Camarillo ASB president doubles as student board rep

Kristina Cervi is smiling.
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© John Cressy/OUHSD
Camarillo High ASB President Kristina Cervi also serves on the OUHSD Board of Trustees as the voice of students attending the district's six other schools. © John Cressy/OUHSD
Kristina Cervi is a busy young woman.

The Camarillo High senior takes her studies seriously, accumulating a 3.7 grade-point average over her first three years at the school, and this year has enrolled in three challenging Advanced Placement courses.

But what Cervi says she enjoys most about high school is the social side of it. “I love meeting new people. It doesn’t matter if they’re a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior.”

As her school’s Associated Student Body president, Cervi tries to involve as many Camarillo High students as possible, organizing a slew of campus activities, from pep rallies to school dances to fund-raising drives. But she still finds the time to work up to 20 hours a week in a Camarillo bakery and does volunteer work for the Camarillo Rotary Club and at La Mariposa Elementary School.

“I don’t like sitting back and doing nothing,” Cervi said. “I like being all over the place.”

Almost as if to underscore her point, the 17-year-old Cervi accepted a new task this year – serving as the student board representative on the Oxnard Union High School District Board of Trustees. She replaces Bryant Jones, who graduated from Pacifica High in June and now attends UC Berkeley.

As student representative, Cervi is recognized as a full member of the board during meetings. While she can participate in board discussions and can question people appearing before the board, Cervi cannot vote on issues or participate in matters taken up in closed session.

Cervi was elected student board representative by the Oxnard District Council, comprised of Associated Student Body members from all OUHSD schools. The district includes Camarillo, Channel Islands, Frontier, Hueneme, Oxnard, Pacifica and Rio Mesa high schools.

“To represent 16,000 students is a truly awesome feeling,” Cervi said. “I enjoy going to other schools and I talking with their ASB presidents and vice presidents. I see what’s on their minds, and I relay the message.”

Cervi admitted to feeling a bit intimidated during her first board meeting in September, even though she said the trustees “all went out of their way to make me feel welcome.” By meeting’s end, she was at ease.

“It was great sitting up there and seeing how decisions are made,” Cervi said. “I can’t vote, but I kept wondering in my head, ‘What would I do on this issue?’ It was a cool learning experience, definitely.”

The daughter of a career Navy man, Cervi credits her energy and outgoing personality in large measure to the being a military child and living in six different states – Virginia, Maryland, Maine, Florida, Hawaii and California – thus gaining valuable experience in reaching forward to make new friends. By the time her family moved to Camarillo from San Diego before her freshman year, Cervi was brimming with confidence.

“This is the longest I’ve lived anywhere in my life, and I love it,” Cervi said. “I’m a proud Camarillo High student, and I want to do all I can to make all students here feel proud too.”

Cervi said there is a lot to be proud of. She pointed out that Camarillo High’s Academic Performance Index score of 847 in 2009-10 is fifth highest among 22 high schools in Ventura County, the campus is bustling with extracurricular activities and besides, the Scorpion football team has a winning record.

A big sports enthusiast, Cervi starred on her school’s volleyball team as a freshman and sophomore but decided to end her athletic career as a junior to devote more time to her other campus and community activities.

Upon graduation, Cervi plans to attend either UC Santa Barbara or UCLA next fall. She’s uncertain about her major, however. Possibilities include political science, nursing, education or psychology.

“I’m also all over the place on my career plans,” Cervi said, laughing.

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