Martha Vega was sworn in as a Cabrillo College trustee representing Area V (Watsonville) during the regular board meeting March 13 and fill the position until the next regular election in November 2024.
At a special meeting on Feb. 28, after interviewing three candidates, Cabrillo’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to provisionally appoint Vega. Area V also includes the southern portion of Freedom.
The seat became open when Felipe Hernandez resigned after being elected to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.
A longtime resident of Watsonville and a graduate of Watsonville High School and Cabrillo College, Vega is a Watsonville High School teacher. She has taught Career Technical Education criminal justice classes there since 2004.
She serves on the City of Watsonville Planning Commission, and on the board of the Pajaro Valley Arts Committee. She is a member of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Vega obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice management from Union Institute & University, and a bachelor’s degree in human development from Pacific Oaks College. In 2015, she earned a master’s degree in leadership from St. Mary’s College of Moraga.
Rebecca Garcia, a former Cabrillo trustee, and Manuel Bersamin, a former Watsonville mayor, also applied.
“I’m so grateful that we had three highly qualified candidates apply for the Trustee Area V provisional appointment, each of whom brought their own skillsets and experience,” said Adam Spickler, Cabrillo governing board chair. “After a long meeting that included an outpouring of community support, I am very happy with our unanimous decision to provisionally appoint Martha Vega, and am looking forward to working with her to advance the success of our students and the College.”
The appointment can be challenged if a petition is filed in the office of the Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools calling for a special election contains valid signatures of at least 1 ½ percent of the number of registered voters of the District at the time of the last regular election, or 25 registered voters of the District, whichever is greater.
The deadline is 30 days from the date of the provisional appointment.
Top Photo: Martha Vega at a Watsonville High School graduation ceremony.