Dawn Green fills vacant seat on Board of Trustees; ‘there’s a lot of greatness here’

Trustee Dawn Green

Cerritos College & Cerritos College Press Release

Dawn Green will be the new Board of Trustee member in Trustee Area 2 and has 20 years of experience in K-12.

Samuel Chacko

The Cerritos College Board of Trustees voted to appoint Dawn Green on Oct. 20 to fill the vacancy of former Board member Trustee Carmen Avalos and will remain in the term until 2024.

According to the Cerritos Press Release, Trustee Green will be the first African American woman to serve on the Board in its 67-year history.

“Oh my gosh, it blew me away because I didn’t even know that. It makes me very proud,” Trustee Green said with a smile on her face, “I’m very thankful to serve as the first African American female board member.”

Trustee Green had 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher and is currently the principal at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Lynwood.

When asked how the experience of the education system impacts the Board of Trustees, she said that she brings the lens of the K-12 experience.

“Through my lens of experiencing education, through the things I’ve seen through the years, though my fight for equity, access and justice, I just feel like I have a lot to bring to the table,” Trustee Green said.

“All students deserve to have what’s best for them and that’s what I bring to the table,” she adds, “I feel that the lens that I’m coming with will definitely help make decisions that are for the betterment of the College and the Students.”

Trustee James Cody Birkey said that Trustee Green’s “executive thinking and passion for education” is something the board is seeking and “demonstrates a clear understanding of dedication to the population that our college serves.”

The new trustee said that her mission right now is to get to know the college, meet with the high schools and meet with people in Trustee Area 2.

“Whatever is best for my community that I’m servicing, whatever is best for the district and especially whatever is best for the students.”

One of her goals is to make sure everyone is well-informed because, “we need to know, in order to gain that knowledge, which ultimately leads to that power [‘power to the people’].”

Trustee Green’s focus is on communication, community and education, “With those four things, power [“power to the people”] will be had.”

During Board of Trustee meetings, things can get heated real quick with the public comments portion of the meetings.

Trustee Green said that she would do the following:

Listen to them/have open communication, maintain composure and not take things personally, reflect on the information then create a plan of action and stay true to her “why” and “who.”

“I’m in this position to serve and protest the best interest of [the people],” she added.

For the closed session and gaining consensus, Trustee Green said the most important thing is being open-minded.

“I have the lens that I’m going to look through and I have my own formed opinion but I have to be open to hear what others have to say,” she said, “Just being receptive of the different opinions people have […] and making sure I’m educated.”

“I want to make my decision with the complete knowledge of what it is, how it’s going to impact our students, the school and the community,” Trustee Green said.

“With that, making those difficult decisions and working with the board to move in the direction of what’s best.”

“Always believe in yourself!,” Trustee Green said about advice, “There will be challenges and doubts. However, you must stay the course, do your best and you will reach success.”

Trustee Green expects herself to contribute to Cerritos’ success in 3-5 years in the future and named examples like increasing and sustaining enrollment, equity access and justice, having award-winning programs, being out into the community and building partnerships.

“Being a part of that continued movement for success, that’s what I’m hoping,” she said in closing.

Trustee Green will officially be inaugurated and installed as a Board of Trustee member during the next Board of Trustee meeting on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.