De Beck, Nakamura attend final school board meeting as trustees


By Claire Trageser

City News Service

Two San Diego Unified School District Board of Education members voted out of their seats were honored at their last meeting Tuesday.

Teachers, parents and school board members paid tribute to Board Members John De Beck and Katherine Nakamura, recognizing their accomplishments while

acknowledging that they did not always agree with their positions.

“Without a doubt, the interests of children and public education has always been on the minds of these board members,” board Vice President John

Lee Evans said. “At times we’ve disagreed, but there was never a doubt that that was what was behind your decisions.”

Terry Pesta, a teacher at Valencia Park Elementary School, said he and Nakumara, “often didn’t agree, but I know you had students’ best interests at heart.”

“John De Beck, out of all the other board members, you’re always the one that has done their homework the most,” Pesta said. “You had the questions, you had the answers, you got it right.’”

Both De Beck and Nakumara used the ceremony to voice their opinions on the district’s current state of affairs.

“The problem is that no one is talking about the education family, just themselves,” De Beck said. “You hear people talking about save us, not save education, but save us.”

Nakumara agreed and said, “When all we see are people begging for their jobs, we lose sight of what we’re really here for.”

De Beck joked that he was happy to be leaving his job because of the budget shortfalls the district will face in the coming year.

“I’m blessed I didn’t get elected because I couldn’t really see what’s going to come as they cut away in the coming year,” De Beck said.

De Beck is leaving the board after 20 years, while Nakamura was on the board for eight years.