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School Board Seat E: Fernando Barrera


Dear Unalaska-Dutch Harbor Community:

My name is Fernando Barrera and I am running for Unalaska's School Board seat E.

Growing up in a family of educators instilled in me the significance of education as a basic building block in a young life, like the majority of those in our small community, and on occasion in the not-so-young.

I believe it can be a lifelong endeavor, as early on I witnessed the importance of a daily commitment to education. I found education is not only key to success, but also essential in shaping who we become.

My parents were teachers, principals and farmers, who dedicated the little free time they had to community services such as National Census officers and elections inspectors at voting precincts; here is where I learned that many adults in farming communities did not know how to read or write.

At the age of 14 I had my first opportunity to teach adults to read and write, and I continued teaching for 15 years. Eager to follow my passion for teaching, I acquired a degree in education, and pursued a law degree, of which I completed five semesters, until I felt I better contributed to my community as an active member taking at-risk student athletes to participate in track and field State and National competitions.  

When my daughter Bianca was born, I was volunteering on the Board of Directors for the Holtville, California Chamber of Commerce and managing Do it Yourself Centers. 1996 was the year we moved from California to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor; Bianca started attending our preschool in 1997 and graduated from Unalaska High School in 2012, she continues to study at Columbia University in New York City, volunteers for a nonprofit organization, works for the NY health department, and as a Russian, Spanish and English translator. 

I have worked for UniSea for almost 25 years, where I am the Facilities Maintenance Supervisor; have had the honor of being elected as foreperson in local Juries, given the opportunity to volunteer as a basketball and soccer coach, and named coach of the year for Unalaska's Parks, Culture and Recreation.

I am running for seat E of the Unalaska City School District Board of Education because I am deeply committed to ensuring that our district continues to provide an exemplary education foundation, that we remain among the best by continuing to improve, that we continue graduating students with the 21st Century skills necessary to participate in the adult world and in our democracy, to ensure that all our students are ready for productive futures, whether they go on to college or contribute as participating adults in society.

These are the some of the most difficult days our community, school district and our families have faced in decades. As a member of the Unalaska School Board, I have and will continue to do what is best for our children, encouraging new ways of thinking to deliver the best possible education using ingenuity, technology, and tried and true techniques implemented by our excellent and resourceful teachers.

I respectfully ask for your vote for UCSD School Board seat E in the coming local election, thank you.