Desert Sands's Board Introductions - 10/11

Board Introductions - 10/11

Board Introductions - 10/11
Posted on 10/12/2022
New/Recently Promoted Employees

Board introductions made at the October 11, Board of Education meeting:

Kaela Bonafede, Mental Health Therapist
Kaela earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Master's degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino. She has worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist throughout the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley over the last 5 years most recently working with Riverside County Latino Commission at Coachella Valley Unified School District. Kaela is a Coachella Valley native and a product of Desert Sands Unified School District. She enjoys spending her free time with her family, riding horses, and hiking. She would like to acknowledge Maria and John Bonafede this evening.

Javier Duenas, Supervisor of Custodial Services
Javier attended Frederick College where he earned 60 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) units. His current educational plans include earning his associate of arts degree in Business Management from College of the Desert. Javier has worked for Desert Sands for the last 17 years as a custodian, central lead custodian, and now as a Supervisor of Custodial Services. He holds many certifications as a trainer, operator, and handler. Javier is very family oriented. He enjoys traveling, watching soccer live or on tv, reading, walking, and exercising. He would like to acknowledge his wife Graciela and son Javier, who have supported him throughout his career.  

Meredith Greenwood, Assistant Principal, Desert Ridge Academy
Meredith earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Eastern Connecticut State University and her Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Curriculum & Instruction from Brandman University. She has been an educator in Desert Sands for over 20 years. In 2019 she received the Bilingual Education Succeeding Together (BEST) Award for Site Support Employee of the Year. Meredith volunteers and supports non-profit animal rescue organizations throughout the Coachella Valley. She enjoys traveling, entertaining, and reading. This evening she would like to acknowledge her mother, daughter, friends, colleagues, and her beloved dogs Pippa and Stella who have supported her throughout the years.

James Harper, Assistant Principal, Glenn Middle School
Jay earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Earth Science at Western Washington University. He completed his Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a GATE emphasis from Cal State San Bernardino.  He is now in his 23rd year at Desert Sands though he did take a 1-year hiatus to work at a dual immersion IB school in Costa Rica. Over the years he has earned multiple teachers of the year awards at John Glenn. Jay loves the outdoors and in order to keep up with the pace of his kids, he plays and coaches multiple soccer teams in the valley. Jay would like to acknowledge his wife Kristin who has worked at Truman Elementary for 23 years and their two boys, Mica and Kade who currently attend La Quinta High School. 

Carlos Montiel, Site Manager, Nutrition Services
Carlos earned his Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Los Angeles. He has 13 years of professional kitchen experience, nearly 5 years in distribution, and 4.5 years in Central Kitchen and Warehouse Operations which allowed him to develop a leadership style that is adaptive and inclusive. Carlos enjoys camping and spending time outdoors with his family. He would like to acknowledge his wife Suzy, and kids Alexia and Evan.

Rudy Wilson, Ed.D., Resolution & Compliance Officer, Personnel Services
Dr. Wilson earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Southern California. He earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Cal State San Bernardino and his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne. He is now in his 33rd year in education having served as a teacher, and administrator in elementary, middle, and high schools. Outside of family and USC Football, Rudy most enjoys working in his shop on  classic cars which currently consist of a (’70 Challenger, ‘70 Chevelle, ‘72 Cutlass, and ’68 Coronet). He states that his greatest accomplishment is 25 years of marriage to his beautiful wife who is a teacher for Hemet Unified. Together they have seen all four of their children graduate from Desert Sands schools.

Mandy Wiltrout, Assistant Principal, Palm Desert High School
Mandy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Cal State San Bernardino and her Master of Arts in Education Counseling from Azusa Pacific. She is in her 22nd year in education, the last 16 here at Desert Sands. She enjoys beach and river trips, hiking, watching sports, and spending time with her three sons.

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