Ukiah Unified School District

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School Board » Meet the Board

Meet the Board

Beatriz "Bea" Arkin

Bea Arkin was first elected to the Ukiah Board of Education in 2001 and is currently serving her 5th term. As a parent of children who attended Ukiah schools, Ms. Arkin volunteered for 30 years in various classrooms and grades. She has been active in school PTA’s and has served on School Site Councils at all levels; elementary, middle school and high school. Ms. Arkin may be reached via e-mail at: [email protected]

Trustee Area 1 - Current Term Expires 12/11/2026


Zoey Fernandez


Zoey Fernandez was elected to the Ukiah Unified Board of Education in 2013. Zoey is a lifelong Mendocino County resident.  She is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz and earned her teaching credential from Sonoma State University.   She taught kindergarten for Willits Unified School District for ten years.  Her time is now devoted to her two young children, as well as volunteering at their Ukiah Unified School. Zoey may be reached via email at: [email protected]

Trustee Area 3 - Current Term Expires 12/13/2024


Carolyn Johnson, Clerk


Carolyn Johnson was elected to the Ukiah Unified Board of Education in 2022. Carolyn began her local career in education in 1973 as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Redwood Valley Elementary School (RVES). Eventually, she became vice principal of RVES and principal of Eagle Peak Middle School, retiring from Ukiah Unified in 2010. Carolyn’s experience in education also includes teaching on the Rosebud Sicangu Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, teaching Government & U.S. History at Ukiah High School, serving as Dean of Students at Ukiah High School, and as the Community Schools representative to the Mendocino County Office of Education. She has been married to her husband, Norm, for 50 years. They have two children and eight grandchildren—all of whom attend or have attended Ukiah Unified schools. Carolyn may be reached via email at: [email protected].


Trustee Area 4 - Current Term Expires 12/13/2024



Fred Keplinger, Vice President

Fred Keplinger was appointed to the Ukiah Unified Board of Education in April 2022.

Fred was raised in Ukiah and has lived here for most of his life. He is the father of an Eagle Peak Middle School student, two Ukiah High School graduates, and is an Emergency Management Coordinator for the Redwood Coast Regional Center. Mr. Keplinger is a retired Ukiah Police Officer and previously served as the Ukiah Police Officers Association president. Mr. Keplinger was the cadet coordinator for the Ukiah Police Department while serving there. He has been the Volunteer Liaison for Devil Pups of America, a demanding physical and academic good citizenship program for teenagers, until the pandemic paused the program for the last several years. He also taught fifth grade at Eagle Peak Middle School. He may be reached via e-mail at: [email protected]


Trustee Area 2 - Current Term Expires 12/11/2026


Tyler Nelson


Tyler Nelson was elected to the Ukiah Unified Board of Education in 2013.  A graduate of Ukiah High, he earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agriculture Business at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  He resides in the Hopland area with his wife and two children.  In addition to farming with his father Greg Nelson and brother Chris Nelson, Tyler has been an active volunteer serving as PTA and Site Council member at his children’s Ukiah Unified school.  He has previously served as a Director of the Mendocino County Farm Bureau and the Mendocino County Resource Conservation district. Tyler may be reached via email at: [email protected]


Trustee Area 7 - Current Term Expires 12/11/2026



Megan Van Sant, President

Megan Van Sant was elected to the Ukiah Unified Board of Education in 2011. Ms. Van Sant attended public schools in rural Humboldt County. She has a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a master's degree from UC Berkeley. Ms. Van Sant is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and a graduate of Leadership Mendocino. She is currently an employee of the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency, serving as the Senior Program Manager responsible for the Advocacy and Collaboration Team. Ms. Van Sant and her husband have two daughters attending Pomolita Middle School and Ukiah High School. Ms. Van Sant may be reached via e-mail at: [email protected]

Trustee Area 5 - Current Term Expires 12/13/2024


Rebeca Orozco


Board member Rebeca Orozco was elected to the Ukiah Unified Board of Education in December 2023. Rebeca works in the healthcare field, providing care for her community. She loves taking the extra step to get her Spanish-speaking family the resources and care they need. Rebeca was born in Fort Bragg, CA, and raised in Boonville, CA. She graduated from Anderson Valley High School and continued her studies in healthcare at Petaluma Adult School. She is currently attending Mendocino College. Rebeca has five children. The oldest attends College of the Redwoods. Her second son is a junior at Ukiah High, and her third son is a freshman. They are both very passionate about playing sports. Her youngest is enrolled in Head Start. Rebeca also represents her daughter's classroom on the Positive Parent Committee. She is an avid listener to our local radio station, KZYX&Z. Her hobbies include gardening, sharing harvested seeds with her neighbors, and spending time with her family and pet standard poodle, Miya. Rebeca is the daughter of former Ukiah mayor and current City of Ukiah Council member Juan Orozco. She has always been passionate about getting her community involved with change and helping people's voices be heard. She is very excited to be on the board and help give a voice to parents around her. She may be reached via email at [email protected].


Trustee Area 6 - Current Term Expires 12/11/2026