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Jazzie Gonzales, an incoming junior at Ferndale High School, decided against campaigning for a student government seat for next year. Instead, she threw her hat in the ring to be one of two student members on the Ferndale School Board.

“I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to go for the big stuff: the school board,’” said Gonzales, 16.  “I thought it would be an awesome idea to be a part of that, and it would be cool to represent Ferndale students.”

Gonzales’ shot paid off, as she will be sworn in as a student member on the Ferndale School Board by Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn during the July 27 board meeting. Gonzales will hold the seat until she graduates in June 2023, and will serve alongside fellow student member Cuong Nguyen for the 2021-22 school year.

Gonzales was shocked that the school board chose her, she said. But she’s eager to start serving on the board.

In particular, Gonzales hopes to be a voice for other people and students in Ferndale, and provide a perspective of a person who isn’t white, she said. Gonzales herself is Salvadorian, Filipino, Czech, and Aboriginal Canadian.

“ No matter who you are, anything you identify as, I want to make sure you feel heard and safe at Ferndale,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales is currently a member of Ferndale High School’s leadership class. And before COVID-19 disrupted athletics, she wrestled and played soccer for the Golden Eagles. She’s very ready to get back to full-fledged competition for her junior year, she said.

“I’m so pumped, I can’t wait,” Gonzales said.

Although she won’t be leaving Ferndale High for two years, Gonzales already has a tentative plan for her future. She hopes to stay in-state for college - either Western Washington University or University of Washington - and then become either a psychiatrist or a nurse, she said. If those plans don’t work out, she might consider the military as well, she said.

Gonzales was inspired to work in healthcare partly due to her mother, who was a nurse and now serves as a private caregiver, she said.

“A lot of people in my family have been in the medical field, and I’ve just been in awe of it since I was little,” she said.


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