Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Inauguration Ceremony for SFUSD's Board of Education

Sandra Fewer, Rachel Norton, Jill Wynns and Norman Yee will be sworn into office Wednesday, January 7, at 6 p.m. in an hour-long ceremony held at the Tenderloin Community School, 927 Turk St. (between Van Ness and Polk); Multipurpose room (2nd floor). The public is welcome.

Fewer will be sworn in by Senator Mark Leno, Norton by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Wynns by Supervisor Bevan Dufty, and Yee by S.F. County Sheriff Michael Hennessey.

Sandra Fewer
Fewer is an educational policy expert who has worked for over 20 years with San Francisco's public schools. For the past seven years, Fewer has worked as the Director of Education Policy and Parent Organizing at Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth analyzing the practices of public school systems throughout the nation to gain a better understanding of the policies that need to be brought forth to the S.F. Board of Education.

Fewer also trained hundreds of parents to be active participants in San Francisco’s public schools and helped to lead the creation and implementation of the Parent Advisory Council to the Board of Education (PAC). She and other parents were influential in passing the Board resolution, "Closing the Achievement Gap in the San Francisco School District."

Fewer was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown and has two children. She lives in the Richmond District with her family.

Rachel Norton
Norton has served on the SFUSD Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for Special Education since 2005, and has been an active member of Parents for Public Schools - San Francisco (PPS-SF) since 2001. She has also volunteered for the Autism Speaks Bay Area Advocacy Committee, which works to secure health insurance coverage for kids with autism. Norton currently serves as co-chair of the Site Council at her daughter’s public elementary school.

Norton has worked at The New York Times, Reuters, and CNET: The Computer Network. She created the Visual Journalism course at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, which she co-taught. She currently works as the part-time Editorial Director for FORA.tv in San Francisco and provides writing, editing and consulting for PPS-SF.

Norton was born and raised in Berkeley, California where she attended public schools. She has a degree in English from Barnard College. She has two daughters and lives with her family in the Richmond District.

Jill Wynns
Wynns was first elected to the S.F. Board of Education in 1992 and has been re-elected for four terms. She served as Board President in 2001 and 2002, and as chair of the Budget Committee for five years. She has become nationally recognized for her opposition to the commercialization and privatization of public schools, and for her advocacy to increase resources for public education. Wynns authored the district's healthy foods policy.

She served on the board of the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) for nine years. Wynns is a director of the California School Boards Association and a member of their Charter Schools Task Force. She has also been president of the Association of California Urban School Districts, served as a working group member for the California Education Master Plan, and currently serves on the California Title I Committee of Practitioners and the State Attendance Review Board.

Wynns lives in the Bernal Heights neighborhood.

Norman Yee
Yee has been an SF Board of Education Commissioner since 2005, during which time he also served as its president and as vice president. He has worked as a San Francisco K-12 and community college teacher and served as Executive Director of Wu Yee Children's Services for over 15 years. Yee holds a graduate degree in education.

During his 35-year career working on behalf of San Francisco children, youth and families, Yee formed the San Francisco Early Head Start Program, created the Asian Parent Education Network, established the San Francisco Child Care Providers Association, created a preschool in the Sunnydale Housing Projects, and formed the Chinatown Beacon Center.

Yee’s two children were educated from Kindergarten through 12th grade in San Francisco’s public schools. He is a native San Franciscan and lives in the Ingleside District.


  1. Music provided by the SOTA Big Band -- I believe the music starts at 5:30.

  2. And late-breaking addition -- a Lincoln High School vocal ensemble will also perform, along with (I'm told) two SFUSD administrators on piano and voice.

  3. Will one of the vocalists be Archie Fokin?

  4. Archie is saving his voice so he can yell at parents tomorrow.

  5. I'm so happy to have two new CURRENT parents of SFUSD students on the BOE. Let's get even MORE next time!

  6. Rachel's speech is on her website at rachelnorton.com

    Her daughters are adorable.

  7. Yes, it is nice to have parents of actual SFUSD students on the board.

    Board members with students in our schools are much more likely to focus squarely on school issues at Ground Zero than on their own ideological whims.

  8. ^^Thanks!!