OAKLAND -- The Oakland school board on Wednesday appointed Anne Campbell Washington as the provisional District 4 member.
The board voted 5-1 in favor of Campbell Washington over eight other candidates. She will replace Gary Yee, who on July 1 will take over as acting superintendent when outgoing schools chief Tony Smith leaves. Her term ends in January 2015.
"I'm honored and humbled and I'll do my best to represent District 4 and work hard on behalf of the students of OUSD," said Campbell Washington, who is chief of staff to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.
Following public comments, each of the six board members made a statement regarding the process and their thoughts on the appointment. After each member spoke, Jumoke Hinton Hodge made a motion for Atiff Saleem Shakir, which was seconded by Board President David Kakishiba.
However, the nomination failed to pass, and Jody London nominated Campbell Washington soon after. James Harris seconded the motion, and all but Hinton Hodge voted in favor of Campbell Washington's appointment.
"I think she, on a personal level, understands the challenges that face our children of color in the city," London said ahead of the vote.
Campbell Washington has two children at Montclair Elementary School, where she is a PTA member. She began her career working with youths in Pittsburgh, Pa., and she said she is passionate about working with kids.
Campbell Washington said she is ready to focus on improving African-American boys' achievements, looking into the finances of the school district, helping with the superintendent search and bringing the school district and the city closer together.
"I have a lot of relationships at the city, county and state level, and I believe I'll be able to bring resources to assist the school district on some of the problems that we're facing," Campbell Washington said.
When asked if she was going to keep her chief of staff job, she said "My commitment to Oakland remains unchanged."