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Alumni Feature: Former VCUSD Grad Gives Back to the City of Vallejo

Melissa Tigbao VALLEJO, Calif. - When graduates bid farewell to Vallejo City Unified School District, administrators and the community often encourage them to return and welcome them with open arms. Melissa Lintag Tigbao, an alumna, took this advice to heart, making a homecoming that's making waves in her hometown.

Her journey, starting as the daughter of Filipino immigrants in New York City, eventually led her family to Vallejo, where she spent most of her life. Tigbao walked the halls of Cooper Elementary and Vallejo Junior High School and graduated from Hogan High School. Her academic pursuits took her to the University of California, Davis, where she earned a civil engineering degree and became a licensed civil engineer.

After stints in various Bay Area cities, Tigbao returned to Vallejo in 2018, joining as the assistant public works director/city engineer. In a remarkable four-year span, she ascended to become Vallejo's public works director, breaking ground as the city's first female and Asian-American in this role.

"Every action we take in Public Works aims to enhance the safety, accessibility, and overall livability of our community," Tigbao emphasized. "From roads and sidewalks to streetlights and traffic signals, we're responsible for maintaining and constructing what the community relies on daily. I lead a team of dedicated individuals committed to enhancing the quality of life for Vallejo's residents, businesses, employees, and commuters."

Her return wasn't just a job opportunity—it evolved into a platform to make a lasting impact. "Joining the City of Vallejo was about proximity to my roots and giving back," she expressed. "But it turned out to mean much more. I value being a representative in a leadership position, especially for young women and minorities in the STEM field and local government."

Residing in Vallejo, Tigbao's children have walked the same school corridors within VCUSD. Her bond with the city resonates deeply. "My pride in Vallejo is unwavering," she affirmed.

"As a product of VCUSD, I've been fortunate to have incredible educators, coaches, and counselors who continue to influence me today. Watching my children flourish within the district, guided by inspiring educators, reinforces my belief that the best educational journey arises from a strong partnership among teachers, students, and parents." Tigbao's commitment to her community, alma mater, and the next generation echoes her profound connection to Vallejo.