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August 11, 2022

4-H Club Proposal for SLVHS Nixed

A 17-year-old San Lorenzo Valley High School junior was disappointed to learn, last week, that her passionate advocacy for a 4-H program on campus wouldn’t get the blessing of school district administrators.

Speaking to the Press Banner just before the Jan. 19 San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District meeting, Lexi Lemus said Superintendent Christopher Schiermeyer had just pulled her out of her math class at the end of the day to inform her it isn’t moving forward.

“I told him that I’m not quite ready to give up and that I believe this will be very beneficial to our school,” she said. “I retained a professional outlook.”

She spoke during the public comment period to urge trustees to reconsider.

Schiermeyer told the Press Banner that even though a program may be supported by donations, SLVUSD has to shoulder the long-term responsibility.

“For this reason, every Board has a responsibility to prioritize programs that can be offered to all students without impacting other programs,” he said. “The Board of Trustees supports the 4-H Program in itself, however, they shared several reasons for not moving forward with the program on the tri-campus.”

Those included the sustainability of the program, the environmental impact, equity and accessibility and predator threats, among other issues, he said.

He said the board asked him to follow up with Lemus directly.

“Although we would love to offer every program, as a District we have to prioritize the programs we can offer as a small school District without impacting others,” he said.

Schiermeyer emphasized that the Board welcomes students to share their ideas at Board meetings.

“The Board appreciated and commended the (Lemus) for her professionalism in her presentation to the Board,” he said.

Drew Penner
Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]

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