• Delbert Cederquist has served on California school boards for 62 years, making him the longest-serving school board member in the nation.
• Cederquist was honored Tuesday by fellow school board trustees from around Fresno County for his long years of service.
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• Cederquist says he has no plans to quit any time soon.
Delbert Cederquist has served on California school boards for 62 years, and he is not finished yet.
State education leaders and local politicians honored Cederquist Tuesday at the annual Fresno County School Trustees Association spring dinner. Around 200 Fresno area school board members and educators rose to their feet when the 83-year-old Fresno County Board of Education member from Easton was introduced. He is the nation’s longest-serving school board member.
“We’re here representing more than 5,000 school boards to recognize Del for his exceptional contributions during his long career,” said Jesus Holguin, president of the California School Board Association (CSBA).
Holguin praised Cederquist, who served as CSBA president in the 1970s, for his commitment to mentoring school board members with a consistent, positive attitude.
Cederquist was 21 when he was first elected to the University Colony School Board in 1953 and has served on other boards and leadership committees ever since.
CSBA executive director Vernon Billy joked that one of the first things he and every other board leader does when elected is try and call Cederquist, who Billy said isn’t available to talk often because of his busy schedule.
Cederquist, who is a grape grower, said he plans to serve “until the fire in his belly is gone.”
“If it wasn’t for (school) board members’ involvement, I don’t know who would serve as the voice of education,” Cederquist said. “School professionals are great, but they are paid. There is some self-interest there. Board members serve as the one true voice of the students.”