I had the pleasure of working with Edel Alonso for 15 years as a colleague in the College of the Canyons Counseling Department when she served as not only as its chair, but also as Faculty Senate president. She and I often collaborated prior to that as fellow counseling professionals when she was employed at the William S. Hart Union High School District. Since she joined COC’s board of trustees in 2016, I have received nothing but positive feedback from my former COC co-workers about the transparency and attention to detail she brings to all decisions she makes as a board member and, recently, I have been observing Edel in action as a trustee at online board meetings. It is obvious that she has made many significant contributions during her first term:
• She is the first COC board member to earn an Excellence in Trusteeship Certificate from the Community College League of California during the first year of her term. Why so quickly? Because Edel believes in preparation and the acquisition of knowledge and skills needed to become an outstanding trustee.
• She has advocated for fiscal responsibility and transparency and, given the extensive breadth and depth of her knowledge of the COC and Santa Clarita Valley community, she asks thoughtful and appropriate questions during meetings in a respectful, diplomatic manner and is not afraid to tactfully deal with conflicting points of view.
• She has constantly advocated for making improvements to ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliance on a campus-wide basis.
• When an active shooter lockdown occurred during a board meeting, Edel proved her effectiveness as a leader during a crisis. She was the only board member to state that emergency protocols should be put in place and that the meeting should be stopped in order to maintain a safer “sheltering in place” environment for all in attendance. Many attendees were huddling for safety on the floor away from the multiple windows of the board room. Once the room was darkened, it was Edel who left the dais and approached the packed spectator section to assess the well-being of the faculty, students, administrator and community members in attendance.
• She promoted and will continue to work to obtain the board’s consensus in the development of regular evaluation of its members. This type of assessment is designed to encourage each board member’s self-improvement and goal-setting. This is a requirement for all COC staff.
• Always a team player, Edel is a careful listener, skilled communicator and gifted leader with excellent people skills. She has always promoted honesty, integrity and transparency in all of her dealings with students, faculty, staff, administrators, board members and the community, and has worked tirelessly on their behalf.
• Finally, because student success should be the first priority, Edel, the COC teachers’ choice for Area 2, is passionate about students and possesses an extremely accurate and extensive knowledge of their educational needs, a characteristic that makes her uniquely qualified to serve on the board.
The COC board of trustees needs Edel Alonso’s continuing contribution, leadership skills and spirit of collegiality. She is the wise and experienced choice for COC board of trustees, Area 2 and she deserves to be reelected!