Lorena Lopera and Rafaela Polanco García, both placed on the Boston School Committee in July, were reappointed by Mayor Michelle Wu on Tuesday.
Lopera and Polanco García were each selected by former acting mayor Kim Janey on July 22 to terms that expired at the end of Janey’s tenure. Wu on Tuesday chose them to serve the remainder of their terms, which end on Jan. 1, 2024.
Lopera, a first-generation immigrant from Colombia, is a Boston Public Schools parent and the executive director of Latinos for Education, which works to create leadership pathways for Latinos working in education.
“My educational experience and my experience as a Boston Public Schools parent will continue to guide my decisions on the committee,” Lopera said in a statement Tuesday. “I look forward to working with families, educators and community members so that our school system is more equitable, responsive, and provides quality support for all of our children.”
Polanco García, also a BPS parent and an immigrant, is the director of parent engagement and organizing at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs. With a background in law and bilingual advocacy, Polanco García is the first person to be appointed to the Boston School Committee — and believed to be just one of a handful of school committee members nationwide — who needs simultaneous interpretation to serve on the board.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to continue representing immigrants and English language learners,” Polanco García said in the statement, distributed by the mayor’s office in both English and Spanish.
Wu said in the statement that both committee members have “served with dedication and urgency to ensure Boston Public Schools is connected to each one of our families.”
“I am excited and grateful to reappoint these passionate community leaders who have consistently advocated for equity, inclusion, and accessibility in our school system,” Wu said. “They both will continue to work to support families, educators, and community members and advocate for the high-quality education our students deserve.”
Boston School Committee Chair Jeri Robinson applauded Lopera and Polanco García for adding “great depth to our conversations as a Committee.”
“I look forward to their continued engagement as we advance important policy issues with a deepened focus on family and community engagement where both Ms. Lopera and Ms. Polanco García have earned reputations for excellence in their fields,” Robinson said in the statement.
There are two other upcoming vacancies on the School Committee. The nominating panel is conducting interviews in early December and will give Wu their recommendations on Dec. 6. Wu will interview finalists and make her decision in the following weeks, according to her office.