Meet Ernesto Querijero

Ernesto Querijero is a husband, father of two, and a career educator who is seeking your support for one of the three open seats on the Ann Arbor School Board this November. He has lived in Ann Arbor for over 25 years, and because of his background and experiences, he is the right candidate to serve our community in this role.

A graduate from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English and from the University of Pennsylvania with an M.S. Ed in Secondary Education, Ernesto has had two careers in his professional life; his first was in technology. He worked at the U of M’s Institute for Social Research from 1997-2002 in a variety of roles from Office Assistant to Computer Systems Consultant. There, he managed a help desk team, prepared computer software for release, wrote software tutorials, and conducted nationwide trainings for fellow U of M employees in the field. As a U of M employee, he learned the value of a professional community and collaborated with others for a greater good.

Ernesto has 15 years teaching experience. He first taught at Tecumseh High School from 2005-2013, where helping the most needy students launched his career. He taught a variety of classes including Basic English, a class for incoming freshman who graduated to high school despite 4th and 5th grade reading levels, and AP English, a rigorous class that allows high-achieving, motivated students to earn college credit. In his time there, he chaired the School Improvement Committee; in the role, he organized faculty professional development with the National Writing Project and represented THS at district-wide committees and Board meetings related to scheduling and common assessments. Ernesto also developed programming to help students transition into high school. Often, his presence was requested at IEP (Individualized Education Program) and counseling meetings specifically because of his balanced demeanor and ability to establish an environment where all voices can be heard.

Since 2010, Ernesto has taught developmental writing courses at Washtenaw Community College. These courses enroll the most vulnerable students, and Ernesto is dedicated to the population through his service on the Developmental Task Force and other committees related to diversity and student success. He represented WCC in its partnership with the John Gardner Institute, a national organization that works to advance equity, social justice, and mobility in higher education, and has shared his work at national conferences, including the Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference in Detroit in 2018.  At the college, he has conducted faculty professional development trainings on pedagogical approaches to course design.

Ernesto stands with long-term student learning. He believes the role of public schools is to prepare students to be fair and responsible leaders, innovators, civil participants, and problem-solvers in the world to come. He has always fought for student support, student access, and student self-advocacy, which in itself is a learned practice. Public schools must offer students a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Support for Ernesto is also support for inclusion and representation, another fundamental reason for his run in this election. He can identify with many types of voters and educational stakeholders. He is a regular parent volunteer who has sat on both sides of parent-teacher conferences. He is an active educator who will be teaching in a virtual classroom.  He is a first-generation Asian- American and a proud union member. Vote Ernesto Querijero for the Ann Arbor School Board on November 3; he is the right person to help guide our district at a much needed time.

Open Letter For Support

August 18, 2020

Fellow parents, teachers, and community members:

Public schools are under duress like they never have been before. Issues of safety, managing family life, and social inequities are culminating into what will be a clear shift in how public schools can and should operate. As our district continues to navigate the changes that will direct our kids’ learning in the immediate future and beyond, we need experienced trustees who can offer perspective on how and what changes should take place. With my experiences of teaching both vulnerable and highachieving students at secondary and post-secondary institutions, and with my record of supporting colleagues across the educational landscape, I can responsibly and effectively fulfill the role of trustee to serve our community using two guiding principles that I have used throughout my career.

Teaching Tagalog to Jamie’s 1/2 class at Ann Arbor Open

First, I will support and recommend policies that advance long-term student learning. At its core, this is the fundamental responsibility of a public school district. Students learn best when they know they are in safe learning environments, whether they are physical or virtual spaces. We must be mindful of how entry into these spaces affects our children’s mental wellness as learners, particularly for elementary school students. They learn best when they know they have many opportunities to demonstrate their understandings and competencies. Programming that supports AP Courses, IB programming, and dual-enrollment should be expanded and supported. Students learn best when teachers, administrators, and support staff (those directly responsible for creating safe learning environments) are supported. This includes providing access to resources, offering effective professional development, and prioritizing professional compensation. Evaluating student learning is best done by using multiple measures over a long period of time. We should continually re-evaluate student assessment and move to de-emphasize the value put on standardized tests, particularly for elementary school children. These kinds of tests create barriers for student learning.

