Left to right, new Board Trustees Richard Asadoorian, Cynthia Ruehlig, and Ellen Elster, along with Superintendent of Schools, Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.
At the last Contra Costa County Board of Education meeting (December 8), the exciting evening featured the installation and introduction of the three newest Board of Education trustees, as well as the county’s returning superintendent of schools. The newly elected trustees will join the two sitting members, Pamela Mirabella (Area 1) and Daniel Gomes (Area 3). In addition, Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., was also sworn in to begin his fifth term as the county’s superintendent of schools.
Along with Dr. Ovick, most of the attendees recognized another familiar face, Ellen Elster, who has participated in many Board meetings over the years. Elster worked at the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) for 34 years, retiring last year as deputy superintendent of schools. During her tenure with the CCCOE, she also served as a special education teacher, ROP program manager, ROP director, and associate superintendent of Student Programs and Services. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in social studies, and a Master's Degree in school administration. Elster will be representing Area 2, which includes: Clyde, Crockett, Hercules, Martinez, Pacheco, Port Costa, Rodeo, and parts of Bay Point, Concord, Kensington, Lafayette, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, and Richmond.
Richard Asadoorian is another education veteran joining the Board, he is a former teacher, counselor, activities director and principal for schools grades K-12. In addition, he has served on two school board finance committees. Asadoorian has resided and worked in Arizona, Oregon, and Fresno, where he served as principal of Fresno Continuation High School. He has also donated many hours of his time as a counselor with several volunteer organizations. Asadoorian holds a Master’s Degree in education theory. His Area 4 covers Blackhawk, Clayton, Danville, Diablo, San Ramon, and parts of Alamo, Antioch, Bay Point, Concord, Pittsburg, and Walnut Creek.
Completing the new group of trustees is Cynthia Ruehlig, who currently works as a clerk for Contra Costa County’s Children & Family Services. Ruehlig’s additional community service also includes serving as the webmaster for St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, chief steward for American Federation of State County Municipal Employees-Local 2700, a member of the CCC Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Council, and an administrator for the Antioch Music Foundation. She possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in English. Her Area 5 includes: Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley, and parts of Antioch, Bay Point, and Pittsburg.
The five-member Contra Costa County Board of Education establishes educational policies for the programs administered by the County Office of Education. These programs include special education, career technical education, and court and community schools.
Along with Dr. Ovick and the newest board members’ installation proceedings, the board elected their upcoming year’s officers:
Pamela Mirabella, president
Cynthia Ruehlig, vice president
Richard Asadoorian, clerk