Education: Saddleback High School,
Bradley University, BA
National University, MA
First Elected: November 2006
Term Expires: November 2014
Born and raised in Santa Ana, Sal Tinajero is a product of the Santa Ana Unified School District and also attended Orange Coast College. A scholarship to Bradley University in Illinois resulted in a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. In addition, Sal holds a Master’s in Cross Cultural Education from the National University. Dedicated to education, Sal was named the 2006 National Hispanic Teacher of the Year for his exceptional achievements as a history, speech and debate teacher at Fullerton Union High School and was invited to the White House by first lady Laura Bush. In 2000, he served as a Governing Board Member of the Santa Ana Unified School District and was re-elected in 2004.
Service to others is a hallmark of Sal’s professional career. Before becoming a literacy and history teacher, he counseled parents facing the challenges of raising a child with cerebral palsy. He was recognized as Junior Achievement's Southern California Teacher of the Year in 1999, received the 1999 Giraffe Award for Community Service by the Santa Ana School District, and was presented the 2001 Santa Ana Community Builder Award by Mayor Miguel Pulido. In May 2008, Sal received the Fullerton Home Town Hero Award at Fullerton Union High School for inspiring youth and helping students achieve their college education. In October 2008, Bradley University Alumni Association presented Sal with the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Young Graduate award. In 2009, Sal was presented the Education Golden Bell Award by the California School Board Association for his work in changing the lives of students through speech and debate.
As the Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Santa Ana, Sal’s priorities include increasing support for law enforcement and public safety; ensuring resources for clean streets, park improvements and neighborhood needs; and working with educators and elected officials to strengthen school systems across the county. He serves on the Code of Ethics and Conduct Committee and the Parks, Recreation, Education & Youth (PREY); and Joint Santa Ana Unified School District City Council Committee. Sal also represents the City of Santa Ana as a Director on the Orange County Fire Authority Board and is a member of the Orange County Speech League.
Sal is a devoted husband and father. His wife Jennifer is a director of nursing at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. They have three beautiful children – Salvador, Vincent, and Grace Natalia. Sal and Jennifer enjoy spending time with their children and are avid sports fans.