Two people have applied for a vacant seat on the St. Helena Unified School District Board of Trustees.
Alexandra Boeving Allen, a clinical child psychologist, and Julio Olguin, the executive director of St. Helena Preschool for All, will be interviewed by trustees at a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at Vintage Hall. Trustees will choose whether to appoint one of them to the board or call a special election to fill the vacant seat.
Former Trustee Cynthia Smith resigned from the board in January to become a Napa Superior Court judge. The four remaining trustees chose to fill her seat through the appointment process rather than an election, which would cost an estimated $25,000. The board reserved the right to call an election if nobody applied or if they can’t agree on an appointment.
Alexandra Boeving Allen
As a child psychologist, Allen specializes in children with chronic illnesses and their families. She previously applied for a vacant school board seat in 2017, when the board opted to appoint Lisa Pelosi.
According to her application, Allen is a former board president at Sun and Stars Montessori School who worked on fundraising, finances, and establishing subcommittees to enhance community development and increase offerings at the school.
As a St. Helena Primary School parent, she has volunteered in the classroom and served on the school’s Site Council and on a district-level ad hoc committee on academic excellence, and represented the kindergarten class for the Parent Teacher Group.
“As a child psychologist, I am keenly aware of the impact that a well-supported and engaged school system can have on a child’s life trajectory,” Allen wrote.
She advocates for increased resources for art, science lab, math lab, and inquiry- and project-based methodology at the K-5 level.
“Building upon the strength of our district’s relationship with the local community, increasing avenues and ease of communication between parents and district officials would optimize familial involvement and investment in the district,” she wrote. “Incorporating systematic methods of soliciting parent feedback and involvement may help this effort.”
Olguin has been executive director of the nonprofit St. Helena Preschool for All since 2014. According to his application, he’s been responsible for raising money, organizing events, and conducting community outreach and marketing.
He serves on two district committees: the ad hoc committee on academic excellence and the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Steering Committee.
Olguin is a volunteer coach for youth soccer, basketball and baseball. He is also a personal trainer who owns Napa Valley CoreFit.
In his application, Olguin said he would bring a unique perspective as a first-generation Mexican-American who was born and raised in St. Helena and attended its public schools.
“I want my children to have the opportunity and great experience that I had growing up,” Olguin wrote. “But most importantly I would like to have an impact on Latino families in the district who like my parents did not speak English and were not involved in the formal educational system. I feel as though I could be the bridge in helping those families who maybe feel as though they cannot help their children through their educational journey.”