Board Members

Donald B. Griffith - President
(760) 771-8750
Donald B. Griffith is a former school teacher with nine years middle school teaching experience. He taught mathematics at Palm Desert Middle School from 1989 to 1992. While teaching in Los Angeles County, Mr. Griffith taught Mathematics, Science, English, and Physical Education.
Mr. Griffith has been an attorney since 1992 and in private practice since 1995. Mr. Griffith was on the Desert Bar Association Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2010 and was president of the Desert Bar Association from October 2008 to October 2009. Prior to being elected to the Desert Sands Unified School District Board, he served on the Washington Charter School Governing Board from 2000 to 2002.
Mr. Griffith has participated as a coach in both the Palm Desert Youth Sports League and Palm Desert Youth Soccer League. He also volunteers his time as a regional and state judge for Odyssey of the Mind academic competitions. Mr. Griffith has a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University Fullerton and a Juris Doctor degree from California Southern Law School. He and wife, Donna, are residents of Indian Wells and their son attends college in Texas.
Appointed in June 2008 and first elected in November 2008.  Current term expires in December 2018.
Gary Tomak - Vice President/Clerk
(760) 771-8753
Mr. Tomak has served on the Desert Sands Unified School District Board of Education since 1999. He has written numerous in-depth articles on successful schools and proven academic programs which have been published both locally and nationally.
He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Syracuse University in New York with a major in Finance. In 1993, he received his MBA from Claremont University in California.
Mr. Tomak is a veteran of the United States Air Force and has completed a twenty-five year career with the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller and supervisor at the Los Angeles Air Traffic Control Center. He also is a commercial pilot and has taught many years as an instrument flight instructor.
Locally, Mr. Tomak serves as a volunteer with several organizations including the Friends of the La Quinta Library. He continues to be a member of Claremont University’s Peter F. Drucker School of Management alumni board. Nationally, he is associated with the Center for Education Reform which advocates high standards, accountability, school choice, and proven instructional programs.
First elected in November 1999.  Current term expires in December 2020.
Michael Duran - Board Member
(760) 771-8755

Mr. Duran is an active educator who has worked for Desert Sands Unified at Indio High School and John Glenn Middle School, as a teacher, counselor, swim and water polo coach. While an employee, Mr. Duran was twice elected President of the Desert Sands Teachers Association. He was elected to his current position on the Desert Sands Board of Education in November of 2006. Mr. Duran is a graduate of the University of Southern California earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the Entrepreneurial School of Business and has a Master’s Degree from Azusa Pacific University, earning his Pupil Personnel Certificate in counseling. Mr. Duran has resided in La Quinta, California for 22 years. He has three daughters. All attend public schools in Desert Sands. Mr. Duran is currently employed as a counselor in the Palm Springs Unified School District. 
First elected in November 2006.  Current term expires in December 2018.

Wendy Jonathan - Board Member
(760) 771-8751
Wendy Jonathan is a former schoolteacher with twenty-five years experience as an elementary school teacher; her last eleven with the Desert Sands Unified School District.  She retired in June 2012 from Ronald Reagan Elementary School.
Mrs. Jonathan has her GATE credential as well as her International Baccalaureate credential. While teaching she served as the GATE Coordinator, Odyssey of the Mind Coach, Science Fair Coordinator, and Math Field Coordinator.  She continues to volunteer her time as a judge at the district science fair.
Mrs. Jonathan attended the University of Southern California, where she met and married her husband, Sabby Jonathan.  Together, they raised their two sons, both of whom received their education through DSUSD.  Daniel is an attorney with Kirkland and Ellis in Los Angeles, and Josef is attending USC in a Masters Program.
Mrs. Jonathan has a consulting business specializing in education, and also assists her husband with operating his CPA firm.  She and her husband are involved in many charitable organizations, including the Family YMCA of the Desert, the Boys & Girls Club, the Living Desert, Desert Sands Educational Foundation, and Youth & Government.
First elected in November 2012.  Current term expires in December 2020.
Linda Porras - Board Member

Current term expires in December 2020.

Madalynn Barnes - Student Board Member, Horizon School
Paris Burgie - Student Board Member, Shadow Hills High School
Michelle Fausto - Student Board Member, Indio High School
Danielle Galvin - Student Board Member, Palm Desert High School
Anahi Garibay - Student Board Member, Amistad High School
Trevor Oakes - Student Board Member, Summit High School
Mathew Rom-Toribio - Student Board Member, La Quinta High School