Chabot-Las Positas board names Heredia new Area 4 trustee

Also: Las Positas College announces new academic VP as search continues for next president

The Chabot-Las Positas Community College District (CLPCCD) Board of Trustees has just appointed retired department chair Maria Heredia to the seat of Area 4 trustee.

Heredia will serve on the board for the next year-plus representing the district that includes Castro Valley and parts of Oakland -- a position vacated when longtime trustee Donald “Dobie” Gelles died unexpectedly in May of congestive heart failure at the age of 80.

"We are pleased to announce Ms. Heredia to the Board of Trustees," said board president Edralin "Ed" Maduli in a statement. "Her 30 years of community college experience, commitment to student success and knowledge of the areas in which she will serve will make her a valuable addition to our diverse and dedicated board."

The board ended up selecting Heredia from among 10 candidates, according to the district. Heredia also underwent an application review process and interviews with current board members.

A longtime veteran of local academia, Heredia spent four decades before retirement working in various roles at City College of San Francisco and Merritt, Laney and Chabot colleges, including department chair and counselor and serving on multiple committees.

She attended Holy Names University in Oakland, where she received a bachelor’s in sociology and Spanish, and then later earned her master’s in school and career counseling from San Francisco State University. Heredia also has an extensive history of volunteer work with parent education associations and voter registration drives.

Heredia, who will hold the position until the next board election in November 2020, will take the oath of office at the board’s regular meeting on July 16, 6:30 p.m., at the CLPCCD administrative office, 7600 Dublin Blvd. in Dublin.

The district also recently welcomed Kristina Whalen as the new academic vice president at Las Positas College. A former City College of San Francisco (CCSF) administrator, the school lauded Whalen’s “collaborative” leadership style in an announcement last Friday.

"Kristina brings a reputation of collaborative problem-solving and an inclusive and innovative manner of leadership," said interim president Roanna Bennie. "We're pleased to have her as part of our team and look forward to her input and influence on campus."

Before coming onboard with Las Positas, Whalen was associate vice chancellor of instruction, enrollment management and instructional support services at CCSF. She also previously held positions at the school as dean of fine, applied and communication arts, department chair of speech communication, and student learning outcomes coordinator.

Prior to her time at CCSF, Whalen was also a coordinator for "Leading from the Middle," a leadership development program that currently provides mentorship to Las Positas leaders through the school’s Guided Pathways education efforts. Whalen, who has a Master’s in rhetoric and public address and a PhD in speech communication from Florida State University, starts her tenure this month.

In the meantime, Las Positas is nearing the end of its search for a new president. Former president Barry Russell retired in April 2018 after five years leading the Livermore campus. Bennie, who was vice president of academic services at the time, was selected to temporarily step in while the school looks for a new leader.

Potential candidates have until Aug. 19 to submit applications for the position. The district expects whomever is chosen as the new president to assume duties on or about Jan. 1, 2020. To learn more about qualifications and requirements for the position, please visit

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