Melinda Avey announced today that she is running to represent students, teachers, and parents in the San Juan Unified School District on the Board of Education.
"For me, this is very personal. .I’ve raised four kids in our district and understand the struggles our families face in these hard times. Like many of you, I’ve struggled to make ends meet. I’ve had to make tough decisions. I’ve had to get creative and find a path to success for my family," said Melinda. "It wasn’t easy then and today, as I watch my grandkids grow and learn, I can see its getting even harder.
"More than half our students in grades 3-11 are reading below grade level. While college prep programs have proliferated, appropriately, our career education programs have not kept pace. We can and must do better."
While exploring her candidacy, Avey has spent months speaking with parents and teachers about San Juan Unified School District.
"We need to engage our parents and community. I’ve been appointed to and chaired county boards and commissions for decades and in those roles, I’ve prioritized having a conversation with the community to help shape our policies. We listened and learned," said Avey.
"What I’ve heard so far is that we need to get back to basics. Let’s put students first, let's let teachers teach, and let's let parents be parents. Together we can get our district back on track."
Melinda is a retired small business owner ready to commit full-time to her role as a school board member.
A 40-year resident of Fair Oaks, Melinda and her husband moved to the Sacramento suburbs in 1978 to raise their children in a tight knit community. Melinda quickly became a mainstay of the local neighborhood guiding her four children through public school, youth sports, and community activities.
All four of her children attended Harry Dewey Fundamental Elementary. Her oldest son went on to attend Arcade Fundamental Middle School and El Camino Fundamental High School. Her three other children attended Will Rogers Middle School and Del Campo High School. After graduation her children went on on to earn associates degrees from American River College and Sierra College, bachelors degrees from UC Davis, San Francisco State and San Diego State. Masters degrees have been earned from Sacramento State and the University of Notre Dame. A juris doctorate was earned from McGeorge School of Law.
Melinda has six grandchildren who live in the school district. They attend Earl LeGette Elementary, Albert Schweitzer, Barrett Middle School, and Del Campo High School. One of her grandsons graduated from Del Campo High School and currently attends Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Five grandchildren live outside the district, three of whom attend San Francisco State University and Loyola Marymount University. One granddaughter has graduated from Boise State University.
Avey was a part-time school district employee for nearly two decades. During that time, seeking a level of financial security her family long desired – she took the bold step of founding her own small business in 1986. With nothing more than a home computer and medical dictionary, Melinda Avey Medical Transcription launched from a folding table in her living room.
Over the next 25 years, her one-woman operation grew to become one of the largest private medical transcription companies in the Sacramento region, employing up to 20 people and serving more than 30 medical offices in a dozen specialty practices.
Her community leadership and civic engagement flourished as well. Since 2002, Melinda has been appointed by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors as their representative to a variety of boards and commissions including the Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board, Human Services Coordinating Council, and the First 5 Advisory Committee,
Most recently, she was appointed to serve on a Mental Health Services Act Steering Committee workgroup tasked with addressing the rising tide of homelessness in local neighborhoods. She also serves on the Methamphetamine Task Force and Opioid Task Force.
At the state level, she has served as Legislation Chair for the California Council on Alcohol Policy and was elected to the Credentialing Board for the California Consortium of Addiction Program Professionals.
Locally, Melinda is a member of the Assistance League of Sacramento where she previously served as the board's secretary, and is a member of the League of Women Voters, Creative Arts League, and the Sacramento Historical Society.
Melinda lives in her longtime Fair Oaks home and spends her free time at soccer fields, swim meets, and school events with her grandchildren. She is a member of Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Carmichael.