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Speaker Robert Rivas Announces Gavilan College Board of Trustees Vice President Rachel Perez as Assembly District 29’s Woman of the Year

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA— In honor of celebrating women leaders in the community, Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) and the California State Assembly have recognized Rachel Perez as Woman of the Year for the 29th Assembly District.

Throughout her career, Perez has shown a profound dedication to educating young people. In 1989, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year by Gilroy Unified School District after she established the Pregnant and Parenting Teen program. She is also responsible for overseeing the establishment of the Gavilan College Noncredit program, which has offered free services to thousands of students since its inception. In total, Perez devoted 43 years to ensuring student success before her retirement in 2014.

Perez has remained dutifully involved in the Gilroy community. She currently serves as Vice President on the Gavlian Board of Trustees, a position she was elected to in 2016. Additionally, her family helped organize the Latino Family Fund de Gilroy to offer specialized programs, grants, and scholarships for young Latinos in the community. Perez currently serves as the organization’s chair. 

Perez also believes universal early childhood learning is essential for leveling the playing field and provides the foundation for all future development, behavior, and health. Every Wednesday, you can find her working with 2- and 4-year-olds to bring this belief to fruition. 

“Rachel has committed her entire life and career to educating and uplifting our young people,” Speaker Robert Rivas said. “I’m proud that she is the 29th Assembly District’s Woman of the Year, and thank her for everything she does to improve student outcomes in our community!”

“I am grateful to be recognized as Assembly District 29’s 2024 Woman of the Year,” Perez said. “As a mother and lifelong educator, I know that our young people are pouring over with potential and have bright futures ahead of them. It has been my goal to support every student along their academic journey. It brings me so much joy and pride to see the amazing things my students have gone on to achieve and I am honored to have been able to help them along. I’m happy to continue building up young people through my volunteer work at Mr. LadyBug Daycare. ”



Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas represents California’s 29th Assembly District, which includes all of San Benito County and portions of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Counties. For a full biography of Speaker Rivas, click here.