22-year-old Nipomo woman appointed to Lucia Mar school board

Erica Reyes
Erica Reyes

The Lucia Mar Unified School District board has unanimously appointed a longtime Nipomo resident to an open seat on the seven-member school board.

Erica Reyes will fill the spot vacated by small-business owner Tiffany Alcantara, who resigned in July because she moved to Oceano.

School board members must live in the area they serve — in this case, the Nipomo area. The board interviewed 10 applicants during a meeting Tuesday and selected Reyes, who was sworn in the same evening.

At 22, she is currently the school’s board’s youngest member — and is likely the youngest person ever to serve on the school district board, district administrators said. She attended Nipomo Elementary, Mesa Middle and Nipomo High schools, and graduated in June from University of California at Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Reyes also spent a semester abroad with the Semester at Sea program and currently serves as an AmeriCorps volunteer in the Santa Barbara County Education Office. She hopes to eventually join the Peace Corps.

Reyes said she wanted to give back to the community and provide a voice for local youth. In her application for the seat, she wrote that the board’s priorities include meeting goals for schools that are currently not meeting federal standards under the No Child Left Behind Act; and successfully implementing two new programs, a New Tech High and an International Baccalaureate program, aimed at encouraging “21st century skills” such as critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration.

Reyes’ term will run through November 2012, when her seat will be up for election.

“We felt she was a different voice that we don’t have,” school board President Colleen Martin said today.