WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College’s Board of Trustees named Norma Edith Garcia as president for 2016-17, Madeline Shapiro as vice president and Vicky Santana as clerk during the group’s annual reorganization meeting on Dec. 14.

“Our primary and most significant task is to advocate for our students – including the undocumented – and provide them with every opportunity to pursue an education that will prepare them for their higher-education journeys, new careers or advancement in their current career fields,” said Garcia, who also is president of the El Monte Promise Foundation.

The nonprofit foundation strives to create a seamless cradle-to-college pathway for youths in the greater El Monte region. The local effort unites parents, students, and community leaders from school districts, colleges, local governments, businesses, nonprofits and private foundations to coordinate systems and mobilize resources to benefit local students.

The College will also engage with the community this winter and spring with a series of monthly community education forums highlighting Rio Hondo College’s student services as well as academic and career education programs.

Garcia attended Citrus College and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCLA. Most recently re-elected to the board in November 2013, she represents Trustee Area 1, which includes El Monte. She served as vice president of the board in 2015-16.

Shapiro was also most recently re-elected in 2013 and represents Trustee Area 5, which includes East Whittier. She served as clerk in 2015-16. Santana, who was elected to her second term in 2015, represents Trustee Area 2, which includes Pico Rivera.

The board includes Mary Ann Pacheco, whose Trustee Area 3 encompasses Whittier and South El Monte, and Gary Mendez, whose Trustee Area 4 spans Los Nietos, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier and North Norwalk.

Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss congratulated the new officers.

“Rio Hondo College has marked significant milestones and major achievements in the last year, and we are poised to tackle even greater challenges in 2016-17,” Dreyfuss said. “I look forward to a close collaboration with our board leaders.”

Garcia recognized Pacheco, the board’s 2015-16 president, for her dedication. Pacheco served as a highly public representative of Rio Hondo College, attending frequent College and community events on behalf of the institution.