service Involvement Club, where students outside of student government are encouraged to engage in leadership development and team building activities. Isaiah currently and proudly serves on the Board of Directors for the California Student Board Member Association, as the Director of Local Relations of the Northern Hemisphere of the state of California. Outside of professional capacity Isaiah enjoys playing rugby and football and boys volleyball and participates in event planning within his city for teen events in his community. His Goals are to make sure like him all student board members know their rights. Practice them, teaching this generation and the next that young voices matter, and student advocacy is one of the most important branches in a school education system in the state of California.
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Director of Southern Local Relations
Heidi Andrade is a part of the Class of 2023 and serves as the Student Board Member for the San Benito High School District located in Hollister, California. Her biggest goal as SBM is to do more than update the Board of Trustees on student activities. She wishes to use her position to: add pronouns and prefixes to the staff directory, create a committee that drafts surveys, for students to give feedback to their teachers, and advocate for sustainable practices on campus. Heidi has been involved in leadership since she was in 7th grade and has held many positions at her high school such as Freshman Class President (2019-2020), Student Congress Cabinet Member (2019-2021), Feminist Club Treasurer (2020-2021), UNICEF Club Secretary (2020-2021), and Link Crew Club Fundraising Coordinator (2020-2021). Outside of school, she holds the position of CASC Region 6 Governmental Affairs and Policy Director and CASC Region 6 Communications Director. She loves all of her positions equally and plans to major in Political Science and/or Earth Systems and has played with the idea of becoming a humanitarian. She describes herself as an environmentalist, a feminist, a vegan, and of course a leader.
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Director of Grants