Board Members & Area Maps
In This Section
We, the Members of the Monterey County Office of Education, must do everything measured by the following standards:
We must make every decision in consideration of the children and the public schools that serve them.
We must be passionate in our commitment to excellence-excellence in education; excellence in teaching; excellence in administration; excellence in governance.
We must conduct ourselves with dignity and civility.
We must never allow political partisanship to shape our agenda.
We must continue to represent and serve all of our constituents-county schools, urban districts, suburban districts, rural districts, small districts.
We must embrace, value and celebrate the diversity of our county's residents.
Therefore, We resolve to support the Mission of the Monterey County Office of Education.
Board Members and Trustee Area Maps
Annette Yee Steck
Annette Yee Steck represents Trustee Area One which covers Big Sur, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Cachagua, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and a portion of the City of Monterey. This area encompasses all of the following school districts: Big Sur Unified, Carmel Unified and Pacific Grove Unified and a portion of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. She was first elected to the Monterey County Board of Education in July 2022. Prior to that she served as a Board Member of the Carmel Unified School District. Ms. Yee Steck was first elected to that Board in 1993 and retired in November 2020. She served as Board President numerous times during her service to the Carmel District.
Ms. Yee Steck is a financial advisor who consults on general obligation bonds, certificates of participation, lease revenue bonds, Community Facilities District bonds and Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) for California school districts. Her entire career, which began in 1983, has been in public finance, and she has worked exclusively for school districts since 1996. She completed the California School Board Association’s Masters in Governance program in 2004. Because of her board experience and her knowledge of school finance and facilities, Ms. Yee Steck became part of the Masters in Governance faculty in 2005 and is an instructor for MIG 3 - School Finance and Facilities, MIG 4 - Collective Bargaining and MIG County Offices of Education.
Ms. Yee Steck has served on the Board of Community Human Services since 1993, and is the chair of that board’s Finance Committee.
Ms. Yee Steck has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics and Economics Systems Science from the University of California, Los Angeles where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
A long-time Monterey County resident, John McPherson has served on the Monterey County Board of Education since 2012. He has been a leading advocate in the fight against Human Trafficking in Monterey County, and was the catalyst for the County Board of Education adopting an anti trafficking campaign as one of its goals, and has spoken before many civic and business groups on the issue. In addition to his work on the Board of Education, Mr. McPherson is on the executive committee for the California County School Boards Association, has served as a delegate to the California School Boards Association Delegate Assembly, and was previously the President of the Oversight Board for the Sand City Redevelopment Successor Agency.
Professionally, Mr. McPherson has been Executive Director for three non-profit organizations, and also held executive roles in both the produce and financial services industry. He demonstrates his passion for young people through coaching youth sports, and volunteering with the Buena Vista 4H Club. Also an author, Mr. McPherson has written a book on parenting titled “Ten Simple Rules for Being a Better Parent.”
A graduate of the University of Southern California in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Mr. McPherson resides with his wife Christina and two children in Las Palmas.
Heather Owen represents the North Monterey County area of Trustee Area Three and has 23 years experience as an education professional. Ms. Owen graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Human Development and a Spanish minor, and received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a CLAD Certificate from Chapman University. She worked as a kindergarten and first grade teacher, and as the Director of Education for Sylvan Learning Center.
Ms. Owen moved to Monterey County in 2001 and started working for National Geographic School Publishing. She was part of a team that created English Language Development textbooks and materials.
She has served as a member of numerous community groups including the Site Council Committee for Prunedale School, the LCAP Committee for North Monterey County Unified School District, the Prunedale Park Planning Committee, Lagunita Parent Teacher Club, Monterey County Mounted Search and Rescue Team, and as a Chualar 4-H Project Leader.
Ms. Owen is a mother of three school-age boys that all attend our local public schools.
Janet Wohlgemuth is the Trustee for Area 4, which encompasses the southeastern and southwestern parts of the city of Salinas. She was elected to the board in November 2015.
Janet Wohlgemuth was born and raised in Monterey County, attended local schools and received her degree in Fire Science from Hartnell Community College. For over 30 years, Ms. Wohlgemuth has worked with young adults aged 18-25, for the California Conservation Corps, teaching emergency response such as fighting fires, floods, and earthquakes, and working outdoors to improve natural resources. She was awarded the Governor’s Safety Award in 2000, and was the Past President of the CA County Board of Education. She is the current delegate for Region 9 county. www.theccbe.org
Ms. Wohlgemuth has two sons that have attended local schools. Her oldest is currently attending the University of Alabama. Building a strong community is one of her biggest priorities. She is deeply invested in her community and has served as Vice President and Treasurer of the Laurel Wood School PTC Board, Continental Little League Board of Directors and Umpire, is a 4H volunteer, Salinas Valley Model Railroad Museum docent, Salinas Rodeo committee member, and a foster care parent.
Jaime Fernandez began his term on the Board in January 2023, representing Trustee Area 5, South Monterey County. Prior to that Mr. Fernandez served as a Board Member for the Soledad Unified School District. Mr. Fernandez is a graduate of Hartnell College with two Associate of Arts degrees in Criminology and Corrections. Mr. Fernandez received a Bachelor’s Degree from Chapman University in Organizational Leadership, is a graduate of the National FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and has served on many other boards in South Monterey County.
Mary Claypool is a prominent Seaside business leader and is the Trustee for Area 6, encompassing the cities of Marina, Seaside and Sand City. She was first appointed to the Monterey County Board of Education on November 7, 2012.
Ms. Claypool has been a resident of Monterey County since 1967 and has served on various parent-teacher associations, worked directly in classrooms, and served as a member of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee. She has 42 years of experience working in finance, community development, economic development redevelopment and budget/management for local government, including the City of Seaside and County of Monterey. She is well versed in developing and monitoring public agency budgets, and working directly with small businesses. Ms. Claypool holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Business Management.
Ms. Claypoool has served on numerous non-profit boards and associations, including Monterey County Branch NAACP, Monterey County Civil Rights Commission, Community Human Services, Central Coast Visiting Nurses' Association, Seaside Planning Commission, City of Seaside C-Jobs Task Force, California Association for Local Economic Development Officials (CALED), and the Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley Chambers of Commerce.
Graduating from Leadership Monterey Peninsula in 1989, Ms. Claypool received in 1994 a Senate Rules Committee Resolution and Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community as well as Woman of Achievement Award from the Seaside Business and Professional Women’s Club. In 2014 she received the Monterey County Woman of the Year Award and Visiting Nurses' Association & Hospice Woman of the Year Award.
Ms. Claypool's goal is to ensure that all students have access to a quality education and to keep the community informed and engaged in the education system in Monterey County.
Sandra Ocampo came to Salinas from Brownsville, Texas in her twenties. Her family owned a successful business in the Rio Grand Valley.
Sandra was the owner of a beauty salon and a real estate office in Salinas for many years. She was the co-founder of the AMA (Alisal Business Association) in 1995. Sandra has served as a trustee for the Salinas Union High School District for 20 years.
Sandra believes in community. She has assisted countless people in Salinas with their educational concerns. She is an advocate for foster students and believes that education is the road to success. Sandra is always transparent in her relationships with people and organizations.