The Oakley Union Elementary School District (OUESD) Board of Trustees appointed Richie Masadas as its new board member Wednesday, Oct. 23.
Masadas was chosen during an open interview process during OUESD’s regular board meeting, and will be officially sworn in by Superintendent, Board Secretary Greg Hetrick at the next regular meeting, Wednesday, Nov. 6. Masadas replaces former trustee Mark Jordan, who died Sept. 12.
A longtime Oakley resident and product of its school system, Masadas said he looks forward to serving on the school board. Friends and family thought he’d be an ideal candidate for the position.
“This opportunity arose, and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll submit an application; see what happens,’” Masadas said. “Here I am, ready to sit on the school board — a whole new ballgame for me.”
For six years, Masadas has worked for the Liberty Union High School District as a paraprofessional with the Liberty Adult Education Gateway Program, which serves disabled students aged 18 to 22. Its community-based instruction focuses on vocational training and skills, functional academics, community awareness, independent living skills, and recreation and leisure learning.
“I love my job,” he said. “I can’t complain. It’s a different vibe every day, but it’s like the same thing, just teaching life skills and caring for students.”
Masadas has a heart for education and hopes to make that evident during his time on the school board. While he cares so much for students, one of his goals is to make sure teachers get the care and support they need, too.
“It’s about the students and what they do for the school,” he said. “I think, as a school, you have to look at your front line, and your front line are your teachers, your classified employees and everybody in the trenches with the students. Hopefully, in a positive way, we can reinforce that front line.”
He is ready to learn a lot and says his fellow board members have already welcomed him with open arms, and offered to mentor him. He looks forward to the support and being a part of it.
“Hopefully, I could do my best to support the residents of Oakley and do what’s best for those students in the school district,” Masadas said. “I know in a position like that, not everybody’s going to like you, and I may not like what other things happen, but I know it’s give and take. You’ve got to negotiate; you got to give and take. And, hopefully, everybody’s willing to work on that ... and be in agreement and still walk away respecting one another.”
In his free time, Masadas attends church every Sunday, goes to Disneyland with his wife (they are annual passholders), attends local sporting events and spends time with his new Labradoodle puppy, Jack.
“OUESD is excited to have Richie Masadas join our Board of Education as a new trustee,” Hetrick said. “Richie did a wonderful job during the interview process, and it was evident that he is student centered and cares about this community. The legacy that Mr. Mark Jordan leaves behind is one that will be impossible to surpass; however, by following the path that Mr. Mark Jordan created, the outcomes will be student centered and will always have the best interest of the district in mind. As the superintendent of the Oakley Union Elementary School District, I am happy to welcome Mr. Richie Masadas to our team, and I am looking forward to swearing him in on Nov. 6. It is going to be a pleasure to work with him as we all continue to move forward toward the fulfillment of our district vision and mission. Working together, we do make a difference.”