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Governing Board seats replaced with new faces

Recently elected trustees settle into district offices

By Rodney Woodson, editor-in-chief
On March 6, 2013

Elected into office in the November general election, the two newest trustees of the Contra Costa Community College Governing Board were sworn in during a meeting on Dec. 12.
Vicki Gordon and Greg Enholm were selected by voters to replace former board members Tomi Van de Brooke and Robert Calone to represent Wards 2 and 5 respectively.
Sheila Grilli, the trustee who oversees Ward 3, assumed the position of district board president on Dec. 12, taking over for Van de Brooke.
"They're both doing well," Governing Board Trustee John Marquez said, referring to his newest colleagues. "They both have experience in board policies. I think we'll work well together."
Enholm, a former high school math teacher and current professor at DeVry University, served on the Ambrose Recreation and Park District Board in Bay Point.  Ward 5 is a familiar area for Enholm.
Since 2004 he has been the District 5 County Library commissioner. He is also a member of the Contra Costa County Democratic Central Committee.
"Now that I am actually a board member, (my job) is more time consuming than I expected," Enholm said. "I have four cities in my ward, six school boards and seven unincorporated communities. It's not possible to go to all these meetings."
Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley and Brentwood all fall under Ward 5.
Los Medanos College and the Brentwood Center fall under his jurisdiction.
As the library commissioner Enholm has been involved with the Governing Board since 2004, attending and participating in Governing Board meetings during the open sessions. As a trustee, Enholm said he has to grow accustom to the closed session meetings.
Open sessions of Governing Board meetings are open to the public and others who are not serving on the board. Closed sessions are for board trustees only.
While Gordon has served on the school board for the Martinez Unified School District for years, she has to familiarize herself with serving on a board of higher education.
"I was on a K-12 board for 15 years," Gordon said. "There are a lot of similarities but also a lot of new things. I'm enjoying it thoroughly and it's been an eye opener."
She said a major difference is that there is a faculty senate that makes curriculum decisions at the community college level.
At the K-12 level, Gordon said, curriculum decisions start at the individual schools with the principals. The decisions then go to a curriculum committee before going to the MUSD board for approval.
She said a major similarity is dealing with Student Learning Outcomes (SLO).
SLOs are quizzes geared to assess what a student has learned in comparison to what they should know by the end of any given course. An SLO is given to each student upon entering a course and the same SLO is given to the student at course's end.
Gordon said initially she was running for an open seat, which at one point, was vacated by former Ward 2 trustee Van de Brooke. Nearing the filing deadline, Van de Brooke decided to run for the district board, pitting her against Gordon.
"It was supposed to be an open seat," Gordon said. "I thought (serving on the board) was a big step for me. (I figured) it was a homecoming for me as well. I wanted to come home and give back."
The Diablo Valley College alumnus is happy to be a part of her old college's district board, representing its faculty, staff and students.
"I'm hoping to (reach out) and bring together the K-12 and four-year college relationships that I've built to the community college system to open avenues for students."
Before becoming a board member in the MUSD, Gordon served as a teacher in the Martinez and Pittsburg school districts. Though Gordon may be new to the board, her family is no stranger to the district or education.
The district headquarters building is named after her late father-in-law George R. Gordon.

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