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Gold River Messenger

Board of Education Welcomes Newly Elected Members; Creason Elected President

Dec 29, 2022 12:00AM ● By SJUSD News Release

Newly elected members of the San Juan Unified School District from left top counterclockwise: Zima Creason - President (Area 3), Area 7 Clerk Steve Miller; Area 6 Member Ben Avey and Area 5 Member Tanya Kravchuk. SJUSD courtesy photos

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Zima Creason (Area 3), Tanya Kravchuk (Area 5), Ben Avey (Area 6) and Steve Miller (Area 7) were sworn in as members of the San Juan Unified School District Board of Education on Dec. 13. Creason was elected board president, while Pam Costa will serve as vice president and Miller as clerk.

Learn more about each newly elected board member:

Zima Creason - President (Area 3)
Zima Creason is a parent, advocate, and businesswoman. She serves as the Executive Director of the California EDGE Coalition and she was elected as a San Juan Unified School District Governing Board Member in 2018. At EDGE, she works to address the skilled workforce shortage, create pathways to the middle class, and advance economic mobility for all Californians. She is committed to stakeholder empowerment and coalition building to establish and sustain thriving communities. Zima has worked in the policy field since 2001 and much of her work has focused on equity as it relates to mental health policy as well as stakeholder outreach and engagement. She is dedicated to supporting students to have the tools and skills they need to access and secure good jobs in adulthood with family-supporting wages and benefits. She is also passionate about supporting people to avoid crisis outcomes, mental health, social justice, and for all Americans to have access and opportunity to achieve the American Dream regardless of their zip code, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, health/mental health status, gender identification and/or who they love.

Tanya Kravchuk - Member (Area 5)
Tanya Kravchuk is a mom of four kids and a joint owner of a residential construction company. Born in Ukraine, Tanya moved to the US when she was five years old. She is an alumna of San Juan Unified and holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from California State University, Sacramento. As an immigrant, she understands the hardships and nuances of navigating the school system from an “outsider” perspective. Tanya has devoted most of her career to serving children in both a volunteer and professional capacity at various nonprofits including the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento where she later worked for nearly a decade. She served as vice president of her school site council, taught Sunday school for more than 20 years and has been a board member and committee chair for various community groups and events including the Rotary Club of Sacramento, Planned Giving Forum of Sacramento and the extremely successful Night of Hope benefit concert. Tanya also worked with schools and local governments during the 2020 Census to secure support for an accurate count. Early in her career, she worked in marketing at Farmers Insurance and in public affairs at Intel Corporation. She then transitioned to nonprofit work as the resource development manager at PEACE for Families and later the director of development & communication at the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento focusing on our communities most vulnerable – abused and neglected children.

Ben Avey - Member (Area 6)
Ben Avey is a parent of school-age children and nonprofit leader that has dedicated his career to improving local neighborhoods through public policy, advocacy, and community engagement. A graduate of Del Campo High School and San Diego State University, Ben has served in the State Capitol, as civilian public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy in Japan, and with state and local non-profits. He is currently the chief public affairs officer at WellSpace Health, a non-profit community health system serving the underserved. A lifelong community volunteer, Ben is president of the San Juan Parents Association (an independent community group) and past president of his kids’ school site council. Ben has been awarded the U.S. Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, recognized as 40 Under 40 by SD Metro Magazine, and in recognition of his service to teens and adults with disabilities, honored with a community service award. Ben lives in Fair Oaks with his wife and kids.

Steve Miller - Clerk (Area 7)
Steve Miller brings a history of active community service in Citrus Heights and the Sacramento region to the board of education. He previously served on the Citrus Heights City Council from December 2005 through 2022 during which time he served four terms as mayor. Steve also represented Citrus Heights on the Sacramento Regional Transit Board of Directors for 15 years, serving as board chair in 2010 and again from 2020 to 2022. He helped introduce SmartRT Ride, the citywide door-to-door transit service to Citrus Heights in 2018. Steve also represented the Sacramento region for the Capitol Corridor nine-county rail system operating from Roseville to San Jose. Over the years he has also represented Citrus Heights on the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), Sacramento Regional Sanitation, Sacramento County Library Board and Metropolitan Cable TV Commission. Prior to becoming a Citrus Heights City Council member, Steve was vice chair of the city’s Law Enforcement Community Advisory Committee, served as vice president of Citrus Heights’ Neighborhood Area 10 for many years and served as president of the Resident’s Empowerment Association of Citrus Heights in 2005. Steve worked in the construction industry for 42 years as an electrician, inspector and construction manager for the County of Sacramento. He started his own construction consulting business in 2000 before joining KMM Services, an electrical and technology engineering firm, in 2010 and he also worked for San Juan Unified as a construction manager for one year. He retired from full-time work after winning his battle with cancer. He has been active in community service as a member of the Rotary and Lions Clubs, Mesa Verde Boosters Club, Sunrise Girls Softball, PONY Baseball and the Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the U.S. Army Community Relations Advisory Board – Rhino Battalion. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Steve moved to Citrus Heights 36 years ago at the urging of his wife Nanette, a Sacramento native. They are very proud of their two adult children and nine grandchildren.

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