Student Engagement


The San Diego Unified School District is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education. Programs and activities shall be free from discrimination by reason of the following actual or perceived characteristics: actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnic group identification, race, ancestry, national origin, religion, color, mental or physical disability, nationality, age, creed, marital status, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

"As the second-largest school district in California, there is no doubt that San Diego Unified encompasses a wide range of communities maintained by incredible teachers, staff, families, and of course -- students. To ensure that all students' voices are heard, regardless of geographical and/or sociocultural circumstances, this website is meant to engage, inspire, and empower us, the students. From internship opportunities to public forums, there is something for everyone. We look forward to how you choose to get involved!"

- Blessyn Lavender Williams and Matthew Quitoriano 

Blessyn Lavendar Williams

Matthew Quitoriano

Student Board Member Blessyn Lavender Williams was sworn into office on June 27, 2023, after being one of the top two vote earners in a May 2023 election where more than 3,000 San Diego Unified students cast their ballots.

“Your voice is your greatest power, use it and let it be the change you want to see” Lavender Williams said.  As a student board member it's my top priority to give every student a space to be unapologetically themselves. You will be heard, You will be supported, You will be celebrated. 

Blessyn Lavender Williams, a current senior at Lincoln High School, is a passionate, proud and confident leader. She's actively involved in her community and school. She is a student athlete competing in  varsity Lacrosse, Tennis and cheer. She is also the current president of an organization named Black Girls United whose focus is on sisterhood and exposing teenagers to the importance of giving back to the community. Another organization she is a member of is the Young and Prosperous Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting and preparing students for college by exposing them to universities and financial help. Additionally, Lavender Williams is completing her fourth year as an Aaron Price fellow. Beginning freshman year, the Aaron Price Foundation showcases different professions and helps high school scholars in San Diego discover and develop their true passions. 

These foundations and the lessons she has learned along the way from her peers have shaped the leader  Lavender Williams is today, positively contributing to her confidence to effectively represent and uplift the voices of all students in San Diego Unified 

At Lincoln, Lavender Williams enjoys being an active member on campus- continually developing her leadership and working with other students, as the Senior Class President in ASB. She especially values getting feedback from students, directly. Lavender Williams celebrates all students and aims to make them feel supported. Whether  it's academics, athletics, STEAM, VAPA, or another passion she plans to unite/connect students from across all disciplines. 

Having felt unseen, Lavender Williams decided to run for the position of Student Board Member and be the catalyst for change she and her peers feel is necessary. Her priority is to ensure each student feels connected to their school, district, and community, is knowledgeable about the different opportunities uniquely available to them, and empowered to make a difference. 

On the board, Lavender Williams will continue to celebrate and showcase all students while giving them a space to take action  on what they believe in.

Student Board Member Matthew Quitoriano was sworn into office on June 28, 2022, after being one of the top two vote earners in a May 2022 election where more than 3,000 San Diego Unified students cast their ballots.

“I want my legacy to be of change, of reform, and of justice,” Quitoriano said. “This position is the best place where I can turn that idea into a reality.”

Matthew Quitoriano is a first-generation American and current student at San Diego High School. He is a fencer, musician, and leader. Matthew sought out the position of Student Board Member, looking to connect students with the district in an equitable way. He saw the board position as a way to lessen disparities and start a legacy of justice.

Matthew’s education started at Grant TK-8, which he attended from kindergarten to 8th grade. There, he was heavily involved in academic activities such as Science Olympiad, Quiz Bowl, and Junior Model United Nations. He earned the “Pat Peirson Economic Award” Presented by Cuyamaca City College and EconEd. He was a key planner for his eighth-grade promotion and worked closely with fellow students in the process.

In 2021, Matthew started his enrollment in San Diego High School. There, he became involved with his school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance, Model United Nations, and Academic League. He learned about equities and inequities firsthand through volunteer work at food banks, involvement in protests, and more; and found his passion for change.

On the board, he seeks to reform many aspects of education, including communication with students, student access to learning tools, student representation, and more. He’s excited to bring his past experiences to the board.