by Photo courtesy of Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins Toni Atkins via Twitter

Chula Vista’s elementary-aged students will begin school tomorrow, but roughly 700 students in the Otay Ranch community will attend the brand-new Fahari L Jeffers Elementary School. 

The district welcomed its 50th school on July 15, named after former civil rights and labor leader in San Diego best known for her role in founding the United Domestic Workers of America, the third union in United States History founded by people of color. Fahari L. Jeffers was also a distinguished attorney who gave a voice to the voiceless.

"Naming this school after a fearless, African American woman leader is a testament not only to Fahari’s achievements in social justice but serves as a beacon of hope for rising generations to come," the district wrote in a statement. 

According to the district, Fahari L. Jeffers Elementary School students “will have a high-quality education enriched with a technology-infused curriculum, strong visual and performing arts programming, innovative partnerships, and caring teachers and staff.
“For 130 years, the District has aimed to provide an excellent education for all students,” said Superintendent Dr. Eduardo Reyes. “As we open our 50th school, it reflects on our community efforts and investment to serve our students for generations to come.”

The brand-new elementary school, located at 1145 Camino Prado in the Otay Ranch Village 3 area, will be headed by Dr. Shawna Codrington, the former principal at CVESD’s Parkview Elementary School. 

“I feel extremely fortunate and proud to be a part of the district’s newest elementary school, and I am honored to lead a school named after Fahari L. Jeffers,” said Principal Dr. Shawna Codrington in a news release. “I aim to ensure that all children enter and leave our school feeling magnificent in every way and that we will foster a learning environment where every child feels valued and welcomed.”

In early February, the district announced Dr. Cordington’s new role as Fahari L Jeffers Elementary School’s first principal. In accepting her role, Dr. Cordington said her goal is to “ensure that all children enter and leave this building feeling magnificent in every way”. 

“This school will live up to its name. We will foster a learning environment where every child feels valued and welcomed,” she said. 

According to Sept.9, 2020, Governing Board Agenda Item, the preschool through 6th-grade school site is approximately 8.3 acres. 

Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins recognized the school’s ribbon cutting in a tweet, saying “Fahari L Jeffers Elementary School, named after a remarkable woman that I called a friend”. 

“Fahari means ‘magnificent and rare” in Swahili. She proved to be both,” Atkins said. 

According to Atkins, Jeffers and her husband, Ken Seaton Msemaji, worked closely with the district, and the community-based education reform movement to ensure all the needs of students are met. 

“It’s very fitting that this new school, with its diverse student body, is named after such an iconic woman,” Atkins said. 

The first day of school at California's largest elementary school district begins July 20. School starts at 8:15 a.m. 

Registration for Fahari L. Jeffers Elementary School will take place online via the district’s online enrollment portal at

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