School board results for IUSD

READY FOR THE NEW YEAR: New board member Cyril Yu, among others elected, aims to improve district education.

READY FOR THE NEW YEAR: New board member Cyril Yu, among others elected, aims to improve district education.

Jonathan Kang, Editor-in-Chief

Deputy District Attorney Cyril Yu and incumbent Paul Bokota won the IUSD Board of Education elections in Trustee Area 3 and 5 respectively this November, and incumbent Lauren Brooks from Area 1 was declared winner due to lack of opposition.

Yu ran against Bolsa Grande High School teacher Douglas Euper, Northwood alumna Bethany Huang and IUSD parent Sidney Wu, while Bokota ran against pediatrician and parent Demetra Arvanitidis. Although both Bokota and Yu have previously worked in IUSD, Bokota has served for eight years on the Board, whereas Yu comes from a position on the IUSD Finance Committee. Both will take office as COVID-19 experiences a surge in national cases.

“These challenging times have depleted the school district’s funds with the added challenge of reopening schools safely,” Yu said in his candidate statement. “I want to partner with local health authorities, staff and district leaders to ensure all children and staff are safe while preserving academic excellence.”

Bokota expressed similar priorities to Yu, valuing safety and transparency by allocating funds to security and mental health.

“I’ve always put students, teachers and parents first, so my top priority is to continue improving the educational quality of our world-class schools while keeping everyone safe,” Bokota said. “I want to continue to invest in new schools and modernize existing schools.”

In 2014, Yu was appointed to the IUSD Finance Committee, where he advocated for increased access to modern learning environments and technology for all students. He also previously served as chair of Irvine’s Green Ribbon Environmental Committee, which seeks to advance environmentally friendly policies by increasing public participation in sustainable practices.

“I want to bring more funding to schools and enhance STEM programs, special education, athletics and the arts,” Yu said. “I also want to encourage parents and teachers to add their voices to the process.”

Bokota served on the IUSD Finance Committee from 2006-2012 before serving on the Board. Since he joined, he has worked on allocating funds towards mental health and has invested $14,000,000 in safety equipment for schools.

The coming months will test the ability of the IUSD School Board to adapt to new developments while upholding Irvine’s academic standards.

“My parents and teachers made it possible for me to reach my potential,” Yu said. “I want to ensure all Irvine children have the means to reach their potential.”