Thank you to the Fresno County Democratic Party for honoring my friend, Barbara Thomas, at the annual fundraiser last week. Barbara served Fresno County as a psychologist and administrator while I taught special education. Her dedication to students, parents and teachers was an inspiration to me.
After retiring, she was elected to the Fresno County Board of Education, where she continued to give tirelessly of herself.
I was stunned and disappointed to learn that at the very same event, which should have been a time for expressions of respect and gratitude for Barbara’s many years of service, Nelson Esparza, the young man who defeated her in last November’s election, stood to announce he is now a candidate for the Fresno City Council. This comes less than six months into his four-year term.
What then are we to make of trustee Esparza? Does he simply view the board of education seat as a stepping stone to higher office and the personal commitments he made to Fresno County students and parents as meaningless? I encourage Esparza to honor the trust voters placed in him and fulfill his obligation to our children by following Barbara Thomas’ example of diligent service to students.
Kathryn Johnsen, Fresno