Esperanza High School “Will Move Forward with a Variety of Exciting Projects” with the Recovered $1.53 Million Embezzled


After recovering the embezzled $1.53 million from a former finance clerk and undergoing a “lengthy and meticulous process, to solicit student ASB input, Esperanza High School will be spending the funds on seven categories from campus improvements to student program support all in direct benefit of their students.

As previously stated in the Matador Messenger, “Former EHS finance clerk Cynthia Marie Campbell was arrested in 2018 and sentenced to 14 years in jail for the embezzlement of about $709,084 from the ASB,” and the funds were reimbursed back to the school through insurance.

As stated in an email to all EHS families from principal Gina Aguilar, the following programs will be receiving additional funds for improvements to directly benefit the students of Esperanza:

  • Student Program Support: Allocations for clubs, visual/performing arts, and athletic programs to submit an application for grants to support their programs
  • Student Appreciations/School Culture Growth: Student appreciation activities/events and discounted tickets for student events
  • Campus Improvement Items: Additional lunch seating and permanent poster hangers
  • School Branding Enhancements: Windscreen on Kellogg Drive, updated marquee logo, new graphics in hallways of 200/700 buildings and office
  • Main Gym Improvements: “Will positively impact academics, activities, and athletics.” New interactive scoreboard, audio/visual screens, projector, lighting, fans, graphics, and banners
  • Library Upgrades: Upgraded seating and audio/visual screen
  • Theater Upgrades: Upgraded sound booth, branding, and lighting improvement

“The Aztec PRIDE Gym is a hub for many events on Esperanza’s campus, including school-wide assemblies, parent education nights, athletic contests, performing arts events, and more. The gym improvements will provide our entire student body the opportunity to benefit from upgrades  intended to create a state-of-the-art venue,” EHS Men’s Athletic Director Mathew Slevcove stated.

“Our school has since undergone a lengthy and meticulous process to solicit ASB student input in order to carefully guide decision-making relative to spending the reimbursed funds,” EHS principal Gina Aguilar stated in an email to all EHS families.

The PYLUSD Board of Trustees, Esperanza ASB, and in consultation with school administrators, have created a plan that aligns with guidance from the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). After review from the school’s new audit firm, Nigro and Nigro, the plan will be taken into action and the fund can be spent.

“Although this situation began as something entirely unfortunate, I am confident the outcome will have a long lasting, positive impact on our students and entire school community,” Principal Gina Aguilar stated.