Father of two young children and uncle to a teenage niece, Richard Estrada is seeking election to Trustee Area 2 of the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District (GJUESD). As a Galt parent, he is active in the community, regularly tuning in to school board meetings and attending various school functions. He is a supporter of the district’s Dual Language Immersion Program and plans to enroll his son in the future.
Joining Estrada on the ballot are former school administrator Katherine Harper and former Galt Mayor Lori Heuer. Current Trustee Tom Silva will be vacating his position on the school board to pursue a position on the Galt City Council.
Estrada grew up in San Diego and in 2017 moved to Galt, where his wife grew up and attended school. Their daughter and niece have both attended elementary school in the district, as will their two-year-old son in the future. Estrada stays active in their education by prioritizing reading and taking weekend trips to the Galt-Marian O. Lawrence Library, and by supporting their interests in programs such as swimming and gymnastics. He attributes his desire to run for school board to his children and niece. Additionally, following the death of his wife’s grandfather in 2019, their family founded the David J. Rodriguez Memorial Scholarship to support Galt High School seniors.
Throughout his education, Estrada noted the lack of engaging learning processes. If elected, he would support policies to promote exposure to a variety of trades and academic fields, as well as providing children with the opportunities they need to learn and pursue their interests.
“I strongly support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) in education as it provides our students a hands-on approach and teaches impactful life skills for a bright future,” Estrada said. “Through my family’s scholarship fund, we have had the opportunity to recognize youths who’ve overcome great hardships to excel in school. This has furthered my belief that school should have greater opportunities for children to learn through their interests such as STEAM, regardless of socio-economic status.”
In addition, Estrada would support policies to promote literacy and encourage parental involvement in the education system. He noted that the Dual Language Immersion Program will be instrumental in this goal, as it will make education more easily accessible for families whose first language is Spanish.
Estrada is currently an engineering manager, which he believes makes him the best candidate for the school board. His duties include reading contracts, assessing technical information and considering the financial effects of various decisions. The skills he has cultivated in this position include asking detailed questions, understanding issues from various positions and viewpoints and objective decision-making.
“I want to help ensure that all Galt students receive a quality education, in a safe and supportive environment,” he said. “I believe that it is our responsibility to invest in our children and to help them grow beyond limitations placed on prior generations. If elected, my focus and support will align with this responsibility we all share.”