STOCKTON - San Joaquin Delta College trustees have chosen Dr. Jessie Garza-Roderick, an educator of 42 years who previously oversaw the College’s expansion in the south county, to serve on Delta’s governing board.
Trustees unanimously selected Dr. Garza-Roderick to fill a seat vacated by Dr. Elizabeth Blanchard, who moved out of the area in December.
The provisional appointment will last until the November 2024 election, when Dr. Blanchard’s term was set to expire. Dr. Garza-Roderick will represent Area 2 (central Stockton).
“I have a passion within me to make sure students have access to higher education, including career education,” she said. “Over the years I have seen how Delta College influenced the decisions of students who never had any idea that they would go to college. What we do really impacts our community as a whole, and our students of color in particular.”
Dr. Garza-Roderick served as a Delta College dean for 22 years until she retired in November 2021. While a dean, she oversaw the College’s Tracy Center for 10 years before the establishment of what’s now known as the South Campus at Mountain House, which she led for another 12 years.
Among other career highlights, Dr. Garza-Roderick established the Early College Program which allows local students to graduate high school with an associate degree.
She is also a local businesswoman and is active in a number of chambers of commerce in the area.
“Dr. Garza-Roderick brings a wealth of experience to the Board of Trustees, and I look forward to working with her in that capacity,” said Delta College Superintendent/President Dr. Lisa Aguilera Lawrenson. “The Board’s oversight and guidance is critical to the success of the College, and we will continue to work together to meet the needs of our students and the community."
Three candidates for the open seat were interviewed at Tuesday evening’s special Board meeting. Dr. Garza-Roderick was then selected and sworn in by Board President Dr. Charles Jennings.
Under state law, the appointment is provisional. The public has 30 days from the date of the appointment to file a petition, containing a sufficient number of signatures, with the San Joaquin County superintendent of schools in order to require a special election. If no petition is filed, the appointment becomes effective.