Ashley Drain, who defeated Manuel Medeiros in the November election as trustee for Area 2 in Manteca Unified, will not be sworn in by San Joaquin Superior Court Judge Tony Agbayani at the board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 9.
“I will not be sworn in by a judge. I am choosing to be sworn in by my seventh-grade math teacher,” Drain said via email, alluding to John Payne of Albert Einstein Middle School in Sacramento. She added that her request was approved a month ago.
She originally played with the idea of having a teacher in Manteca Unified, her sister-in-law who is also a teacher, and even her “favorite person on this planet,” Lathrop High School Vice Principal Bill Pinol administer her oath of office, “but I came to the final conclusion that it would only make sense for me to have my seventh-grade math teacher do the job.”
Drain, Alexander Bronson who will take over Trustee Area 6 from board president Don Scholl who failed in his re-election bid in the November elections, and Trustees Evelyn Moore of Area 5, and Nancy Teicheira of Area 4, are the four who will be sworn in on Tuesday. Moore and Teicheira were automatically appointed to their posts since both did not face any challengers in their re-election bids.
Explaining why she chose to have her former teacher administer her oath of office, Drain said, “he symbolizes every teacher that has taken part in guiding me throughout my years. Everyone knows how I feel about teachers anyway. Why not? Tradition needs to evolve. We need to be more open to other things. The judge has no clue who I am and won’t remember me after the 15th.”
“My seventh-grade year was one of the hardest for me emotionally. I was failing in math and Mr. Payne would sit in on his lunch breaks, before and after school, to make sure I understood what he was teaching. He was always in communication with my mother to (ensure) my success in his class. He believe in me big time,” Drain further explained.
“He showed up to every orchestra concert I had and was always there. Needless to say, I did well in his class by the end of the year, and we have always found a way to stay in contact, even after years of no contact. I am grateful to him. He was the beginning of many teachers I was blessed enough to have.”
Drain graduated from East Union High School in Manteca and Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. She is a wife and mother of three children ages 1, 3 and 5.