The last meeting of the academic year for the Los Banos Unified School Board on May 12 was filled with positivity and gratitude.

Board Vice President Marlene Smith, referring to the district’s graduating high school seniors, said, “You’ll get to have a ceremony this year and walk, and we’re all looking forward to that.”

Deborah Oseguera, the Student Representative to the Board, focused in her final report on positive events and accolades, including the senior prom and  creative writing awards.

She reminded the audience of the joy involved in gathering together, students attending dances, band concerts and choral performances, which, now that they’re happening again, have never felt better.

And when Oseguera mentioned she’d be going to Paris, Italy and London over the summer, Board President Anthony Parreira jokingly said, “We’re jealous.”

Principal  Renee Leonard and Assistant Principal Lupita Rivas from Los Banos Elementary School invited each board member to their school’s May open house. 

Leonard clarified that it wouldn’t be just any open house but an open house and a carnival: “We’ll have the carnival from 5 to 7 p.m. and the open house will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.”

“We’ll have tacos, churros, games, jump-houses and prizes,” Rivas added.” Both Leonard and Rivas agreed that doing something different and fun was the overall purpose of this event, partnering with a local vendor, Domingo Sandoval.

School Superintendent Dr. Mark Marshall reported receiving a positive report from one of the foster families who contacted the County Office thanking the school district for its support.

“We tend to hear the bad news,” Marshall said, “but it’s nice to hear people singing our praises and getting some good reports from time-to-time.

“It’s nice,” Marshall added, “to be bringing back things and getting some sense of normalcy.”

Board Vice President Smith highlighted Nurses’ Week and thanked all the school nurses for what they do. She reminded the audience school nurses are still out there doing the difficult work they did during the pandemic, “keeping our children safe.”

The predominant message expressed at the  board meeting was that, despite the hardships and fears, despite life fluctuating immediately and continuously changing the past two years, perhaps life will be better. One phrase that kept coming up throughout the  meeting, by almost everyone who spoke, was: “It’s nice…”

Cindy Chavez