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Peralta Colleges Trustees Sworn-In, New Board Officers Elected For 2015

17 December 2014

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The Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees, at its annual organizational meeting held on December 9, 2014, elected a new slate of officers for 2015. Additionally, a newly elected trustee and two trustees, reelected in November, were sworn-in to serve for the next four years.

Meredith Brown, who represents Area 2, was elected president and Dr. William “Bill” Riley, who represents Area 5, was elected vice president of the nine-member board, which includes two student trustees.

Julina Bonilla, who was elected in November to represent Area 7, was sworn-in by Abel Guillén, the outgoing Area 7 Trustee who was elected to the Oakland City Council in November. Linda Handy, Area 3, and William “Bill” Riley, both re-elected in November’s election, were sworn-in, respectively, by former Assemblymember Sandré Swanson, who is Deputy Mayor of the City of Oakland, and Judge Gordon Baranco, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.

“I am both pleased and honored to serve as president of the Board,” Brown said. “One of our first actions starting off our new year was to approve the terms of an agreement that will provide construction related apprenticeship positions for students in Laney College’s Construction Management Program to work on Peralta’s capital construction projects.” 

“We will continue to build partnerships with the local building trades, public transit agencies and the health industry, and we will work closely with our K-12 and county education partners to prepare our students for California’s changing economy,” said Brown. “We will continue to provide a well supported pathway for students transferring to our CSU and UC systems,” Brown Added. 

Brown, first elected to the Board of Trustees in 2012, is an attorney with over 20 years of experience in complex litigation and representing public agencies. She received her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and her Juris Doctor Degree from Boston University School of Law. Brown served as a clerk for United States Magistrate Joyce London Alexander, First Circuit in Boston, Mass. Her community involvement includes service as a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and leadership with the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club, Montclair Soccer Club, National Women Political Caucus – Alameda County North, and a volunteer Judge Pro Tem for Alameda County.  

Newly elected trustee Julina Bonilla is a community college graduate and received her B.A. from U. C. Berkeley. She is a former Oakland elementary teacher who moved into workforce development, providing education and job training to young adults in Northern California. Bonilla’s community work and active memberships include Board Vice President of Tradeswomen Inc., the National Women’s Political Caucus-AN, and she has served as a member of the Oakland Workforce Investment Board and co-chair of the Oakland Youth Council. She is the Program Director of the West Oakland Job Resource Center.

Linda Handy, who was first elected in 2002, has a long resume of community service and college administration experience. She has a M.S. in Organizational Development and Analysis from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Handy is a Laney College alumna and a former president of the Oakland Coalition of Congregations.

William “Bill” Riley was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 1998 and is a Merritt College alumnus who has served in public education for over 30 years, including in the Oakland, East Palo Alto/Ravenswood and San Ramon School districts. He earned his Ed.D. in Educational Policy and a B.A. in Sociology and Physical Education from the University of San Francisco and an M.A. in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University. 

Continuing to serve on the board are Bill Withrow, who represents Area 1, Nicky González Yuen, Area 4, and Cy Gulassa of Area 6.  Student trustees are Carl Oliver and Jeramy Rolley. 

For 50 years, the Peralta Community College District has served the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont by providing 30,000 students each semester with a range of educational programs and life-long learning opportunities.

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