WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College’s Board of Trustees has selected a new cadre of officers in anticipation of a new era, sparked by the hiring of a new superintendent/president.

Leading the board as president will be Oscar Valladares, a former Dreamer elected in November 2018. Valladares, a deputy public conservator in the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, represents Trustee Area 5, which includes East Whittier.

Vice president is Rosaelva Lomeli, a Whittier resident and science teacher for 22 years. Also elected in November 2018, Lomeli represents Trustee Area 3, which includes Whittier and South El Monte.

Trustee Vicky Santana, who represents Trustee Area 2, which includes Pico Rivera and West Whittier, is the board’s new clerk. Santana has served on the board since 2011. She works as a manager for the Los Angeles County Probation Office.

The board includes trustees Norma Edith García, who represents Trustee Area 1, which includes El Monte, and Gary Mendez, who represents Trustee Area 4, which includes Los Nietos, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier and North Norwalk.

The trustees are also joined by 2019-20 student trustee Carolina “Lina” Campillo.

“This is an exciting time for Rio Hondo College,” Valladares said. “We are about to welcome our new superintendent/president and we expect to usher in a new era of innovation on behalf of our students. Rio Hondo College represents the opportunity available to all that is an essential element of the American Dream.”

“I take my colleagues’ vote of confidence with great humility and responsibility as board president,” he added. “I will work to continue building capacity to better serve our students, staff and community.”

The College selected Mendocino-Lake Community College District Superintendent/President Dr. Arturo Reyes for its top job on June 12. The board is expected to approve Reyes’ contract on July 10. Reyes replaces Teresa Dreyfuss, who leaves the College on June 30 after 32 years of service, including seven as superintendent/president. Reyes will be the College’s 10th president.

“I’m looking forward to working with the new president to assure a smooth transition to continue moving the College forward,” Valladares said.