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Welcome Aboard

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Introducing Dr. Eric Ditwiler and Joseph Navarro, JUSD’s new Board Trustees:

Dr. Eric Ditwiler - Trustee Area 2

Dr. Eric DitwilerDr. Eric Ditwiler grew up between two college towns - Moscow, ID and Pullman, WA - in the middle of a wheat field. Though Moscow and Pullman are less than ten miles apart, they are 300 miles east of Seattle and 300 miles north of Boise. 

“If you wanted to go to K-Mart, you had to drive to Spokane, and that was 80 miles away,” he said. “The level of parental supervision was much less. I remember riding bicycles all over town at all hours of the day and night.”

Dr. Ditwiler relocated to Southern California for college, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Pitzer before pursuing a Master of Arts in Philosophy and a PhD in Education from the Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Ditwiler has worked in higher education his entire adult life and is currently the Director of Assessment, Institutional Research, and Reporting for Southern California University of Health Sciences.

He lives with his wife and two stepsons, who both attend JUSD schools and motivated him to run for School Board. To keep the kids from playing too many video games, he encourages family bike rides and household projects. An Australian Cattle Dog named Max, who recently joined the family, keeps everyone busy and entertained. “I consider myself very fortunate because so far all [Max] has destroyed are cardboard boxes,” joked Dr. Ditwiler. 

When asked what drew him to settle in Jurupa Valley, Dr. Ditwiler said, “The fact that it’s still growing. Most cities in Southern California have hit their walls. [I also] really like the geography - the hills and the rocks, but I didn’t know about the wind.”

Joseph Navarro - Trustee Area 4

Joseph NavarroJoseph Navarro, who goes by Joe, attended Riverside public schools before receiving a degree in History from Cal State San Bernardino. Seven years ago, he and his brother started a business providing point of sale systems, cash registers, and digital menus to restaurants and retailers across the United States. 

“Once we decided [as kids] that we could work together to get away with things, we realized we had a good partnership,” said Joe about his brother. “As soon as we had an opportunity to work together, that was our main goal.”

Joe’s experience with school boards began in the 6th grade while he was attending Magnolia Elementary. A self-proclaimed 2% guy, Joe disliked that his cafeteria offered only chocolate and 1% milk. His father, a lifelong education advocate, encouraged him to bring his concerns to the Board. Joe took his advice, writing and delivering a speech about why there should be more 2% milk in schools. The speech worked, but not everyone was impressed. 

“The head cafeteria manager came up to me and said: Joe, I better see you drinking that milk every day after all the stink you brought up,” he revealed. “I made sure to drink my milk every single day after that.”

Joe’s true motivation to run for School Board came after he moved to Jurupa Valley. Knowing his daughter would one day attend Jurupa schools, he realized he wanted to put his time and effort into the district. Joe’s fiancé, as well as many of her friends and relatives, also teach for JUSD. These ties provided further insight and encouragement. 

While he has many hobbies and interests, Joe’s primary focus is his newborn daughter, Jaxyn. “[She’s] the greatest addition to my family,” he said. “She’s my world. Now I do everything for her.”