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GOVERNANCE BOARD MEMBERS
ARLEEN PELSTER - CHAIRMAN
I am a resident of the Lompoc Valley for 36 years. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic State University - Pomona. I have worked for city
municipalities as a land use planner for 33 years, including 24 years with the City of Lompoc and 5 years with the City of Solvang. My job responsibilities included review of proposals for new development, environmental review, redevelopment, and long-range land use planning. I also worked with building department staff to ensure construction complied with applicable regulations. My work included provision of staff support to various boards and commissions.
I have served on the Governance Board since January 2018. I strive to work with fellow Board members and staff to ensure Manzanita Public Charter School accomplishes its mission of excellence in education. I also draw upon my work experience to support the staff with projects involving physical improvements to the campus.
KRISHNA FLORES- VICE CHAIRMAN
I have been a member of the Manzanita Public Charter School Governance Board since October 2018 and currently serves as Vice Chair.
As a proud parent of a Manzanita graduate, I witnessed firsthand the dedication and commitment of the entire Manzanita staff to ensure that scholars grow and thrive in a supportive learning environment.
My focus is on deep and sustained equitable and inclusive public education for all. I am committed to fostering a school environment that balances academic achievement with social and emotional learning. I work in collaboration with the Board to ensure fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability. The fiscal health of Manzanita facilitates its ability to offer and expand dedicated academic programs such as visual and performing arts, outdoor education, and physical education.
I have a Master’s Degree in Psychology and previously held Human Resources Director positions for mass communications companies. In addition to serving on the MPCS Board, I volunteer as a member of the School Advisory Council at OAHS and volunteered at various VSFB organizations to support its military community.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the scholars and staff at MPCS.
ELI VILLANUEVA- SECRETARY
After growing up in Lompoc and attending Lompoc schools (LHS class of 1995), I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Chapman University followed by a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Trident University. I also hold a pharmacy technician license from the State of California. The majority of my career has been in the health care and health insurance industry. I have held various roles in both public and private settings. I currently have 2 scholars attending Manzanita Public Charter School. Fun fact: I also enjoy and am currently learning how to prepare taxes. In my free time I enjoy being outside in nature such as hiking, mountain biking, and camping. I also enjoy volunteering in my local community when time permits. Feel free to reach out to me if there’s anything I can help you with. I also speak Spanish if that is your preferred language (se habla español).
MONIQUE MANGINO- TREASURER
I have served on the Manzanita Governance Board for 6 years. I was raised in Lompoc and graduated from Lompoc High School in 1983. I began my college education at Allan Hancock Community College and transferred to Cal State University, Northridge where I earned a B.S. Degree in Business Management. After graduation, I worked in Human Resources for California Federal Bank and then for Lockheed Martin Technical Operations. In 1997, my family left Lompoc and moved to Connecticut (5 years), Illinois (2 Years) and Redlands, CA (11 Years). We moved back to Lompoc in 2015.
I have been married to my husband Mike for 32 years and we have two adult daughters. When our children were in grade school I began to work as an Instructional Assistant in their Catholic school. All told I have worked in elementary schools for nearly 20 years. I have been employed as a certificated Substitute Teacher in the Lompoc Unified School District for the past 4 years.
I enjoy working with elementary students, learning new curriculum, and teaching methods and collaborating with dedicated teaching professionals.
ERIC WILHELM- MEMBER
Born in California a long time ago, I was raised in Alaska, Minnesota, Maryland, and Australia. Yes, my father worked for the government. Six months after being discharged from the army, I returned to Viet Nam and taught English there until the evacuation in 1975. My adventures there inspired me to finish my Degree in Anthropology, which I never used professionally, but which gave me a good insight into life in general.
My daughter was a Manzanita scholar from kindergarten through 6th grade. When we visited the school to check it out, the thing that impressed me the most was a friendly dog (Radar) running loose on campus. I thought if the school was cool enough to allow that, it must be more than just okay. I wasn't wrong. Serving on the Governance Board is a way to thank the school for giving my daughter an excellent start on her academic life.
BETH CHI- MEMBER
I was born and raised in North Carolina, and I moved to California after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I lived in the Bay Area for several years then moved to Lompoc in April 2004 with my husband Ted. I worked in various industries after college including advertising, the non-profit sector, and human resources. Shortly after my daughter Abigail was born in January 2012, I decided to be a full time stay at home mom. During my years as a stay-at-home mom, I have stayed active in the Lompoc community. I was a member of MOMS Club of Lompoc (a local chapter of International MOMS Club) from June 2012 through June 2020. While a member of MOMS Club of Lompoc I served as the Newsletter Editor for three years (2013-2016), and I served on the Executive Board as Treasurer for three years (2016-2019). I currently volunteer every Monday as a delivery driver for Meals on Wheels.
My husband and I have two children, Abigail (5th grade) and Oliver (2nd grade). This is their fourth year attending Manzanita PCS. I have volunteered in my kids’ classrooms since Abigail started kindergarten. I love getting to know their teachers and the other scholars in their classes. I served on the School Site Council from October 2020 through June 2022. I am glad that I can continue to support the scholars, teachers, staff, administrators, and families of Manzanita PCS as a member of the Governance Board
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