On Saturday, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Adam Scow to fill the seat vacated when former member Maria Orozco was elected to the Watsonville City Council.
“Now the work begins,” Scow said after the vote. “I know it’s going to be a hard job, but I really think this group of trustees, this community, is hungry for change. I feel optimistic and confident that working together, we’re going to make some changes.”
Scow added he wants to look at the budget to increase wages for teachers and staff, which he says will help with teacher retention.
“It’s not just a matter of what employees deserve; it’s what’s going to work to bring people here,” he said. “That’s just a cold hard economic fact given the cost of living.”
Scow’s appointment came after an hour-long meeting during which the Board interviewed four candidates, grilling them on their governing philosophy and how they would be influential board members.
About 30 members of the public spoke during the meeting, nearly all of whom spoke in favor of Scow. This support weighed heavily for the Trustees, who decided after a brief discussion.
Scow is a music teacher for El Sistema, a nonprofit after-school program that brings music to young people. He is a classically trained violinist who plays, among other things, in a mariachi band. Scow has worked as a strategist for Public Water Now, which works to win public ownership of the local water system. He has also worked as the California Food and Water Watch director, overseeing campaigns to promote clean energy and protect California’s water. He also helped pass legislation regarding water rights and overtime pay for farmworkers.
Scow’s record of environmental work also earned him support from the audience, including Ann Lopez, who, as the Center for Farmworker Families director, advocates for a reduction in toxic agricultural chemicals around schools.
The Trustees voted in January to appoint a new member, reasoning that taking it to a special election would have cost $80,000 and left the seat empty until the next public election.
“We didn’t want to see Trustee Area 6 go unrepresented until November,” said Board Vice-President Georgia Acosta. “That’s just not fair to the constituency base of that area.”
Trustee Area 6 covers the Freedom area from Watsonville Municipal Airport north to White Road.
Scow’s seat will be up for reelection in November 2024.