Grief was heavy in the air at the Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, April 13. Business continued but everyone was mourning the tragic death of 5-year-old Eliyanah, who was a student at Central Park Elementary School. She was shot while in the car with her family and traveling on I-880 in Fremont.
“Our entire school community is heartbroken,” Superintendent Dr. Gary Waddell said solemnly. “And our hearts go out to Eliyanah’s family, classmates, and friends in the Central Park community.”
The Board unanimously voted to appoint Louis Barocio as the Principal of Hughes Elementary School and Vanessa Knight as the new Vice Principal of Huerta Middle School. They also approved the new job description for the Coordinator of Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELOP).
The appointment of the Executive Director of Schools and the appointment Principal for Ponderosa Elementary School were pulled from the agenda.
May was affirmed as Mental Health Awareness Month, Foster Care Awareness Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Jewish American Heritage Month. Board Member Andy Ratermann said he wants to take resolutions a step further but supported the resolutions.
For student reports, Skarlette Smillie presented their report about Mission Early College High School and Mateo Moyoli gave their presentation about Santa Clara High School.
With Spring Break coming up, Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Chief Business Official Mark Schiel said the District is sending all students and staff off with COVID-19 at-home tests for them to take before returning to school. The District is hoping to get more tests for the summer break.
The meeting came to a tearful end as Board President Vickie Fairchild adjourned the meeting in memory of Eliyanah. The Board meets next on Thursday, April 27.
Editor’s Note: The California Highway Patrol has not made any arrests in Eliyanah’s shooting. Investigators are looking for the public’s assistance in finding additional details so please call the CHP investigation tipline at (707) 917-4491 if you have any information to share.