At the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis

Second, I will support and recommend policies that increase representation, fairness, and inclusion. This is something that I have had done professionally throughout my career.  When I taught at Tecumseh High School, I developed programming to help freshman transition into high school, represented community voices on Board policies, and organized meaningful faculty professional development in coordination with the National Writing Project.  Currently, as an instructor at Washtenaw Community College, I have served on several committees related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the Developmental Task Force, a committee of faculty instructors dedicated to serving students with the most learning challenges. In WCC’s partnership with the John Gardner Institute, I have worked to develop policy to support students who struggle in gateway courses and presented the college’s work at national conferences, including the Great Lake Regional Student Success Conference in Detroit in 2018. If elected, I will continue to fight for student support, access, and self-advocacy. When students are empowered to communicate their needs for themselves, our community grows stronger. When they aren’t, we need to advocate for them. As a trustee, I would lend my ears and voice to anyone in our educational community (students, parents, teachers, support staff, administrators, etc.) with real concerns about student learning that might otherwise go unheard. Those in our city who don’t have kids in the district can count on me to be transparent and speak up when expenditures don’t benefit student learning or don’t seem aligned with our city’s vision of being climate-neutral by 2030.

Packing a balikbayan box of books to ship to the Philippines

These principles guide me in my personal life as well. My wife and I co-founded a grassroots book collection project called Books for Kids. Inspired by our trips to the Philippines, where most have so little in comparison, we look for book deserts and provide them with free support in the way of reference material, literacy packs, and school supplies for kids.  Our first project was helping build and stock the very first library at Baler Central Elementary School in the Philippines, where my father began his “intellectual journey” in 1943.  We expanded our outreach by donating books to more schools in the province. Now, we donate literacy packs to communities closer to home. Since March, Books For Kids has donated over 3,000 books directly to families in Inkster, Flint, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and to the Alternatives For Girls Homeless Shelter in Detroit. When we can, we volunteer for local, like-minded candidates; recently, we have concentrated our efforts on supporting the American Postal Workers Union to save the USPS.  We know how to work for change; we do it everyday.

Ernesto speaking at a podium
Speaking to Ann Arbor voters in Kerrytown

I am seeking your support based on these two principles that have guided my career and life; they will guide me as a trustee. To me, public schools should prepare students to be fair and responsible leaders, innovators, civil participants, and problem-solvers in the world to come, regardless of students’ passions and abilities. I’m seeking the opportunity to aid in that preparation and direct policy in our district with an empathetic, experienced, efficient, and equitable disposition. Together, we can make it happen.

Ernesto Querijero

Husband, Father, Teacher.

Getting Involved

VOTE!

Perform your civic responsibility and vote! More information on how to vote can be found here.

POLL GREETERS!

Sign up to do poll greeting for Ernesto on election day, Tuesday, November 3! You stand 100 feet from the poll and hand people literature about Ernesto as they go to vote. We need your help to help Ernesto get across the finish line for a win! Tell us the times you’re available and which polling location you would like to go to. If you don’t have a preference, we’ll find one for you!

YARD SIGNS!

Are you a resident of the City of Ann Arbor or a neighboring township who’d like to put up a yard sign to show your support? Click this link and fill out our yard sign order form! We’ll deliver the yard sign to you, in a COVID-safe manner!

Supporting the United States Postal Service on Liberty and Fifth

COMMUNITY MEMBERS!

Are you a community member who wants to get involved with our campaign and show your support? Please complete the form below!

Endorsements

The following are some organizations and community leaders who have endorsed Ernesto Querijero for the Ann Arbor School Board.

