Meet the Board

To relay a message to any of the Board Members, please email [email protected] or via telephone at (562) 698-8121 Extension 1000 in the Superintendent's Office or at their email address below.

Dr. Russell Castañeda Calleros - representing Trustee Area 1
Board Member


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, an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership for social justice from Loyola Marymount University. Russell has dedicated himself to a career in higher education to help create educational opportunities to others that he was offered as a student.


Russell currently serves as the Director of Government and Community Relations at Río Hondo College. He has also served as an adjunct professor of political science for the Los Angeles Community College District. Before arriving at Río Hondo, 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.


Russell has been a Whittier resident for over 45 years. An advocate of public service, Russell has volunteered his time for the Interfaith Food Center, Whittier First Day Coalition, the Whittier Cultural Arts Commission, and the Hispanic Outreach Taskforce. Russell is married to Maria Castañeda Calleros and has embraced the shared vocation of raising three children: Abram, Grace, and Selah. All three children are currently attending Whittier High School. The Castañeda Calleros family remains active with St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Uptown Whittier.


Appointed to the Board in 2010.  Current term through November 2026.



Jaime Lopez - Member


Jaime Lopez - representing Trustee Area 2
Board President

e-mail: [email protected]


Mr. Jaime López was elected in November of 2020 to represent Trustee Area 2 of the Whittier Union High School District. Mr. Lopez was the first in his family to attend college earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Spanish from Cal State Sacramento.  He also holds a graduate degree in Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach. 


Mr. Lopez is a public employee for the City of Santa Ana in the Community Development Agency.   He serves as an appointed member to the Río Hondo College Measure A Citizens Oversight Committee and was a member of the California High School Site Council. 

Jaime and his wife Vanessa, an elementary school teacher, are the proud parents of two Whittier Union High School District students. He is committed to enhancing educational pathways for the youth in our community.


Elected to the Board in 2020.  Current term through November 2024




Dr. Ralph Pacheco - representing Trustee Area 3
Vice President of the Board

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 the Whittier Union High School 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 the Whittier community 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 in Whittier, 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 in California supporting community development and education projects; i.e., women's 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, Regency Bible College (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 from Vision International University.

Elected to the Board in 1991.  Current term through November 2024. 




Irma Rodríguez Moisa - representing Trustee Area 4
Board Member


Irma Rodríguez Moisa was elected to the Board in November 2022.  Ms. Rodríguez Moisa and her husband, Alex M. Moisa, are the parents of three children, all of whom attended high school in the Whittier Union High School District.  Cristina graduated from La Serna High School and went on to earn bachelor and masters degrees from U.C. Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University and is a school psychologist in the Bay Area.  Alex graduated from La Serna High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy degree from UCLA.  Isaac graduated from Whittier High School and is currently a junior at UC Santa Barbara.


Ms. Rodríguez Moisa is an attorney and a partner at Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, headquartered in Cerritos, CA. Ms. Rodríguez Moisa specializes in labor and employment law representing public and private entities.  She earned a bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley, a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University and her law degree from U.C. Berkeley.  In addition to practicing law, Ms. Rodríguez Moisa serves on her Firm’s executive committee, is co-COO and the partner in charge of the Cerritos office.   Ms. Rodríguez serves on several non-profit boards. 


Ms. Rodríguez Moisa’s service as a Trustee is motivated by her belief in public education and is committed to making decisions that will positively impact students, staff and the community.


Elected to the Board in 2022.  Current term through November 2026. 




Gary Mendez - representing Trustee Area 5
Clerk of the Board

Gary’s family first came to the area in 1769 with the Portola Expedition and settled here in the1800’s where he and his family have lived since.


Before being elected to the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees, Gary successfully served five consecutive terms on the Rio Hondo Community College District Board.


He graduated from Whittier High School in 1987 where his family has attended for five generations. While in high school, he earned a certificate in Child Development from R.O.P.  Gary then attended Rio Hondo College where he earned an A.S. in Paralegal Studies and an A.A. in Political Science. While attending Rio Hondo, Gary, at times, experienced homelessness. He then transferred to Sac State (CSU, Sacramento) earning a B.A. in Government while working in the State Legislature.


As a public servant, Gary served in local, state, and federal levels of government as a legislative analyst for the Southern California Association of Governments, the California State Assembly, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Department of Commerce.


Gary is a University of California certified California Naturalist, certified Catalina Island Naturalist, and certified California Climate Science Steward. He is active in many conservancies.


Currently, he is the CEO of a local Nonprofit dedicated to the empowerment, safety, physical, mental, and emotional health of youth. He is a certified Karate Sensei teaching for over thirty-nine years and who holds a fifth degree (Godan) black belt in Okinawan Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito Karate, Kenpo Karate, and Zen (Tai Crane Karate Dojo).


Sensei Gary has led child safety seminars for over thirty years “championing, empowering & protecting children” with the life-skills of mindfulness meditation, self-defense, safety, anti-abduction, evasion, and escape from unthinkable dangers. He is dedicated to protecting and empowering youth and to the academic success of students.


Elected to the Board in 2022.  Current term through November 2026. 


To relay a message to any of the Board Members, please email [email protected] or via telephone at (562) 698-8121 Extension 1000 in the Superintendent's Office or at their email noted above.