Lowder: Cazares’ ‘star shone bright’

Stockton Unified Superintendent Steve Lowder has issued the following statement on Saturday’s death of Area 6 Trustee Sara Cazares:

I am profoundly sorry to share a huge loss for Stockton Unified Schools. Board of Education member Sara Cazares died Saturday as a result of a second major medical event in a year. Sara was an important and beloved member of the SUSD family. She was not only one of seven members of our Board of Education, but was an SUSD alum and parent who volunteered at her children’s schools.

Sara was elected to represent Area 6, which includes Cesar Chavez High School and seven elementary schools, but she worked tirelessly on behalf of all our students. In 2012 she served as Board president.

She visited the schools and the administrative offices every week and never missed a district event that celebrated Stockton Unified. I know she would have loved to see the results of the many initiatives she was part of, including the mentoring programs at our high schools, career training at Chavez and online learning at Edison, and our Cultural Efficacy efforts and STEM programs.

She pressed her many friends into service for our schools. Among them, her childhood friend, astronaut Jose Hernandez, who adopted Fillmore School at her request.

Even after suffering a first event in early 2012, she only missed a few weeks of school activities to recover before she was out visiting the schools and finding ways to help our students. I know Sara was very close to many, many teachers, principals, staff and students in our district and throughout the community and we all grieve her loss.

A Franklin High School alum and graduate of Harvard University, Sara, 48, won election to the board in 2010 and planned to seek re-election next year. She was also active in the Truman Club and local Democratic Party.

We offer support to her family: her husband, Larry Hernandez, an instructional math coach for the district, and her two sons, Luis, a graduate of Franklin High School’s IB program and currently a student at Stanford University, and Ricardo, one of the first graduates of Cesar Chavez High School.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Sara’s star shone bright in our district and we are grateful to have had her for the time we did.

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