COC appoints new board president; swears in new members

The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons.

College of the Canyons trustees held their organizational board meeting Dec. 16 to appoint a new board president and swear in three members who were elected in the 2020 General Election.

After being elected to Trustee Area 2 and her second term on the board, Edel Alonso was appointed as board president while also being sworn in along with Sebastian Cazares for Trustee Area 3 and Michele Jenkins for Trustee Area 4.

“I am honored to be elected by the voters for a second four-year term and to be selected by my fellow trustees to serve as president of the board for 2021,” Alonso said in a prepared statement. “The year ahead is sure to present many challenges but we will face them with a strong commitment and high expectations for student access, equity and success.”

Alonso received 58.96% (14,061) of the vote against opponent Tony Watson, who received 41.04% (9,788) of the vote. 

At only 20 years old, Cazares was elected to the board and appointed as clerk the same year he graduated from COC. He received 51.98% (13,608) of the votes against his opponent, Fred Arnold, who received 48.02% (12,572).

“To serve my hometown in a historic moment for the youth has been the greatest honor of my life,” Cazares said in a prepared statement. “I hope to get to work and positively improve my alma mater (by) advocating for programs that champion transparency, empower the public, promote equity and ensure quality education for all.”

Cazares replaced outgoing board member Steve Zimmer, who retired after serving eight years.

Jenkins, the outgoing board president and 36-year member, was sworn in to represent Trustee Area 4 after receiving 50.38% (13,306) of the votes against opponent Jerry Danielsen, who ran close behind with 49.62% (13,103).

“This was a year unlike any other in the history of our college and our community,” said Jenkins in a prepared statement. “From multiple wildfires, to a devastating pandemic, to continuing economic disruption, to the urgent call to address racial injustice, we faced unprecedented challenges. I am proud that, as a college, we worked together to find solutions and our accomplishments were significant.”

Joan MacGregor, who represents Trustee Area 5, was appointed as vice president after serving on the board for 27 years and COC Chancellor Dianne Van Hook will serve as secretary-parliamentarian.

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