Monterey County Board of Education Members

Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Deneen Guss, County Superintendent of Schools

Board Members


Board Member | Term expires 2022


Notice is hereby given to all qualified persons that an election will be held in Trustee Area One of the Monterey County Board of Education on June 7, 2022, for the purposes of electing ONE (1) member to the Board of Trustees, Trustee Area One, for a term expiring upon the qualification of a successor in office following the November 8, 2022 election.

Trustee Area One consists mainly of New Monterey, Pacific Grove, Del Monte Forest, Carmel-by the-Sea, Carmel Valley, and Big Sur.

Information regarding filing for this seat may be obtained by calling the Elections Department at (831) 796-1499.

John McPhersonJohn McPherson

Board Member | Term: 2015 through 2024


John McPherson represents Trustee Area 2, which extends from South Salinas to the City of Monterey, as well as mid-County including Chualar and Gonzales. Trustee Area Two encompasses all or major of eight different school districts. Mr. McPherson was elected to the Board of Education in November 2011. A long-time Monterey County resident, John has been a leading advocate in the fight against Human Trafficking in the County. He 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. He also currently works in the produce industry, and previously he held positions in marketing, information services and operations for Household Credit Services. He demonstrates his passion of young people through coaching youth basketball 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.

Judy PennycookJudy Pennycook

Board President | Term: 2018 through 2022


Judy Pennycook represents the North Monterey County area of Trustee Area Three. Mrs. Pennycook was first elected to the Monterey County Board of Education in 2003. She brings a wide range of experience to the Board of Education in both education and legal. Mrs. Pennycook graduated from the University of California Irvine with a BA in Social Science, and obtained her Preliminary Teacher Credential from the California State University Northridge and Directorship of Early Childhood Certification from the University of California Los Angeles. Mrs. Pennycook also attended the Monterey College of Law and graduated from the California School Boards Association Masters in Boardsmanship Certification course.

Mrs. Pennycook has served as a member of numerous community groups including the 101 Bypass Executive Committee, AYSO Youth Soccer Executive Board, Reading is Fundamental Board of Directors and Restorative Justice Commission. In addition, she also served on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and on the North Monterey County Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Janet WohlgemuthJanet Wohlgemuth

Board Member - Term: 2015 through 2024


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 20 years, she has worked with young adults ages 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.

Ms. Wohlgemuth has two children in public schools. 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, a 4H volunteer, Salinas Valley Model Railroad Museum docent, Salinas Rodeo volunteer, and a foster care parent.

Ron PanzieraRonald J. Panziera

Board Member - Term: 2015 through 2024


Ronald J. Panziera of Soledad represents Trustee Area Five on the Monterey County Board of Education, which includes the most southern section of the Salinas Valley including ten school districts from Soledad to Bradley. He was first appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board in 2006.

Mr. Panziera is a life-long resident of Monterey County. He is a partner in Boggiatto Produce and the Joe Panziera Farm.

Mr. Panziera is a 1968 graduate of Gonzales High School and attended Hartnell College before entering the United States Navy. Among Mr. Panziera’s other community involvements, he also is a member of the Soledad American Legion Post 32 after serving as Commander for the six years.

Mary ClaypoolMary Claypool

Board Vice-President | Term: 2018 through 2022


Mary Claypool, a prominent Seaside business leader, was appointed to fill the provisional vacancy in Board Trustee Area 6 at a special meeting of the Monterey County Board of Education on November 7, 2012. Trustee Area 6 is comprised mainly of the cities of Marina, Seaside and Sand City.

“Education is critical to the health of our nation, state and county. My wish is to ensure all students are offered equal access to an excellent education, and to keep the community informed and engaged. I am passionate about improving the quality and access of education to all students,” states Claypool.

Claypool has served on various parent-teacher associations, worked directly in classrooms, and currently serves as a member of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee. Claypool has 42 years of experience working as a budget/management analyst for local government, including the City of Seaside and County of Monterey, and is well versed in developing and monitoring public agency budgets. She holds bachelor and master degrees from La Salle University.

female standing in front of greenery headshot wearing pink flower topLupe Sánchez

Board Member - Term: 2018 through 2022


Ms. Sanchez represents Trustee Area Seven which is entirely in the City of Salinas. Ms. Sanchez graduated from Heald 4 C’s Business College with an Associate’s Degree in Office Administration. Ms. Sanchez also dedicated much of her career, 18 years, representing farmworkers when she was employed by the UFW from which she is now retired from. Ms. Sanchez currently works as a Community Relations Consultant and has served on a number of boards and committees including the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce-Central Coast, Cultural Committee of Salinas, City of Salinas Police Advisory Committee and the City of Salinas Measure E Oversight Committee. Ms. Sanchez was elected to the Monterey County Board of Education in November 2018.


Dr. Deneen Guss

County Superintendent
Phone: 831.784.4244

Cindy Dunn

Assistant to the County Superintendent
Phone: 831.784.4244

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