Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

Yarbrough Named as a “Woman of Achievement”

Shelly Yarbrough pictured outside the offices of the Val Verde Unified School District. Yarbrough has worked tirelessly on behalf of Perris at the local, regional and state level
Shelly Yarbrough pictured outside the offices of the Val Verde Unified School District. Yarbrough has worked tirelessly on behalf of Perris at the local, regional and state level.

Val Verde Unified School District trustee Shelly Yarbrough has been honored by the YWCA for her work on behalf of Perris school children and her participation in numerous organizations aimed at building civic pride.

The YWCA of Riverside County named Yarbrough as a “Woman of Achievement.”

The award honors “exceptional women who serve as role models by making noteworthy contributions to the civic, economic and cultural life of Riverside County.” Yarbrough will receive her award Thursday in a ceremony at the Victoria Country Club in Riverside.

Yarbrough, a mother of three and a grandmother of four, has served as a trustee on the Val Verde Unified School District Board since 2000. During her tenure, the district has built 12 new school campuses and up-graded existing facilities while earning academic and athletic honors.  Yarbrough also has served as American Indian director-at-large for the California School Board Association. She is a member of the Ojibwe tribe and is keenly aware of the issues and challenges facing Indian children.

“I am proud yet deeply humbled,” Yarbrough said. “I have always worked very hard to achieve a goal to make things happen, be it in business or education. This award is recognition for all the years of work.”

Last year, Yarbrough also was named CEO of the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Yarbrough received numerous endorsements from City and school leaders, who wrote letters of recommendation for the Woman of Achievement award. Perris City Clerk Judy Haughney wrote that Yarbrough is someone who “believes being a resident carries the responsibility of contributing to her community.”

Haughney added that Yarbrough has “worked within the State education system to promote the educational opportunities available to Native American students.”

Other civic leaders were equally effusive in their praise.

Edward Agundez, superintendent of the Perris Elementary School District, hailed Yarbrough as a woman who “strives to create opportunities for youth’s growth, leadership and power in order to assure peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people.”

“She accomplishes this by assuring that only highly qualified teachers are teaching in the Perris Valley, thus enabling those students to meet their academic goals by offering programs to meet their learning needs and providing an exceptional learning environment, Agundez said.

Scott Plotkin, executive director of the California School Board Association, called Yarbrough a “tireless worker and advocate” who fills her role as an at-large director for American Indian issues with “great expertise and passion.”

“As an American Indian who attended and graduated from public school, Shelly is keenly aware of the many issues facing students, including culture, language, identity and history.”

Vince Agnifili, CEO and manager of the Lake Perris Fairgrounds, said Yarbrough has worked “tirelessly toward improving the education opportunities for our youth and the betterment of our community.”

In addition to her school responsibilities, Yarbrough has also served with the Rotary, Optimist, Perris Valley Christmas Parade, Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Committee and American Legion Women’s Auxiliary. As Chamber of Commerce CEO, she currently is working to revitalize Perris’ Ambassador program.