Proud to be endorsed by Michigan Action, a group “working to create a world where Black, Brown, and AAPI Michiganders to live to their fullest potential.”
“MAAP endorses Ernesto Querijero for Ann Arbor School Board. Ernesto is an experienced educator who is committed to long-term student learning. He believes the role of public schools is to prepare students to be fair and responsible leaders, innovators, civil participants, and problem-solvers in the world to come. He has always fought for student support, student access, and student self-advocacy, which in itself is a learned practice. Public schools must offer students a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their learning. As an active educator, first-generation Asian-American and a proud union member, Ernesto Querijero is an ideal candidate to join the Ann Arbor School Board.”
Sunrise is an organization that can engage young people. As a Trustee I will bring that excitement, energy, and involvement to the Ann Arbor Public School District.
“A public school teacher, Ernesto knows firsthand how to prioritize students in Ann Arbor. His passion for reading — including his work with Books for Kids — shows that as a member of the board, he’ll also put students first.” – Abdul El-Sayed, Chair of Southpaw Michigan
We stand in solidarity with Unions!
Our campaign is excited to be endorsed by the Ann Arbor Education Association. Teachers make the everyday difference in students’ lives!

Ernesto Querijero is the BEST choice for the Ann Arbor School Board! I consider it an extreme honor to recommend and endorse my friend Ernesto Querijero. He is one of the most incredibly awesome people on the planet. Ernesto will bring a considerable wealth of knowledge and experience to the Ann Arbor School Board. As a public school teacher, he understands the challenges of highly qualified professionals in today’s ever changing world. He is an advocate for all students and understands the many struggles our students face in their educational journeys.  As a parent, he is sensitive to parents’ needs and is witness to the demands placed upon our virtual learners. Ernesto is an incredible father: sensitive, compassionate, caring, and patient.  My family has been the benefactors of the loving, secure environment that he and his wonderful family offer so selflessly. Anyone who knows him is used to seeing him show up regularly in many volunteer capacities; he can be seen helping out at Ann Arbor Open on numerous occasions. Working at Open, I always see Ernesto volunteering in the library, in classrooms, heading up donations of books, and many of the after school programs. As a parent at Open, there are many after school programs, and he and his family are always present. I have the esteemed pleasure to witness first hand his passion for education and volunteerism. He is always working to better the lives of our students. Ernesto is a skilled leader, level headed collaborator, and dedicated hard worker. I admire the compassion and calm wisdom he brings to any issue. In these times, we will all benefit from his representation on the Ann Arbor School Board to help lead the district as we reimagine education.”

– Joe Tomassi
– AAPS Teacher, AAPS Parent

“Every school board needs people who are attentive to parents, teachers, students, and who understand the importance of a curriculum that meets the needs of students on their path to becoming good world citizens. Ernesto Querijero has experience as a public school teacher, and as a community college professor. He is the parent of two children attending our public schools. He is a strong union member and supporter and is deeply involved in community issues. As a person of color, Ernesto understands the need for a more just and inclusive system. I trust Ernesto Querijero to be a careful and unbending advocate for ALL our children, and I unhesitatingly endorse him for Ann Arbor School Board.”

Mei-Lin Louis
– Retired Teacher

Without hesitation, I endorse my former colleague and friend of fifteen years, Ernesto Querijero, as a trustee for the Ann Arbor School Board. 

I first met Ernesto while I served as the English Department Chair at Tecumseh High School in 2005. School districts face many challenges, and there is no greater skill than that of an advocate who understands students, families, educational policy, curriculum, and funding. I have come to know Ernesto as such an advocate. I have seen first-hand how his knowledge and experience as a highly qualified teacher creates positive rapport with students, families, local officials and consequently produces meaningful results that positively benefit our students and our community. 

As a parent of young children in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, I am excited with the possibility that our district will benefit from the passion, dedication, innovation and advocacy that has been a hallmark of Ernesto’s professional life and that he will help ensure that every child has the chance to maximize his or her potential in the Ann Arbor Public School District.

