The Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education unanimously selected Maricela Alcala to fill its trustee vacancy in a special board meeting on Wednesday.
Alcala, who is CEO of Gryphon Place, a nonprofit that provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention services in Kalamazoo, will serve the remainder of the term of Tandy Moore, who resigned from the board on June 8. Moore was elected in 2018 to a six-year term.
The board reviewed 25 applications for the position on June 21, selecting six candidates to interview. Originally slated to select the new trustee at its July 6 meeting, the board announced at a special meeting on Monday, June 26, that it would make the selection sooner, so incoming Superintendent Dr. Darrin Slade could start his tenure with a fully seated board.
Alcala is the mother of two KPS graduates and has experience volunteering in the schools as a classroom volunteer and Girls on the Run coach. In her application for the trustee position, Alcala said she is a Spanish-speaking, Mexican American parent, who comes from an immigrant family.
“I have a great passion for elevating our Hispanic/Latino youth,” Alcala wrote. “I bring knowledge, experience, and passion for juvenile justice. I have strong connections to local community resources and bring a collaborative spirit to all the work I do.”
She serves on the Michigan Juvenile Justice commission and is part of local gun violence prevention efforts in Kalamazoo.
Board President Ti’Anna Harrison thanked everyone who applied for the position and expressed an interest in the school district’s mission to educate all children.
“We look forward to working with Maricela Alcala and using her deep community connections, knowledge of mental health resources, and management skills to further strengthen KPS to better serve our students,” Harrison said.
The board was required by Michigan election law to fill Moore’s position within 30 days of her resignation. Moore’s term was slated to run through December 2024.