Even after retirement, Vivien Larsen can't get away from education.
The former Newark Unified School District vice principal and counselor is now Ohlone Community College's newest board member.
Ohlone's Board of Trustees appointed Larsen, 70, as a Newark representative on its seven-member board after interviewing three candidates during an open meeting Wednesday on the college's Fremont campus.
"Isn't that something?" Larsen said of the trustees' choice. "I'm so happy."
A longtime Newark resident, Larsen is looking forward to improving relations between Ohlone Community College and the , addressing the statewide fiscal crisis and developing ways to better prepare students for college.
Larsen was vice principal at and a counselor at before retiring four years ago.
Larsen said she'd never thought about serving on a board before but decided to apply for the Ohlone trustee's position after friends, family and former co-workers encouraged her to do so. She was pleased that many of her supporters attended the meeting where trustee candidates were interviewed.
"I never expected to have so many of the former colleagues I have worked with in the past there. That only gave me validation of what I've done, because they came to support me," Larsen said.
Larsen has been involved with Ohlone College since retiring. She has played a key role in implementing high school to career pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, according to Ohlone officials.
A native of Chile, Larsen is also a co-founder of Avanzando, a nonprofit group founded in 2008 that works to empower Latino youth and families and their community.
Her love for education is in her blood, Larsen said.
"In the times we live in, we have to think globally. They need to be prepared for a different type of place of work," she said.
Larsen was sworn in as Ohlone's newest trustee soon after board members announced her appointment. Her term runs until 2012, when the next election for board members will be held.
She replaces Bill McMillin, who died from cancer on March 11. had served on the board since being elected in November 2002.