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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Jennifer Tran (she/her/hers) is a senior at Bolsa Grande High School and the first Preferential Voting Student Board Member for the Garden Grove Unified District, representing over 40,000 students. As Policy Director, Jennifer 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 work to better education through legislative advocacy. Jennifer has been involved in California’s Education System for over a year, serving as a Policy Director for GENup and a member of GLSEN’s National Student Council. At her school, Jennifer is involved in the music department as the Founder and President of Bolsa Grande’s Tri-M National Music Honor Society and in Policy Debate as the Co-Founder of the school’s Debate Club. In her free time, she likes to play guitar, read, drink way too many vanilla oat milk lattes, rant about the education system to her now very tired friends. Jennifer is a passionate advocate for student representation, civic engagement, and educational equity. She is excited to represent and advocate for students at the district, county, and state levels.
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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
Katie Cheng is a junior at Dublin High School, serving her second term as the Student Board Member of the Dublin Unified School District in the East Bay Area encompassing over 13,000 students. As the Director of Student Board Member Resources for CSBMA, Katie chairs the Curriculum Committee. There, she leads the development of resources, workshops, and interactive events to provide California’s student board members with the knowledge to be effective. Her goal this year is to ensure that every member gets the support they need, as that’s something she’s passionate about. Outside of CSBMA, Katie is a Public Forum debater who coaches her school’s team. She is also serving as the Region 4 Research Director at the California Association of Student Councils (CASC). At her school, Katie helps lead the Speech and Debate club, California Scholarship Federation (CSF) club, Model United Nations club, and founded her school’s first magazine. Beyond her work in advocacy and service, Katie loves to take day trips into the city and has a great appreciation for graphic design.
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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
Eli Ramer is a current senior at Beverly Hills High School and serves as the Student Board Member for Beverly Hills Unified School District. Eli watched his first board meeting in 8th grade and was hooked on attaining the position of SBM when he was eligible. He hopes to use his time as SBM to empower the Student Voice within his district, help facilitate more civic engagement among his classmates, and truly become a Student Board Member who represents all students in the district. Outside of his role of SBM Eli is the Vice President of Beverly Hills High School’s Robotics Team and one of the Assistant Drum Majors of the Beverly Hills High School Marching Band. He is excited and honored to serve as the Director of Southern Local Relations for CSBMA this next year! Please feel free to reach out to Eli through the email provided below, he is happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Director of Membership
Ronit Batra is a senior from Monte Vista High School in Danville, CA. As a member of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education, he is passionate about advocating for the student voice and serving his community. He also plays lacrosse and has been playing for the past 7 years.1 response