Dear Whittier Union Community,
It is with heavy hearts that we share the heartbreaking news of the passing of Dr. Ralph S. Pacheco, a beloved and respected member of our District and the Whittier community. Dr. Pacheco's legacy is one of unwavering commitment and service that spanned an incredible 32 years on the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees.
“Dr. Pacheco was a prominent figure on the Board and his 32 years of unwavering service serve as an inspiration not only to us at the District, but to school boards across the Whittier area,” President Jaime López said. “His dedication to our students has left a lasting impact and we will continue to follow in his steps, ensuring that every decision we make is in the best interest of our students."
Beyond his role on the Board, Dr. Pacheco was an active member of our community, dedicating his time to various civic, college, and community service agency boards and commissions. He was also an ordained minister and co-founder of the Leadership Capacity Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit faith-based organization supporting community development and education projects in California.
"Dr. Pacheco's commitment to education extended to his family, with his wife Deborah also serving as an elected member of the South Whittier School District Board of Education,” Board Vice President Gary Mendez said. “Together, they raised a family deeply rooted in educational values, with all of their children attending Whittier Union. It is an awful loss for all of us who knew him – not just as a colleague, but as a friend. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.”
During his distinguished tenure on the Board, Dr. Pacheco collaborated with five different superintendents, advocating for the best interests of our students at every turn. He played a pivotal role in the passage of three separate community bond measures that significantly benefited our District.
Dr. Pacheco's dedication to our District and the students we serve has been an inspiration to all. His unwavering support for student success, his commitment to excellence and his tireless efforts to improve our schools have left an indelible mark.
While we mourn his passing, let us also celebrate the remarkable contributions Dr. Pacheco made throughout his life. His legacy will forever be a guiding light for our District as we continue our mission “To Achieve and Maintain Excellence.”
“Dr. Pacheco’s legacy of service to the community is eternal,” Board Clerk Josefina E. Canchola said. “He will be remembered for his commitment to the students, staff and teachers of the Whittier Union High School District and for always serving from a place of deep conviction for quality education. I commit to continuing this work in his memory with honor and respect. Que en paz descanse.”
We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all those who had the privilege of knowing Dr. Pacheco. He will be greatly missed, but his impact will be felt for generations to come.
Whittier Union will share information about Dr. Pacheco’s services once they are scheduled and in accordance with the family’s wishes.
Whittier Union Board of Trustees