HomeBlocksFront-GridTse, Farid Take Oath to Serve on Glendale School Board

Tse, Farid Take Oath to Serve on Glendale School Board

At its Tuesday meeting, the Glendale Unified Board of Education completed its annual rotation of officers, with newly elected members Neda Farid and Telly Tse joining the dais and former Board Vice President Shant Sahakian assuming the role of president.
The new order also elevated former Clerk Ingrid Gunnell to vice president and Kathleen Cross to clerk. With the reshuffled lineup, a heartfelt goodbye was given to former Board President Jennifer Freemon and former Board member Nayiri Nahabedian who served the GUSD community for eight years and 17 years, respectively.
“This evening, we’re saying goodbye to two truly special individuals, each of them a beacon of strength, thoughtfulness and acceptance and who have always put our students first while serving on the School Board,” Cross said at the meeting. “You both brought different kinds of teaching experience to the dais and never stopped standing up for our students, even when standing tall was an intimidating thing to do.”
Newly selected Mayor Elen Asatryan and Glendale City Clerk Suzie Abajian also attended the meeting to thank Freemon and Nahabedian for their service. Abajian noted that the only consolation to losing them on the Board is “that we have wonderful incoming Board members to take your seats.”
Tse, who will represent Trustee Area A on the Board, has dedicated his career to public education, serving as a teacher, tutor and labor leader. Currently a special education teacher in the Beverly Hills Unified School District, Tse is also a GUSD parent and an active volunteer and coach in the Glendale and La Crescenta communities.
Following his swearing in, Tse thanked the Glendale community for its active and supportive role in electing him to the Board and who demonstrated that GUSD “is a place of love, inclusion and respect for all.
“Our coalition is made up of people with a wide range of backgrounds, ideas, values and perspectives,” Tse added. “But what we have in common is this: We prioritize the safety of our children, we honor the democratic process, we acknowledge facts and we respect each other even when we disagree.”
Farid, who will represent Trustee Area E, is a longtime leader in the GUSD community and parent of a GUSD graduate. Her experience includes serving as Glendale Council PTA president, serving on the Board for the Glendale Educational Foundation and Character and Ethics Project, being a founding member of GUSD’s Restorative Practices Task Force and working as a member of the Superintendent’s Facilities Advisory Committee.
Both Farid and Tse emphasized their desire to bring the community together and work with others.
“I’m committed to ensuring that no matter who our 5,670 voters cast their ballot for on election day in Area E, people know that I am available and ready and willing to work for anyone interested in contributing in any way and collaborating for the betterment of our students and all of our school sites across this district,” Farid said.
Nahabedian expressed her confidence in Farid and Tse to serve the community, highlighting their “experiences, thoughtfulness, balanced outlook and kind hearts.”
In her outgoing remarks, she also reflected on what inspired her to first run for a seat on the Board, noting her history of social work and social justice advocacy.
“As a first-generation immigrant to the United States and a granddaughter of genocide survivors, I know the pain of second-class citizenship and the absence of justice and of equity,” Nahabedian said. “The right to a seat at the table for everyone is really one of the great passions that has driven me and especially a seat at the table for those who are marginalized and minorities.”
Nahabedian said she knows fellow Board members share those same values and priorities.
While Freemon acknowledged the progress and accomplishments the Board has been able to enact in her tenure, she also stressed the difficulties the Board was faced with over the last few years, chalking many of these challenges up to “circumstances most often beyond our control: reflections of the natural cultural war discourse and global pandemic.”
“I don’t think those advocating for an agenda that would have us ban books, that would have students and families on our campuses feel less than welcome are going away anytime soon,” Freemon said, adding that the work the Board and district have been doing to ensure inclusivity and safety must continue.
Calling the two outgoing Board members “fierce proponents of academic excellence, forceful advocates for inclusion and equity for all children, and staunch supporters of employees at every level,” GUSD thanked Freemon and Nahabedian in a statement, highlighting the members’ efforts in growing educational programs, championing financial literacy and expanding mental health services districtwide.

The Glendale Unified School District community celebrated the work of outgoing Board of Education President Jennifer Freemon and outgoing Board member Nayiri Nahabedian. Pictured are Board Clerk Kathleen Cross (from left), Freemon, Nahabedian, Vice President Ingrid Gunnell and President Shant Sahakian.

First published in the April 13 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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