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PCCD Board of Trustees elects new officers for 2019

20 December 2018

Newly elected Trustee Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss welcomed to the board; outgoing Trustee William “Bill” Riley honored for 20 years of service to the District

OAKLAND, Calif. (Dec. 17, 2018) – The Peralta Community College District (PCCD) Board of Trustees elected new officers for 2019 at its annual organizational meeting held on Dec. 11, 2018.

Honorable Julina Bonilla, representing Area 7, was elected president, and, Karen Weinstein, Ph.D. who represents Area 6, was elected vice-president. Jowel C. Laguerre, chancellor of the District, was elected board secretary. Meanwhile, newly elected Trustee Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss (Area 5) was sworn in while outgoing Trustee William “Bill” Riley, who served as vice-president in 2018, was honored for his 20 years of board service to the District.

Bill Withrow (Area 1), Meredith Brown (Area 2), Linda Handy (Area 3), Nicky González Yuen (Area 4), and student trustees Aisha Gordon and Nick Galan continue to serve on the nine-member governing board.

“I want to thank my constituents and community for the opportunity to serve you,” said PCCD Board of Trustees President Bonilla. “I am committed to ensure public oversight with the highest degree of integrity and as a community college alum, and I understand the life transforming impact community colleges impart. It is with this sense of value that I commit to improve fiscal oversight to ensure students are our number one priority.”

President Bonilla was elected to the Peralta Board of Trustees in 2014 and is a former Oakland elementary teacher, eventually moving into workforce development providing education and job training to young adults in Northern California. Bonilla is also the former Executive Director of the West Oakland Job Resource Center, where she managed the Oakland Army Base local hire Jobs Policy for the City of Oakland. Her community work and active member-ships include: Board President of Tradeswomen Inc., National Women’s Political Caucus-AN, and she served as a member of the Oakland Workforce Investment Board and co-chair of the Oakland Youth Council. Today, Bonilla is the Workforce Development Manager at the Port of Oakland. She is a community college graduate and received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.

Also during the meeting, both Bonilla and Hardy were sworn in for new terms on the board, along with newly elected Napoli-Abella Reiss, who defeated Riley during the election on Nov. 6, to represent Area 5, which includes Oakland’s Rockridge District and the City of Piedmont.

Napoli-Abella Reiss has been an educator within the California Community College System for more than 20 years, as well as a vocal advocate for the arts, civic engagement, global education and equity issues in higher education at the local and state level. She has spent much of her academic work researching African-American and Latino/a students’ success rates and has worked to increase success and persistence through pathway and learning communities at her own college through Global Education initiatives and Pipeline projects. Napoli-Abella Reiss has been very active in governance as vice-president of the West Valley Academic Senate and on many committees of the State Academic Senate (ASCCC) in the areas of curriculum, governance and internal policies, legislation and advocacy, and education policies. She is a commissioner on the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), and has been a board member on Oakland Leaf, an educational non-profit organization for Oakland youth, since 2012. Napoli-Abella Reiss holds bachelor’s degrees in Comparative Literature and in Art History from the University of California; a master’s in Art History from San Francisco State University; a doctorate in Art History from the University of California, Irvine; and a Certificate in Educational Leadership from Harvard University.

Riley was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 1998. He served as president of the board twice and also as vice-president. He is a Merritt College alumnus and has served in public education for more than 30 years, including the Oakland, East Palo Alto/Ravenswood and San Ramon School Districts.

A month ago, Northern Alameda County voters approved Measure G, Peralta Community College Districts $800 million bond proposal, to facilitate improvements to facilities and new construction. Voters also approved Measure E, extending the current $48 parcel tax to supplement funding for core academic programs at the Peralta Colleges, which include Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Laney and Merritt colleges in Oakland, Calif. With the passage of the bond issue, the District will address several priorities over the next five-to-seven years. Many new facilities will be built or refurbished, including a new library at Laney College and a new child development center at Merritt College.

About the Peralta Community College District

Founded in 1964, the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) is a collaborative community of colleges comprised of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Laney and Merritt colleges in Oakland, Calif. The Peralta Colleges provide a dynamic multicultural learning environment offering accessible, high-quality educational programs and services, including two-year degrees, certificates and university transfer programs, to more than 35,000 students. PCCD is home to award-winning Peralta TV (Comcast ch. 27/28, AT&T ch. 99) and public radio KGPC 96.9 FM. To learn more about The Peralta Colleges, visit www.peralta.edu

PHOTO: Newly elected Trustee Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss is sworn into service by newly elected California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond as family and friends look on.

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