Mariana Pacheco is the current Director of Nursing in Downey Adult School where she also teaches. She has worked as a registered nurse for around 40 years and worked in the county for about 34 of those years. She is currently running for a spot in the Board of Trustees Area 1.
She chose to run for Cerritos College because, “I’ve been a resident here in Downey for over 25 years, currently I’m part of Downey Unified School district because the adult school is apart of Downey Unified.”
“I work very closely with the Dean of Health and I’ve done several different projects with the Dean of Health for Cerritos College.” Her kids also went to Cerritos College.
The main plan Pacheco has to improve Cerritos College is to not only improve the education but providing the necessary resources for all sorts of different departments, not just health, but theater, journalism, among other department.
When asked if she felt she was qualified for the job, Pacheco explained that she has a masters of administration, was a clinical director for LAC+USC Medical Center running over 184 clinics there, and managed over 19,000 employees. She has been involved with several organizations like the teachers union or CCAE, the California Teachers Union. Pacheco says that she knows how to work in a legislature
“My main priority would be both you and the staff. Because to me the staff is who really teaches you and gives you the tools to be able to do what you do and what you need to have a career. If we don’t support them then how are they able to support you?”
She also hopes to focus on student needs, saying, “What are your needs, what are the student needs, what are the sort of tools that you needed?”
What Pacheco is saying is that both students and staff are what makes Cerritos College great and that they should take into account what would benefit them so that they can get the education they need in the careers they’ve chosen.
Pacheco also believes that all students regardless of race, gender, and religion should get the same amount of education as everyone else does, saying that she was the first one of her family that went to college, a dream for her parents.
She says that every voice matters and even the smallest idea from someone could still push education forward in a positive direction. She’s also focuses on the minority of people who are afraid to speak up and talk about their thoughts and ideas.
When asked about the pandemic and the push for students and staff members to go back to school, she said that “There has to be a plan submitted to public health. Once that plan is submitted they do a review and when that review is done, then they determine when are you going to have all the necessary things in place in order to bring staff and students safely back to campus.”
She also said that reopening Cerritos College would begin as soon as it feels safer and when the pandemic dies down.
Pacheco has gotten notable endorsements for her campaign, most notably from the Mayor of Downey, as well as a City Council endorsement and the Cerritos College teachers faculty endorsement.
“What I would say to voters is that I’m in it to improve education so that education is accessible to all. I’m in it to help in whatever way I can because that’s what I’ve done all my life. I looked at projects that better my community, I’ve worked with students in Downey High, I’ve seen what they’re capable of and I always encourage them that they need to continue their education.”
“They cannot stop this as their foundation. They are our future leaders,” Pacheco argued.
With all of her experience in the medical field and teaching experience, as well as the support she’s getting from both Cerritos College teachers and other teachers across the county, it’s no surprise Mariana Pacheco has a strong campaign focusing on strengthening educational opportunities, public health responsibility, and support for teachers and students alike.