Palm Springs’ Ervin seated on PSUSD Board of Education

After being sworn in, Charlie Ervin took time to thank his family and the Desert Highland Gateway Estates community. He vowed to make both proud during his four-year tenure.
Charlie Ervin (third from right) is sworn in Tuesday evening as a new member of the PSUSD Board of Education, along with returning members Karen Cornett and John Gerardi.

One of the most active parents in the Palm Springs Unified School District now has more on his plate after a ceremony Tuesday evening at district headquarters.

Driving the news: Charlie Ervin of Palm Springs was sworn in as the newest member of the Board of Education during a brief ceremony at the start of the Board’s regular meeting Tuesday evening. He is believed to be the first African American to serve on the Board.

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Looking back: Ervin is also a Palm Springs Planning Commission member and active in the Desert Highland Gateway Estates Community Action Association. He served as president of the district’s African American Parent Advisory Council (AAPAC) and was instrumental in organizing a tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities last spring.

  • He ran unopposed for an open seat on the Board in the Nov. 8 General election.

After being sworn in along with returning Board members Karen Cornett and John Gerardi, Ervin took time to thank his family and the Desert Highland Gateway Estates community. He vowed to make both proud during his four-year tenure as a Board member.

Pictures of all five members of the Palm Springs Unified School District Board of Education hang outside its chambers at district headquarters.
  • “Desert Highland Gateway Estates is an underserved and underrepresented community,” Ervin said as friends, family, and fellow AAPAC members looked on from the audience. “But the most important part of that community is love. Love is a very powerful thing.”

Why it matters: Ervin, whose two sons go to school in the district, told the audience of his own time as a student in Palm Springs schools, pointing out that his first-grade teacher not only pulled on his ears to get him to focus but also gave him a love for reading. Still, Ervin said, “She was the first and last African American teacher I ever had in school.”

  • Ervin also pointed to his “first failure” — not passing the state graduation exam until the day after Palm Springs High School graduated his class.

  • “I learned to fall 100 times and get back up,” he concluded.

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