Former Corcoran resident Cecilio Barrera has a new position in education. Barrera has been named the CSBA Public Affairs and Community Engagement Representative (PACER) for the San Joaquin-South Division which covers all of Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties.
Former Corcoran resident Cecilio Barrera has a new position in education. Barrera has been named the CSBA Public Affairs and Community Engagement Representative (PACER) for the San Joaquin-South Division which covers all of Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties.As the PACER, Barrera will be the primary connection to CSBA (California School Boards Association) for many school districts and county offices of education, as well as for the public and other civil, political and business leaders. Cecilio’s position serves as CSBA’s liaison to local school and county boards of education, key decision-makers and the community-at-large and communicates about issues in educational laws, regulations and trends. Cecilio has been hired as part of CSBA’s Grassroots program that is designed to develop and organize the political capacity and influence of governing board members throughout the state, as well as to strengthen the interaction and connection between CSBA and its members.Prior to his new position, Cecilio worked for Waste Management for nine years.“I tell people I used to get paid to talk trash,” Barrera quipped.Now, he has returned to his true passion—advocating for education.Cecilio grew up in Corcoran and graduated from Corcoran High School in 2001. He attended the University of La Verne and after spending six years in Southern California, he moved back to the San Joaquin Valley and became an active member of the community, serving as planning commissioner for the City of Corcoran, head coach of the Corcoran High School Track and Field and Cross Country teams, and was the After School program director for K-12 schools. Cecilio later served on the Kettleman City Community Services District as an elected official and played a role in getting clean water to Kettleman City. For the past nine years, he worked as the Community Relations Specialist for the Waste Management Kettleman Hills Facility, one of two active hazardous waste landfills in the State of California. And, during the last five years at Waste Management, much of his time was spent collaborating with schools and developing pathways for high school students with the intention of introducing them to careers in waste, providing support for duel enrollment, and introducing students to colleges and universities. “I’ve always been passionate about stressing the importance of education, more so in disadvantage communities where education is a pathway out of poverty. I am excited and blessed to join an organization that for decades has been committed to educational excellence,” Barrera noted. As PACER, Cecilio’s area covers 140 school districts which includes 691 school board members. With the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures, Barrera is very busy speaking delegates about state policy and reopening schools. He has help provide internet to kids in disadvantaged communities which allows them to participate in distance learning. “I want all kids to have a chance for a quality education,” Cecilio added. “It’s important to me.”CSBA is the only statewide education association providing governance team leaders with in-depth advocacy and policy analysis. Serving as a unified voice for school districts and county offices of education, CSBA fosters effective relationships with the Legislature, the governor’s office, constitutional officers, Congress, the White House, administrative agencies and educational organizations for the latest news and facts so school board members can render effective local policy decisions.When not at work, Cecilio is busy spending time with family and community involvement. His family includes his wife, Lupita and two children Elena and Emilio. Cecilio is a member of the Kings County Latino Round Table, Knights of Columbus Council 16185, and he volunteers at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.