I attended Public schools in California, getting my diploma from Armijo High School in Fairfield. My college education includes: a Bachelor’s from Mills College; a teaching credential from UC Davis; a Master’s in Education from Stanford and an Administrative Credential from St. Mary’s College. In my thirty-eight year educational career, I taught grades second through high school, and adult school, throughout Contra Costa County -- working in Pittsburg, Martinez, and finally settling in, West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) in 1998. At Helms Middle School in San Pablo, I taught ELD (English Language Development) and served as Mentor (Resource) Teacher, Department Chair, Instructional Leadership Team member, as well as ELD Coach and Teacher Trainer. I also taught ELD at Richmond High School where I also served as Project Assistant.
Since retirement in 2015, I served as a Senior Peer Counselor for the elderly population in West County; I founded a Future Teachers Club; I mentored high school students at Richmond High School for the last four years and I will continue to do this after the pandemic allows us to meet again; and I currently co-host a YouTube channel with weekly episodes focusing on education and politics, and I serve on the WCCUSD School Board. As I am now completing my two-year term as WCCUSD School Board Trustee, what I am most proud of accomplishing in regards to policies and programs include:
- The Charter Oversight Resolution - establishing a moratorium on new charter school expansion - which created support for successful statewide legislation that allows districts to consider financial impact in approving charter petitions, which supported changes at the state level. This was adopted by the Contra Costa County Democratic Party, then by the state Democratic Party and is now part of the state policy. It was also used throughout the state as a model resolution and was adopted by many locals and districts. This was a small piece that led to the advocacy of AB 1505 and AB 1507.
- The Arts Equity Resolution - which was for achieving equity in the arts for ALL. WCCUSD is now an Arts Equity District. It was very important in showing needs in terms of grade levels to achieve equity
- The CTE Task Force - I authored and passed a CTE Resolution which led to the creation of a CTE Task Force to partner and collaborate with business and the trades. I have been a fierce advocate for more job training for high school students and partnerships with trades. Our students must graduate with the skills to get a job right oeut of high school, then work their way through college debt free.
- The Ethnic Studies Resolution - WCCUSD just recently passed the Ethnic Studies resolution, which I authored in support of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum at the state level. We are now advocating at the state level through this resolution. As the advocates for racial justice increase in size and gain more support, we need this resolution now more than ever. Ethnic Studies is how we empower our black and brown students. Ethnic Studies is life-changing. More classes are now being offered in our district.
- Participating on the district Solutions Team - aiming to strengthen the relationship between labor and management and, through that group, worked to be a positive voice in supporting labor and students. This strategy, I believe, can and should be duplicated in other school districts in Contra Costa County. When labor and management have a strong and healthy relationship, the results are increased student achievement.
- The Measure R bond - I advocated for funding to improve aging facilities and helped to pass our recent facilities bond, Measure R. Because of Measure R we will be updating the Facilities Master Plan.
- Serving on the district CBOC Citizen Bond Oversight Committee, and the district Safety Committee.
Contra Costa County School Districts have great neighborhood schools. and in this time of Covid-19 and the crimes of systemic racism, they need our continued support. We need bold new plans to bring about change. I am up for that challenge. Please join me in the fight to genuinely support and improve the schools in Contra Costa County.
In the midst of these hard times, I have been blessed with the most beautiful granddaughter, her name is Amaya. She brings so much joy to our two families. I raised two sons Juan Carlos Ocasio, and David Lara Ocasio and we are all enjoying this sweet baby.
Paid for by Consuelo Lara for Contra Costa County Board of Education 2020 ID number #1426853.
Any donations can be mailed to:
Lara for County Board of Education
2080 23rd St. #6617
San Pablo, Ca 94806