WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College’s Board of Trustees on July 10 unanimously ratified the hiring of long-time educator Dr. Arturo Reyes as superintendent/president and welcomed him as the College’s 10th permanent leader to the applause of a packed board meeting room.
Reyes, who previously led the Mendocino-Lake Community College District in Northern California as superintendent/president for six years, will serve part time from July 11 through Aug. 4 as he relocates his family to the community. His three-year contract includes a salary of $303,000.
“It is a new day at Rio Hondo College,” Board of Trustees President Oscar Valladares said. “I am full of confidence that you are the right person to lead this institution. Everyone here is ready to work with you.”
Reyes holds a doctorate in educational leadership from UC Davis and a Master of Arts in education and an administrative services credential from California State University, Sacramento, where he also received Bachelor of Arts degrees in communication studies and Spanish.
Prior to Mendocino College, Reyes served as executive vice president of academic and student affairs at the Solano Community College District, interim president and vice president of academic affairs at San José City College and dean at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento. At Cosumnes River College, he served as a Spanish professor and coach and, later, as dean of humanities and social sciences.
Reyes was praised by board members for his student-focused view of educational priorities.
Board of Trustees Vice President Rosaelva Lomeli lauded Reyes’ ability to connect with students during his meetings with the College community.
Trustee Gary Mendez said Reyes represents the highest-caliber leader, one appropriate to Rio Hondo College’s growing stature and focus.
Board Clerk Vicky Santana and trustee Norma Edith Garcia both discussed the importance of continuing to improve services for students.
“We’re very excited to welcome you on board,” Santana said. “We’ve accomplished a lot, but we also recognize there’s a lot more to be done. I’m very excited that you are here and I’m confident you are the right person for the college at this time.”
“I look forward to your leadership, your vision and your commitment,” Garcia said. “We look forward to working with you. We’ve got some courageous, student-focused work to do together.”
Reyes thanked trustees and pledged his commitment to Rio Hondo College’s continued improvement.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much for trusting in me,” he said. “Very similar to many of you, I come from a background where being here today is a miracle. I thank you for this opportunity.”
Already, Reyes said he’s learned that Rio Hondo College’s faculty, staff and administration share his focus on student success.
“Together, we’re going to do the best we can to make sure we have tremendous improvement in the number of students who come here and that the students who do come here succeed.”
Reyes said he expects Rio Hondo students to perform at the highest levels.
“I don’t believe that some students are more prepared or smarter or more able than others. I believe when they put in the effort and really put their heart into it, that all students will achieve. And that’s what I’m here to promote, that’s what I’m here to support, and I think that together, with your support, we will achieve that,” he said.
3600 Workman Mill Road / Whittier, CA 90601
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE DATE: July 16, 2019
CONTACT: Ruthie Retana