Three Rancho Santiago Community College District trustees are up for re-election this year, with the Area 4 and Area 6 making it onto the Santa Ana ballot and incumbent John Hanna unopposed in Area 2. The board met for the final session with the current elected officials on Oct. 29, and the newly elected officials for the 2018 session will convene Nov. 26 for a regular meeting at 4:30 p.m. at the District Offices on Broadway.
Larry Labrado currently supervises Area 4, which borders the city of Garden Grove, and was first elected to serve in this position in November 1994. Labrado is the current chairperson of the Board Facilities and Board Policy Committees in addition to his designated trustee position. Based on a statement on the RSCCD website, Labrado supports the advancement of education for Orange County youth along with educational opportunities for Latino children and adults. Labrado is well versed in educational management and was the previous Outreach Director at California State University, Fullerton and is a SAC alum.
Orange County native John Ortega will also be on the ballot for the Area 4 position. An alum of Santiago Canyon College, Ortega is no stranger to RSCCD’s campuses (his daughter also graduated from SCC). Ortega currently oversees Area 2 of the Orange Unified School District and has been overseeing the K-12 students in this area for the last 17 years. Ortega wants to strengthen students success at the community college level throughout their educational endeavors to provide them with a better future.
“At the OUSD level we are dealing with K-12 individual students. At the college level we’d be dealing with adults helping them with whatever guidance they need. So if we were able to pass some things that could further enhances them in their pursuit of whatever they want to do in their future then that’s what I want to be on the RSCCD board doing,” Ortega told el Don.
Phillip Yarbrough hopes to be elected to serve his seventh term on the board. Anaheim born and Orange County-raised, Yarbrough is a big supporter of improving the lives and living conditions of people living within Orange County. He has been an active member of the RSCCD Board of Trustees since 1994, overseeing Area 6 which borders Santiago Canyon College. Yarbrough additionally serves on several other committees that have put him at the forefront of decision making for many years.
Diane Singer is vying for incumbent Yarbrough’s position on the board. A professor of marketing and business administration at Brandman University, Singer is a working mother who has two masters degrees and a doctorate in higher education and leadership. With five years under her belt as the Orange Unified School District Area 1 board member, she has experience serving and finding resolutions on an active board. She is a strong believer in doing the right thing and wants to impact decision making and challenge RSCCD leadership to ensure things are always done properly.
“You have management, and you have leadership. Management’s job is to do things right. The leadership’s job is to do the right thing,” Singer told el Don. “So if the leadership has a concern about management doing the things right, then they have to tell the management what they should do and management is going to do it, and I think there is a gap here […] Some of the decisions that have been made are at the management level, to me indicate that leadership isn’t doing the right thing, so we need to figure out how to fill that gap.”
John Hanna, who is running unopposed, oversees students living around the borders of Irvine and Santa Ana. He will automatically keep his Area 2 position on the RSCCD board until 2022. Hanna has held the position since 1998.
“I think people know that I fight fair but I fight, so if someone was going to come running against me, they knew they’d be in for a fight. I think that kind of discouraged some people from running against me and I like to think that people thought I did a good job,” Hanna said.