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Robert Garcia, President

Trustee Area 1 - 714.745.9995

Robert Garcia was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas.  After graduation from high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving from 1988-1995.  In 1991, he served in Operation Desert Storm.

Robert and his wife Carolyn have three children, Nicolas, Amanda, and Desmond, all top honor graduates of the Jurupa Unified School District: Pedley Elementary School, Jurupa Middle School, and Patriot High School.

Public service is important to Robert, and his work with various school-district and civic groups in Jurupa includes:

  • School Site/Advisory Council/GATE/PTA:  School/District Governance/Parent Involvement
  • DADS:  Grassroots effort to promote fathers' involvement
  • Jurupa District Lions Club:  Student Support/Scholarships and Sight Preservation Programs
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars:  Military Veteran support programs
  • Jurupa Unified School District Board of Education:  President/Member
  • Jurupa Valley Chamber of Commerce:  Board Member

Robert's motto is "Parent Involvement is the key to student success," and his top priority is graduation rate improvement in three steps:

  • Communication:  Stakeholder communication - transparency
  • Education:  Focus on STEM/Arts and Humanities
  • Parent Involvement:  Involve parents early and build a lasting foundation
Robert holds an Electrical Engineering Degree and Certificate in Management for Technical Professionals.  He works as a Quality Assurance Manager at a manufacturing and engineering firm.

Silvia Ortega, Member​

Trustee Area 2 -

Silvia Ortega and her twin brother were born in Santa Ana, Calif., in 1987. Silvia is one of seven children born to immigrant parents who came to live in Rubidoux, Jurupa Valley in 1988. She rose from a humble background to earn a degree in Business Administration, with a minor in Hospitality Management, from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. 

As a graduate of JUSD, Silvia has a continual commitment to serve and see local youth become leaders and succeed in college and careers. She believes firmly that parents are their children's first teacher and their home is their first school. Silvia works tirelessly to educate communities on the need to support pregnant parents and home visitation initiatives, as that is where health and education begin. 

Silvia herself learned the values of faith, education and leadership at an early age. She developed leadership skills through the Jurupa Unified School District Youth Opportunity Center, and cultivated public speaking skills by presenting and writing bills in the state Capitol for three years as a youth and government delegate. She also was awarded the prestigious Character Counts Award, which honors those who demonstrate the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. 

For several years, Silvia has worked in the nonprofit sector, earning certificates in Professional Life Coaching and Community Health Work from Loma Linda University and the Promotores Academy at El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center. Through her work in El Sol NEC as a family support worker for pregnant mothers and their families, she became an integral part of the accreditation process for the Home Visitation Expectant Mothers Program.  As a paraprofessional, Silvia has shown an exceptional capacity to engage with families, young children and professionals. She is devoted in making a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable families in our community. 

Silvia finds joy in working side by side with community members to create strong and healthy foundations for children and families.  She promotes and lives by her motto: "Together, we can be the positive impact in a child's life and change future generations to come"

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Karen Bradford, Member

Trustee Area 3 -

Karen Bradford is an award-winning writer, public-relations planner and photographer whose clients have ranged from an archaeology and paleontology museum to cyberspace forensics. She previously taught at University of California Riverside.

She was appointed to and chaired the Riverside County Commission for Women, officially advising the board of supervisors on matters of county women and their families; chaired several nonprofit boards; and was honored on the Riverside County YWCA's centennial as a Woman of Achievement. She coordinated local and international grants and scholarships through her membership in Rotary International and contributed as a volunteer photojournalist on its medical missions in India, Peru and Venzuela. Karen has traveled extensively in the world, often alone, and has found kindness in every culture.

Karen's goals for JUSD are that each student graduates, is encouraged to seek vocational or higher education and is prepared to face adulthood.

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Linda Chard, Board Clerk

Trustee Area 4 -


Erasmo (Memo) Mendez, Member

Trustee Area 5 -

Memo Mendez is a graduate of the University of Redlands and holds a M.A in Educational Administration from the University of California, Riverside.  He has extensive experience in the field of education spanning more than three decades as a classroom teacher, administrator, and most recently, Supervisor of Teacher Education at the University of California, Riverside. Currently he is serving his second term as a Trustee on the Board of Education for the Jurupa Unified School District, and as an elected Delegate to the California School Boards Association. His passion for education dates back to the beginning of his career teaching 7th/8th Grade English and Social Studies, then later becoming Director of a Bilingual Title VII Program, principal of three elementary schools, and Director of Curriculum.  Mr. Mendez has also served as a consultant in the field of Bilingual Education to the California Department of Education, Riverside County Office of Education, and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools.

In regards to organizations, Memo was instrumental in establishing the Riverside CABE Chapter, later becoming its president, and in the mid-1980s Director of Financial Affairs for the CABE State Board.

Each of his career roles as a middle school teacher, elementary school principal, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Categorical Programs, Supervisor of Teacher Education and Lecturer at the University of California Riverside, have provided him with a variety of venues to champion educational opportunities for all students and the value education has in the development of vibrant communities.

Memo was recognized as Administrator of the Year for the Jurupa Unified School District and the recipient of the California PTA Honorary Service Award. He has been featured in a short essay "Back to School", written by one of his former students at National University in a book entitled, Why I Teach: Inspirational Stories from Teachers Who Make a Difference by Esther Wright. He was also featured in the University of California Quarterly Publication, Fiat Luz.

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