Jamela Smith-Folds is a veteran teacher. She was born and raised in Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University with a double major in History and English with a credential to teach. She moved to California with her now-husband in 2000. She has been in education, in some manner, for over 20 years. She is a teacher, wife, mother, and activist. She and her husband have been together for over 23 years and have three school-aged daughters together.
Not only has Jamela been a public school teacher, but she is a registered homeschool teacher. Jamela began her teaching career in 2000. She taught at Auburn High School in Auburn, Alabama. Teaching in Alabama reinforced that teaching is a community job. Her first teaching job in California was at Gompers Continuation High School in Richmond, California. She credits Gompers with teaching her that delivering information was the least that a teacher does. A teacher is charged and obligated to create and maintain trusting relationships with parents and students. Recently, she taught at Hercules High School as the Leadership Teacher and Activity Director. As a veteran teacher, she understands that the voice of the teachers, students, and parents must be at the decision-making table.
Jamela is a staunch and fierce parent advocate. She was awarded the Parent Volunteer of the Year award for two consecutive years. She is a community leader and activist. She is committed and dedicated to service. Jamela has served on school committees including but not limited to PTA (Parent Teacher Association), PTO (Parent Teacher Organization), SSC (School Site Council), APPAC (African American Parent Advisory Council), and Climate Team. She was the EOS (Equal Opportunity School Coordinator) for Hercules High School. Jamela also serves on many Community Based Organizations (CBOs). She is a board member for HEF (Hercules Education Foundation), a founding member of PEACH (Parents for the Educational Advancement Community of Hercules), and a founding member of HARPP (Hercules Against Racism in Practice and Policing). Jamela is also a member of PHREED (Pinole, Hercules, Rodeo, El Sobrante for equity and diversity). Jamela is on the BEN (Black Educator Network) planning committee. She is a member of the Hercules Democratic Party. Jamela volunteers as the Hercules Middle School assistant coach for volleyball, girls basketball, and soccer. She is the Mafanikio Black History teacher. Jamela was the teacher advisor for Hercules High School BSU (Black Student Union). As a parent volunteer, Jamela has been in charge of Teacher and Staff Appreciation, volunteered with, and been in charge of “Read Across America.” She is a class parent for the class of 2023. She has been the Geography, ASL (American Sign Language), Maker, Library Club, and Gardening club Parent.
Jamela lives her life by the four agreements; her word is her bond, she gives her 100%, she doesn’t make assumptions, and she doesn't take things personal. These four agreements have served her well as a teacher, a parent, and a community leader. She comes from generations of teachers, activists, and preachers. She is purposeful and intentional. It is her personal philosophy to do no harm, so she insists on leaving a positive fingerprint on the lives of all the people she comes in contact with. Her approach to serving is to Listen, Learn, and then Lead.
Jamela is honored and humbled by the endorsement of the United Teachers of Richmond, various labor unions and the parents, teachers, and community members inside and outside of Area/Ward #1.
Campaign Facebook: Facebook.com/JamSmithFolds