Sally Stewart has been a steadfast advocate for the education of all children and for women’s equality. This year she will retire from Sequoia Union High School District Board after 27 years and having served 38 consecutive years as an elected school board trustee in San Mateo County. In 1971 when she won a seat on the Portola Valley Elementary School Board she was one of a handful of women holding elected office in the county and she went on to serve in that role for 12 years. She became involved with the American Association of University Women in the early 1970’s to help teachers counteract the sexism and racism prevalent in school texts. Some of the many education-related leadership roles that Sally has held include involvement with the California School Boards Association, Education Congress of California, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and the San Mateo County Special Education Policy Board. She was executive director of the Institute for Effective School Leadership and established the Kent Award. Through her work the the League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women and the California State PTA, she helped established EdSource, which distributes independent information on K-12 issues. An early champion of equitable education for all students, Sally has long been involved with addressing racism in schools and established programs to establish racial integration. She also helped start the East Palo Alto Youth Court and was a founding Board President of SPARK, a youth empowered organization. Sally is known as a listener who takes the time to consider everyone’s voice. Her legacy for equity and excellence in the public schools will be felt for generations to come.
*This biography and photo of the honoree was published in 2010.