Louise Jaffe, EdD, has been elected chair and Andrew Walzer, PhD vice chair of the Santa Monica Community College District Board of Trustees for 2016.
Jaffe succeeds Rob Rader and Walzer succeeds Jaffe. This is the second time Jaffe is serving as chair, having previously held the post in 2009.
A 30-year resident of Santa Monica who first became involved in community and education issues through her two daughters who attended Santa Monica schools, Jaffe was first elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2006.
Jaffe has just finished terms as chair of the Community College League of California, and as president of the California Community College Trustees. She is also a director on the board for the Los Angeles County School Trustees Association and a member of the League of Women Voters of California Study Committee on Higher Education.
“This will be an exciting year! As we welcome Santa Monica College’s new Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn Jeffery, I look forward to introducing her to our community, and vice versa,” said Jaffe. “As Board Chair, I will work with my colleagues and with our new president to ensure that SMC stays on the forefront of academic excellence, and continues to serve our community – and all our students – with distinction.”
Founder of the Santa Monica Lifelong Learning Community Project, Jaffe is also a founding member of the political action committee Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS). She continues to serve on the PTA Council as liaison to SMC, is a member of the Santa Monica Cradle-to-Career Work Group, and the Santa Monica Child Care and Early Education Task Force.
Jaffe works in television, as a script supervisor on the TV show The Simpsons. She earned a doctorate in educational leadership from UCLA in 2012 with an award-winning dissertation on improving college readiness.
Walzer, a resident of Santa Monica for 14 years, was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2006. He served as vice chair in 2010 and as chair in 2011.
“I am gratified to be of service to a college that has changed the face of higher education and has been a hallmark of innovation for almost nine decades,” said Walzer.
He is an Associate Professor of Humanities at Los Angeles City College, and has also been an adjunct instructor at SMC, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Dominguez Hills, and was a political organizer for several years before becoming a professor. He has four children who all attend Santa Monica schools.
Walzer is also a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1521, and is a member of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges. He holds a B.A. in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota.