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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

Hayward Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of April Oquenda

April Oquenda

College Teacher
17,012 votes (25.72%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Safety
  • Student Success
  • Community Engagement



Profession:College Teacher
Lecturer, CSU Stanislaus (2016–current)
Lecturer, CSU San Marcos (2009–2016)


Claremont Graduate University PhD, English Literature (2016)

Community Activities

Volunteer, League of Women Voters of the Eden Area (2017–current)
Member, Climate Change Task Force, League of Women Voters of California (2017–current)
Volunteer, Eden United Church of Christ, Comida Food Pantry (2017–current)



As a first-generation college student, Dr. April Oquenda has fought for student success as a CSU educator for more than nine years. She leads by example in her classroom, her small business, and her volunteer efforts in Hayward schools to improve student health and wellness. April knows how to get results and believes in forming lasting relationships that can unite the community to put students first.


April has a passion for education because of the transformative power it has had in her own life. She comes from a working-class California family and is the daughter of an undocumented immigrant. Her mother baked cakes at the local grocery store while her father laid bricks as a stone mason. Battling addiction, April’s father left, ultimately getting deported, and her mother struggled to make ends meet. April stepped up and helped raise her two younger sisters.


While she continued working at a restaurant to help support the family, she never gave up on her education and the opportunity to pursue her passion for writing. She took classes in community college before transferring to a four-year university to become the first college graduate in her family. After graduation, April realized that her success would not have been possible without the teachers who fought for her. She enrolled in a master’s program at CSU San Marcos (CSUSM), which included the opportunity to teach undergraduate students. In her first role as an instructor, she determined to give back the gift of excellent education that her teachers and professors had given to her. She completed her degree in literature and writing studies in 2010.


Following her master’s work, April attended Claremont Graduate University while she continued teaching at CSU. She graduated in 2016 with a PhD in English. During the last decade as an educator, April has taught a variety of undergraduate courses in the fields of composition, literature, cultural studies, business communications, and English Language Learning. She currently teaches in the Departments of English and Business at CSU Stanislaus and has been a proud member of the California Faculty Association for nearly a decade. April is committed to working with the community to ensure that all students in Hayward are ready for college and career pathways.


April is also a small-business owner. Combining her interest in health and wellness with her skills as a teacher, April started instructing yoga classes at Castro Valley Yoga. After several months at the studio, she and another teacher decided to invest in the business, seeing opportunities to expand services to the broader community. Since becoming owner, April has succeeded in growing the business. She also pioneered their Youth Wellness Program to bring the benefits of yoga and mindfulness to young people of all ages in Hayward and Castro Valley. She integrates these same practices of wellness as part of her holistic teaching style in the college classroom.


April lives in Hayward with her husband, Zachariah, and she is committed to serving her community. She volunteers at Glassbrook Elementary and at the bi-monthly Comida food pantry at Eden United Church of Christ. April serves as a Member of the Climate Change Task Force for the LWV of California because part of taking care of our students means ensuring they have a healthy planet on which they can thrive.


Following the Parkland shooting, April has also advocated policies in the district to prevent gun violence. April regularly attends Hayward School Board meetings and works with other community leaders to ensure Hayward students always come first. For Hayward schools to thrive, the School Board needs leaders who will fight for student success and expanded opportunity. April is running for Hayward School Board to ensure that every student in Hayward experiences the transformative power of education.


Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (9)

  • Green Party CA
  • South Alameda County Young Democrats
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte
  • Hayward Civic Leaders Advocating for Student Success
  • Good Government Now!
  • East Bay Women's Political Alliance
  • Evolve CA
  • Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County
  • Black Young Democrats of Alameda County

Elected Officials (6)

  • Assemblymember Dr. Bill Quirk
  • Alameda County Board of Education Trustee Aisha Knowles
  • Alameda County Board of Education Trustee Amber Childress
  • Hayward City Council Member Sara Lamnin
  • Hayward City Council Member Al Mendall
  • Hayward City Council Member Francisco Zermeño

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Videos (1)

April Oquenda for Hayward School Board — September 29, 2018 April Oquenda for Hayward School Board 2018

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