Russell Castañeda Calleros - President A product of local public school districts, Russell graduated from California High School where he served as ASB President. Russell holds a B.A. in political science from Stanford University and an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Russell has dedicated himself to a career in higher education to help offer the same outstanding educational opportunities to others that he was offered as a student.
Russell currently serves as the Director of Government & Community Relations at Rio Hondo College and has held this position for over five years. Before arriving at Rio Hondo College, Russell worked for Loyola Marymount University as a campus minister for community service, and worked for Congressman Xavier Becerra in his Los Angeles district office as a special projects coordinator.
An advocate of public service, Russell has volunteered his time for Whittier First Day Coalition, the Whittier Cultural Arts Commission, the PUENTE program, and the Hispanic Outreach Taskforce. Russell currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce.
Russell has been a Whittier resident for over 30 years. Russell is married to Maria Castañeda Calleros and has embraced the shared vocation of raising three children: Abram, Grace, and Selah. The Castañeda Calleros family remains active with St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Uptown Whittier.
Jeff Baird - Vice President
Jeff Baird has been a member of the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees since 1997. Previously, he served for four years as a member of the Board of Education for the South Whittier School District Board. Mr. Baird also serves as a Governing Board Member of the Tri-Cities Regional Occupation Program (Tri-Cities ROP).
Mr. Baird earned a Bachelor's Degree in History at California State University, Long Beach in 1978. He received his Juris Doctor Cum Laude at Loyola Law School in 1981. Since then he has practiced law at Bewley, Lassleben & Miller, a 110-year-old Whittier firm, where he presently serves as Chairman of the Management Committee.
Mr. Baird and his wife, Jan, have raised three children, who each graduated from the Whittier Union High School District. Robert is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine and currently works in Sacramento for the California State Assembly; Thomas is a graduate from Point Loma Nazarene University and Princeton Theological Seminary and currently works as a social worker/chaplain for a San Diego area hospice; Patrick is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles. Jan Baird, a longtime community activist, presently serves on the Board of Education of the South Whittier School District.
Mr. Baird's service as a Trustee is motivated by his deep belief in the essential role played by public schools in our American democracy.
Leighton Anderson - Clerk Leighton M. Anderson has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1997. He and his wife, Diane, are the parents of three children, all of whom attended high school in the Whittier Union High School District. Their daughter, Courtney, graduated from the District in 2002; their older son, Jason, graduated in 2006; and the youngest, Brian, graduated in 2008. Diane, too, is active in school activities, and still serves with the PTSA at one of the District's high schools.
Mr. Anderson is an attorney and a partner in the law firm of Bewley, Lassleben & Miller, LLP, in Whittier. He is a former President, and serves on the Board of Directors, of the Rio Hondo Symphony Association, which provides admission-free classical music concerts to the Whittier, Santa Fe Springs and Pico Rivera communities and the surrounding area. He is likewise a past President, and serves on the Board of Directors, of the Santa Fe Springs Chamber of Commerce and he is currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce in Whittier as well. His many non-profit affiliations include membership in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association and Lions Club International. Mr. Anderson also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Tri-Cities Regional Occupational Program (Tri-Cities ROP) and is a member of the Delegate Assembly of the California School Boards Association (CSBA). He has been appointed to serve on the Cities, Counties and Schools Partnership Task Force on State Budget and Fiscal Reform, which is offering proposals to remedy ongoing fiscal problems in California government. The Partnership is an alliance of CSBA, the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties.
Mr. Anderson attended college at Claremont Men's College, where he received his B. A. degree, magna cum laude, in 1976. He then attended law school at Columbia University, where he received his Juris Doctor degree in 1978.
Tim Schneider - Member
Tim Schneider has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2007. He and his wife, Donell, have been married forty years and have a son, daughter and grandson.
Donell attended Whittier schools and is a paralegal in the Whittier area. Their son graduated from Pioneer High School and Whittier College. He is a high school teacher and coach in Whittier. Their daughter graduated from California High School and California State University at Long Beach. She is in business in the Whittier area. Their grandson attends middle school in East Whittier and will be attending California High School.
Mr. Schneider has lived in Whittier his whole life. He graduated from Whittier High in 1964, and UCLA in 1968 where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Political Science.
Mr. Schneider served honorably in the Army Infantry from 1969 to 1971. After returning from Vietnam, he earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from Southwestern School of Law. Mr. Schneider earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Whittier College and is a teacher in Whittier at the elementary school that he attended as a child.
His community service has focused on the needs of our Whittier
He has been involved in the Whittier YMCA, youth soccer, and little league.
He served eighteen years as a member of the Board of Trustees in the South Whittier Elementary School District.
Dr. Ralph Pacheco -Member Ralph S. Pacheco has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1991. He and his wife, Deborah, are the parents of three children, and nine grandchildren. Their three adult children all attended theWhittierUnionHighSchool District. Deborah is an active participant in schools and has served as an elected member of the South Whittier School District Board of Education (2001-2009).Dr. Pacheco has also served for seven years as a Governing Board Member (1997-2004) of the Tri-Cities Regional Occupational Program (Tri-Cities ROP).Dr. Pacheco has been an Ordained Minister (Pastor, First Christian Church International) in theWhittiercommunity for many years. He is a co-founder and past President of the Whittier County Community Coordinating Council, Inc., (a 501c3 Non-Profit California Corporation), and Past President of the South Whittier Community Education Foundation.In 1987, Dr. Pacheco established his secular business; Professional Resources Network, LLC, an Educational and Management Consulting firm based inWhittier,California.
In 2008, Dr. and Mrs. Pacheco founded the Leadership Capacity (LC) Foundation, Inc. (CA Non-Profit Faith based Corp.) to expand their service to the faith and educational community inCaliforniasupporting community development and education projects; i.e., womens homes and shelters, professional training conferences and seminars, coaching and mentoring services, ministry programs (e.g., food distribution), mission trips across the nation and around the world.
Dr. Pacheco has served on many distinguished Civic, College and Community Service Agency Boards and Commissions over the past 35 years.
Dr. Pacheco is a former elected Trustee of the Rio Hondo Community College District (1987-1991) and retired from his seat on the College Board when he was elected to the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees. Dr. Pacheco taught as an Adjunct Professor/Biblical Studies,RegencyBibleCollege(1996-2003).He presently serves as School Master of the Leadership Bible Institute.He was awarded his Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) Degree in 1997 fromVisionInternationalUniversity.