Local volunteer appointed to Williams school board

The Williams Unified School District Board of Trustees last week appointed Mayrah Stoots, a member of the Parent Teacher Organization, to fill the vacancy on the school board left by the resignation of Rosa Orozco-Lopez.

The provisional appointment will be contingent upon the California Department of Education’s clearance, as Stoots works for the state’s Nutritional Services program, which administers USDA child nutrition programs in Williams schools, officials said.

Stoots was the only applicant for the elected office, but nevertheless displayed her enthusiasm about serving when interviewed by the school board on May 7.

“I believe serving as a school board member helps to create a shared vision for academic achievement,” Stoots said. “Our district needs to further establish a rigorous culture of learning and set high academic standards for each of our students.”

Stoots has served on the district’s Bond Oversight Committee, Site Councils at the elementary and upper elementary schools, and PTO. She is currently president of Citizens for a Better Williams, a local nonprofit responsible for community events like Pioneer Day and beautification projects.

As a district trustee, Stoots said she hopes to provide support and resources to teachers in a manner that allows them to teach and not be out of the classroom.

She plans to hold the district accountable for increasing learning opportunities for students that will increase test scores, she said.

“I want to see our students learning at their own grade level and promoting to the next grade ready to learn,” she said.

Stoots has one child attending school in Williams, and said she comes to the school board bringing the mindset of “a mother” who wants the best not only for her child but for all students in Williams Unified.

“With failing test scores, we as a school board must reach out to our teachers, students, and parents to figure out the root of the problem,” she said. “I plan to ask questions and expect clear answers to ensure we as a board are able to increase teacher retention and student achievement.”

Stoots, if approved by the state, will serve the remainder of Orozco-Lopez’ term, and will be eligible to run for election in the November 2020 presidential election.

Orosco-Lopez, who was appointed in 2014 and elected in 2016, resigned March 15 after being convicted of voter fraud. ■