By Wade Woods
Former San Francisco School Board member and director of the Mission Language and Vocational School Executive Director Rosario Anaya died Aug. 5 of lung cancer. She was 70.
During her 42-year administration at the school, thousands of primarily Spanish language immigrants gained the vocational skills necessary to compete in the workforce.
Born Oct. 7, 1944 in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Anaya came to the United States in the early 1960s. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology from the University of San Francisco.
She dedicated her life to service to the community, particularly the immigrant community in San Francisco.
As head o the Mission Language and Vocational School, she was a tireless fighter helping many immigrant families gain the skills necessary to succeed. Appointed by former Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2010, she served on the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission to help build needed affordable housing for local residents.
Originally appointed to the San Francisco Board of Education by Mayor George Moscone, she became the first Latin American woman elected to public office in San Francisco history and served on the school board for 12 years.
She served on several boards and committees throughout her career and has been recognized for her dedicated service, including by the Mexican government and most notably received the Order of Francisco de Miranda Medallion from the president of the Republic of Venezuela.
A great champion for the fight for justice, she never missed a César Chavez breakfast, always donating her school’s meeting hall and having the event catered by her beloved Culinary Academy, which she tried so hard over the years to turn into a restaurant.
In lieu of gifts, the family is asking for donations to be sent to the Rosario Anaya Scholarship Fund for Latinos and Latinas in the Mission, 2929 19th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.