On a Tuesday morning meeting on March 21st, 2023 the governing board of Palomar’s Community College District (PCCD) appointed a new trustee to replace former trustee Christian Garcia as he resigned earlier this year. Garcia had initially left due to an appointment to the Escondido City Council. The vote was a 3-1 decision in favor of the new trustee.
The new appointee is a community woman, named Cassandra Schaeg, who has participated for 25 years in nonprofit, private, and public sectors focused on education, workforce development, and advocacy for underserved communities. Schaeg also has experience being an entrepreneur and has received a college degree.
I think this hiring was a pretty good one and I believe that they have chosen the right person. Her time and experience in this bubble and in this community are absolutely crucial elements considering there are a lot of underserved in our county overall but especially its fair share in San Marcos or Escondido. And it’s important to have someone who understands that struggle to help fight for the little guy so to speak.
Some people will always advocate for student input in situations like these, and while including student input in certain spaces is great and encouraged, I think focus and articulation are crucial pieces to making correct decisions, and the inclusion of any student who has any opinion would just create a hostile environment in a place where we are trying to do good and I think it paid off in this hire.
It is however unfortunate that this was only posted to the Palomar News post and isn’t something that is realized by the general community. When attempting to build community, the first step is having whoever is in charge be relatable because people have to want to listen to you. This new hire could very well be the first step in finding the right person to spread the word about what the governing board does or how they affect us but as it stands, the average citizen will never know these things.
One last interesting thing to note is the fact that they held a special appointment because it would have cost a lot of money to hold a special election. Despite my not condoning shortcuts due to spending, I do actually empathize with this situation or at least can understand because I personally know of part of the financial struggles of the school.
I also know how hard a lot of specifically Palomar College staff work to bring their best work for their students so in this regard I do understand one reason why this may have been the case.
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