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Wapato School District

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graduating seniors walking in a line outside high school in the caps and gowns

School Board of Directors

Picture of JavierJavier Vela - Director, District #1

I was first elected to the Wapato School Board of Directors in November of 2009.  I have been fortunate to have been re-elected twice, and I am currently serving my third term on the Board.  My initial motivation to run for a Board seat was simply to give back to my community, and try my best to make the right choices as where it is beneficial to all Wapato students.  My goal is to make policy and financial decisions that I believe have the best interest of our students in mind.  I want to provide an environment, resources and curriculum to sharpen our students’ skills and to increase student achievement.

My profession: I work at the Yakima School District and have been working here for 22 years as the Parent Involvement Coordinator/ MV Liaison.

I graduated from Wapato High School in the Class of 1991. My wife Dulce Vela and I have four children.  Two of them have graduated from Wapato High School (Olivia and Javier Jr.)  We have a son, Emilio, who is a freshman and a daughter Vanessa, who is a 6th grader attending Wapato Middle School.

My hobbies are riding my Harley, playing golf, and watching sports.  I also enjoy listening to all types of music.
Picture of SarahSarah Divina - Director, District #2 (Board Vice-President)

Sarah Divina took the oath of office at the November 26, 2018 regular School Board Meeting. The Board of Directors appointed Mrs. Divina to the District Director #2 position that was vacated in the Fall of 2018.

Serving the Wapato community in a public service capacity is nothing new for Mrs. Divina.  Over the past two decades she has given of her time to in a variety of ways to serve the Wapato community.  She has volunteered in the schools, is involved with the Filipino American Community, and has served on a handful of community boards.  Mrs. Divina says she looks forward to helping the District meet the needs of our children so that they may be able to reach their dreams.

Mrs. Divina has lived in the Wapato area for more than 20 years.  Her children attended Wapato Public Schools and she now has grandchildren being educated in the District.

Picture of MariaMaria Erickson - Director, District #3  (Board President)

Appointed to the School Board on January 10, 2013.  Elected to the Board by my community November 2013, and re-elected November 2015.

When I first began serving on the Board I was ready to learn, listen, and be the best board director possible.  It is not just attending meetings; there is a lot that goes into being a great board member.  My motivation for serving is that I truly care about our students.  I attend events and tour classrooms when I am able to and it is wonderful to see our students learning and socializing.  Our students are surrounded by teachers, para-pros, tutors, cooks, secretaries, bus drivers, custodians, security officers, maintenance crew, administrators, and a Superintendent who all look out for every single one of them.  I am very proud to be part of a District whose #1 goal is to improve student academic achievement.

Running a school district takes a lot of hard work and dedication.  School Board Directors are tasked with following meeting rules, manage policies and procedures, and oversee our Superintendent.  Our Superintendent is tasked with overseeing our entire District.  We are all here to serve and do our best.

My husband, Robbin and I both graduated from Wapato High School in 1985.  All three of our children also graduated from Wapato.  We are all proud Wapato Wolves.

I have eight years experience teaching 4th grade and am currently a homemaker.  I have been serving on the Wapato School Board for six and a half years and I am very thankful to be serving as your current Board President.

Picture of LorenzoLorenzo Alvarado- Director, District #4  


Appointed to the School Board on June 8, 2020.

As a proud member of the Wapato Community for the past 20 years and having attended Wapato Public Schools from pre-kindergarten to graduation in 1983, I want what everyone wants, a school district that helps all students be successful and positive contributing members of our community/world.  I want to be part of a board that works together, learns together and represents what the community wants done to help all students graduate on time and with a meaningful diploma.  I look forward to contributing to an already strong board and making it stronger.  I am passionate about public education.  I have a proven track record and experience supporting education.  In fact, I was a teacher 7 years and am currently a  building administrator in the Yakima School District and have been for 24 years.  I bring a unique perspective as does each of the current board members.  I love the city of Wapato, I am who I am because of my education in the Wapato Public Schools and now, I look forward to giving back to this great district!

I have a wife, Zuky Alvarado who is teacher at Adams Elementary, a son, Lorenzo Jr. who graduated in 2019 from Wapato HS, and three others that are still in the district.  Fabian will be a junior, Isabela a sophomore and Sofia a freshman.

My hobbies are spending time with immediate and extended families, dancing and exercising.

Picture of JohnJohn Francisco - Director, District #5

I ran for and was elected director of the Wapato School District School Board in 2011.  My purpose then and now is to provide an experienced educator’s perspective to the policy making process of a school board.  My extensive experience in the classroom and in educational associations make me uniquely qualified to give opinions and shape policy and guide a district toward a successful future.  I strive to represent and give stakeholders a voice in the process.  Students are our tomorrow and we have a responsibility to ensure we provide them with the tools and foundation to be responsible and productive members of our society to provide for all our futures.

Personal Bio:  I was born and raised in Honolulu HI in 1950. I am 69 years old. I am married to Wapato High School alum, Connie Brown, (Class of 1971) for 43 years.  I am the father of three daughters all of whom graduated from Wapato High School.  I am also the grandfather of two grandsons and one granddaughter.

Graduate of: Punahou School in 1968.

I am a 1972 graduate of Central Washington University.

Professional Career:  37 years teacher in Wapato; 7 years teacher in White Swan; teaching elementary, middle school, high school.

Lifetime member of Washington Education Association and National Education Association