Tiffany Sue Silva of Cayucos has replaced Judith Hillen as trustee on the Coast Unified School District’s board. Her appointment, approved at a special meeting June 5 by the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees, is provisional unless it is challenged within 30 days.
Hillen resigned June 7; she has moved out of state.
Silva’s first meeting as a trustee was supposed to have been Thursday, Aug. 13. However, recent surgery may mean a postponement of her initial appearance.
Her appointment marks the first time since 2012 that a Cayucos resident will serve on the board. That’s when former trustee Victoria Dandurand left the Coast board and was elected to the Cayucos Elementary School District Board of Trustees.
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Board President Del Clegg said Tuesday, Aug. 11, “I’m pleased the board appointed Tiffany. … I think it will give a voice to Cayucos residents. She just wants to do what’s good for the kids. She knows all the players and the issues.”
He also said that Silva’s background is a good fit. She’s the honorary mayor of Cayucos and has been active in various nonprofits there, including the Cayucos Lady Lions and the Chamber of Commerce.
“She grew up in Cayucos, went through the Cayucos and Cambria school systems” before transferring to a school in the San Joaquin Valley for her senior year, Clegg said.
Her husband, Frank Silva, is sixth-generation in this area, and was educated in Cayucos and at Coast, as were their two daughters.
Pam Kenyon, Coast volleyball coach and PE teacher, said at the Aug. 5 meeting that teachers are pleased to have Silva on board, especially since they knew the entire family had attended district schools.
Suzanne Kennedy, librarian at the middle school, said she was happy that there’ll be a Cayucos person to represent on the board, hopefully helping to bridge the gap between the two communities.
Some Cayucans have been at odds with the district for years over various issues, including how CUSD can legally and fiscally transfer any Cayucos student who wishes to attend high school at Morro Bay or another San Luis Coastal Unified School District campus.
Silva was the only applicant for the vacancy, a stark contrast to a similar appointment procedure in May, when five candidates applied for a post vacated by Lesli Murdoch. Lee McFarland of Cambria filled that vacancy as of a special meeting June 2.
The two appointments mean that the 2016 election cycle should include four CUSD seats on the ballot, three for four-year terms and one for a two-year seat to fill out the balance of Murdoch’s term.