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Jennifer Russell
– Certified Secondary Educator, Ann Arbor Resident, AAPS Parent

“It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend Ernesto Querijero (Mr. Q) for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education. I have known Mr. Q since 2011 when he was my AP English teacher at Tecumseh Public Schools. I had the chance to get to know him as a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. In every instance, Mr. Q has been someone of great generosity who fully invests himself in the success of others. As a high school student, I sincerely appreciated the investment he made in his students’ success. Mr. Q is someone who goes out of his way to provide one-on-one attention to meet students where they are in their individual development. He creates safe, inclusive learning environments that bring out the best in students.  Knowing Mr. Q has not only made me a better writer and critical thinker — but it has further instilled a love of learning in me. In the years since his class, I have earned a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing from Michigan State University and went on to work as an instructional designer for IBM. Now, I have returned to MSU to earn my MBA.  I wholeheartedly believe Mr. Q will foster a system of success for Ann Arbor Schools, as he did before for Tecumseh Public Schools.  I give Mr. Q my highest recommendation and encourage you to meet and talk with him. You will be impressed right away and for years to come as he advances representation, fairness, and inclusion for Ann Arbor Public Schools.”

– Sarah Hoag
– MBA Candidate 2022

“I am so proud to endorse Ernesto for the Ann Arbor School Board. Ernesto is godfather to my two children and has had a prominent influence in their development and instilled a thirst for learning. Ernesto’s presence in our family has led to more laughter, love and learning. During this difficult time we’ve had to have some tough conversations about what would happen if we were no longer able to make our own health decisions – Ernesto is top of our list as we know he’d look out for our best interests. And the same is true for Ann Arbor’s schools. There’s no one better suited to serve as advocate for the children and families of Ann Arbor.”

– Samantha Schwimmer
– Working mom

“I am pleased to recommend my colleague Ernesto Querijero for the Ann Arbor School Board. He is a passionate educator who rolls up his sleeves to tackle big challenges. Ernesto and I were tasked with improving completion rates in high-enrollment courses in the English and Business departments as part of a national student-success initiative. Working with Ernesto was a breeze – he drove the complex project from start to finish and capably navigated us through several challenges. Afterward, he shared lessons learned about this valuable work with faculty and administrators and later at a national educators’ conference. If Ernesto is able to serve Ann Arbor Schools, his colleagues will instantly benefit from his strong work ethic and collegial spirit. Particularly, he has excellent communication skills, has a natural passion for education and know-how, and  is detailed-oriented. On a personal level, the warmth of Ernesto’s personality will be readily observable upon your first encounter with him. In sum, Ernesto is an outstanding school-board candidate.”

Doug Waters
– Business Faculty and Chair, Washtenaw Community College

“I am glad to endorse my friend Ernesto Querijero for a seat on Ann Arbor Pubic School Board.  As a retired special education teacher, I connect with his passion for all his students, particularly his advocacy for those who need special help.  Ernesto’s lucky students and their parents have encountered a teacher with the interest, experience, and expertise to fulfill their needs. Husband of PTOC Member Lisa, father of daughters Sennen and Violet at Ann Arbor Open, and righteous to the core – this is Ernesto Querijero.”

– Karen Kellett
– Retired Special Education Teacher, Ann Arbor Resident

Growing up, I did not have parents that cared about me academically. It was not a problem until I got into high school, where grades counted to be able to graduate. I was fortunate as an incoming freshman at THS to get placed in Mr. Querijero’s English class. It did not take long for Mr. Q to become my favorite teacher. He really cared about us, not just about his class, but how we were doing in all parts of our lives. He took time to make sure everyone could understand; he wants everyone to be successful. I started to open up to him about my home life and struggles in my other classes. Mr. Q wanted to help. I started going to him with homework from my other classes. I was able to have him all four years of high school. If it wasn’t English, it was History of Film. He believed in me that I could do better, which motivated me to get better grades. His belief made me want to go to college. My second year at WCC, I needed to take an English class, and while I was searching the class list, I saw his name. I knew I needed to take his class if I wanted to be successful in college. It was so good to see a familiar face in a place with so many strangers. He could recall conversations we had at THS and asked if there were any improvements in my home life. You can tell Mr. Q is different as soon as you meet him. He has `his presence of calm and knowledge, which makes you feel safe and that you really have someone who cares and you can trust. The Ann Arbor School Board would be lucky to have him; there is no one that is a better fit for the position. Children deserve someone who truly cares about them.

