WHITTIER – Whittier Union High School District’s Board of Trustees voted to appoint Josefina E. Canchola to serve the remainder of retiring Board Member Dr. Ralph S. Pacheco’s term during a special Board meeting on June 10.

Following the announcement of Dr. Pacheco’s retirement from the Board, which will be effective Friday, July 7, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of a provisional appointment to fill the Trustee Area 3 seat during a May 9 meeting.

During the special board meeting, the Board of Trustees interviewed six candidates, all of whom reside within the Trustee Area 3 boundaries in the cities of Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk. Canchola, along with Francis Carbajal, Edith Echeverria, Marcos Garcia, Gabriel Jimenez and Dora Sandoval, were interviewed in open session following a public comment period.

At the conclusion of the interviews, the Board deliberated during open session and then voted to appoint a provisional seat to Canchola, who will take the oath of office and begin her tenure on Tuesday, July 18.

“This is more than an honor, to me, it’s a responsibility because I’m not only looking at giving back to the local community, but trying to build more opportunities for our local scholars and to create strong connections between families and the school district,” Canchola said. “Not only do we want to provide our students with a really amazing academic experience, but we also want to tap into their natural talents and support them in whatever their path will be.”

Canchola, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of California, Riverside and a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix, currently serves as the director of secondary programs for the Puente Project, a statewide non-profit academic preparation program that works to increase the number of first-generation college students in underrepresented communities.

Canchola also serves as a senior advisor, staff developer and trainer for the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project and is the president-elect for the UCR Alumni Association Board of Directors.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, we want to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation for the six candidates who demonstrated tremendous commitment to our students during the entire selection and interview process,” Board President Jaime López said. “While we will miss Dr. Pacheco’s insight and presence, we are looking forward to this new chapter for the Board and we are excited to begin a strong and productive partnership with Josefina Canchola. She will be an excellent leader for our Whittier Union community.”

Canchola will serve the remainder of Pacheco’s term from July 2023 through the first Friday of December 2024.

Pacheco, who recently served as the Board’s vice president, informally announced his retirement during the April 11 Board meeting, which will bring his service to the District to a close after 32 years. He submitted his formal resignation letter to Los Angeles County Office of Education Superintendent Dr. Debra Duardo on May 8.

“We are delighted to welcome Josefina Canchola as a member of the Board as we continue to pursue our mission ‘To Achieve and Maintain Excellence,’” Superintendent Dr. Monica Oviedo said. “She will bring an outstanding perspective and high-level expertise to her role.”


WUHSD_CANCHOLA: Whittier Union High School District’s Board of Trustees voted to appoint Josefina Canchola to fill the provisional seat, following the impending retirement of Dr. Ralph S. Pacheco, during a special Board meeting on June 10.