New CWI trustees pledge to ‘remove barriers,’ build campus community

The College of Western Idaho’s newly elected trustees are stressing the importance of creating a campus community — and representing the Treasure Valley’s larger community.

Erin Bamer and Rachel Spacek of the Idaho Press interviewed Samantha Guerrero and April Baylon-Mendoza, a day after the candidates unseated incumbent trustees Skip Smyser and Mary (M.C.) Niland, respectively.

“We are multigenerational and we come from different cultural backgrounds,” Guerrero told the Idaho Press. “To me that allows us the ability to bring all those backgrounds to the table and remove barriers to education to folks who look like us.”

The Idaho Press pointed out that the five-member CWI board will be comprised entirely of women, and three trustees are persons of color. Guerrero is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico, and a first-generation Idahoan. Baylon-Mendoza is a Filipino-American. New trustee Cherie Buckner-Webb, elected in an uncontested race Tuesday, was the first Black woman elected to the Idaho Legislature.

Baylon-Mendoza said she wants to use the college’s social media presence to build a sense of community.

“(I’m) attached to the educators at CWI. They were influential in my growth and in what I decided to do in my own life,” the CWI graduate told the Idaho Press.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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