– Ashlee Anderson
Former THS & WCC student

“As a former student, I’m proud to endorse Ernesto Querijero for the Ann Arbor School Board. After struggling with my writing for nearly my entire academic career—and even withdrawing from my first English 111 class at WCC—I knew that I wasn’t quite doing something right. Fast forward to my second attempt, with Mr. Querijero as my professor. Rather than trying to fit me into the one-size-fits-all educational approach, Ernesto took the time to ask me what I thought would help me learn better, and more importantly engaged me by allowing me to write about cars. By the end of that course, I had significantly improved and had even developed an interest in pursuing further writing education. Today, I work as an editor for Car and Driver Magazine in Ann Arbor, and in no small way, Ernesto certainly played a part in that. It’s time that we start electing people for school board who are directly involved in student development and teaching, rather than people that view students as “part of the budget”. I know that if he’s elected, Ernesto will bring the same passion, dedication, and care to the Ann Arbor School Board and students that he did to my own education. Vote Querijero!”

– Max Mortimer
Assistant Technical Editor, Car and Driver

“I proudly endorse Ernesto Querijero for Ann Arbor School Board! I struggled a lot in high school and ended up dropping out my junior year. When I enrolled at WCC, I was really lacking core math skills I would have acquired had I stayed in school. He devoted days to patiently teaching me algebra before a placement test because he knew how much I wanted to go to college. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today without his support and encouragement during that formative period in my life when I needed it most. I can only hope that other struggling students might be as lucky as I was, and having Ernesto on the Ann Arbor School Board can help make this hope a reality. We desperately need more educators who see their students as people and not just numbers or faces in a crowd, and are so dedicated to teaching and passionate about learning that they inspire others the way he inspired me. Please vote for Ernesto!

– Miriam Midoun
Ann Arbor Native, PhD Candidate at U. Chicago

“I happily endorse Ernesto Querijero for the Ann Arbor School Board. Working with Ernesto in the WCC English/College Readiness department for a decade has been a gift. He is one of the hardest working educators I know. His commitment to his students is total, and they rise because of it. His extensive teaching experience in K-12 & post-secondary institutions has given him an impressive grasp of the complexities that make public education possible. His heart is true, his mind is awake, and he is generally a delight to think & work with.”

– Hava Levitt-Phillips
WCC English Faculty & AAPS Parent

“I first met Ernesto at an event for the Bernie Sanders campaign, along with his whole family. This is who he is he works for all of us and his family is at the center. Husband, parent, teacher putting people first with compassion and energy. I cannot imagine a better steward of our public school in these challenging times. ”

Lauren Sargent
Ward 3/4 Issues & Action

“I endorse Ernesto Querijero for the Ann Arbor School Board. Ernesto has a big heart for education. He truly manifested his support even here in the Philippines through book donations to public schools. He launched a drive to gather book donations to send to far areas like Baler Central Elementary and other schools in Aurora, Philippines.”

Wilma Turgo
Principal, Baler Central School, Aurora, Philippines

“I’ve known Ernesto for 35 years. We grew up together attending public schools in central New Jersey in a supportive community spearheaded by parents who valued excellence in education. He espouses these same values in his professional career and in his efforts to serve the Ann Arbor School Board. I can always count on him to tell it like it is – unfiltered, objective, and honest. Please support his efforts to serve your community.”

Jim Lee
Medical Director, Penn Lung Transplant Program

“I first met Ernesto Querijero over a year ago when we began volunteering together on the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign. This was a campaign that put people first.  I believe that as a member of the Ann Arbor School Board, Ernesto will put students first, and for those students who are under-served, Ernesto will be their tireless advocate. Please join me in supporting him!”

Linda Wan
Ann Arbor resident , Photographer, Baker