Teresa Mercado-Cota, President
Teresa Mercado-Cota has worked in higher education for over forty years, with nearly thirty-three of these years in various roles with the Rancho Santiago Community College District. She has worked to develop strategies and implement programs and partnerships designed to educate the general community and underserved populations. In addition, she has collaborated with organizations and stakeholders to enhance favorable relations and partnerships among the District and business, civic, educational, community-based organizations, and residents.
Mercado-Cota has experience at the state and local levels. She started her career as director of a statewide legislative student internship program under the California Community College Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento. She recently retired from the Rancho Santiago Community College District where her most recent position was Assistant Dean of Governmental, Public Affairs, and Professional Development.
Mercado-Cota has served on several boards, including Chapman University Advisory Council, KinderCaminata, Inc., Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orange County, Santa Ana Community Leadership Institute, SEARCH of Orange County, and EOPS/CARE Advisory Committee. She is a member of numerous organizations, including OC Sheriff’s Advisory Council, Los Amigos of OC, Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation, Relampago del Cielo, and National Hispanic Business Women Association (NHBWA).
Mercado-Cota attended Saddleback Community College where she earned an A.A. in Liberal Arts. She went on to earn dual B.A degrees in Communications and Sociology at CSU, Sacramento. She graduated with her M.S. in Education/Counseling at CSU, Long Beach in 1998.
Mercado-Cota enjoys serving others and welcomes opportunities to expand educational efforts in the community. She is an active member of her church, supports public school programs, special initiatives, and focused political campaigns. She is married to her best friend, Victor Cota, Ph.D.; together they have three sons, two daughters-in-law, and four wonderful grandchildren.
Janelle McLoughlin, Chief Financial Officer
- President, J. Crain Corporation
- Person of the Year 2023, City of Santa Ana
- City of Santa Ana Environmental Transportation Commission
- City of Santa Ana, Neighborhood Hero, Legacy Award Recipient
Janelle McLoughlin joined the Foundation representing the business, financial and operational point of view. As a business owner for 30 years, combined with 15 years of large corporation experiences, the bottom line is her second nature.
McLoughlin is an active community leader with experience in establishing, organizing 501(c) 3 non-profits and holding non profit board positions of President and Treasurer in Santa Ana organizations.
Janelle was the first in her family to attend college and was a student that had to work to pay tuition. Earning an A.A. and B.A. in Marketing in three years from Marymount University of Virginia, she graduated with Cum Laude honors. McLoughlin attended George Washington University for graduate studies in Business.
A twenty-year resident of Santa Ana Janelle was the first to receive the City of Santa Ana “Hero Award.” This year she is celebrating a 37 year anniversary with her husband Mark.
Lucinda Pueblos, Vice-President, Scholarship Committee Chair
Assistant Superintendent, SAUSD School Performance and Culture K-12, SAUSD, Retired
Lucinda Pueblos retired from the Santa Ana Unified School District after serving in education for thirty-eight years. Her experience spans the all of the educational landscape, serving as a classroom teacher to school principal, leading five Santa Ana Unified School District’s secondary schools.
In 2016, she was selected to the serve as the Assistant Superintendent K12 School Performance and Culture as a member of the Superintendent’s cabinet. Her responsibilities included oversight of Pupil Support Services, Research and Development, Categorical Programs and School Climate. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, a Single Subject Credential with an emphasis in Bilingual Education, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Masters Degree, with an Administrative Services Credential in Educational Leadership from the California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Alexandra Ito, Board Secretary, Spark Grant Committee Chair
Director of Instructional Technology, SAUSD, Retired
Alexandra Ito worked as an educator and administrator in the Santa Ana Unified School District for over thirty years. She worked as a classroom teacher at Saddleback High School, as a curriculum specialist, and as a district administrator in instructional technology. She received her B.A. from UCI, her M.A. from Pepperdine, her teaching and administrative credentials from UCI, and her California Chief Technology Officer certification.
Ms. Ito retired from the district in 2017. She currently works for an educational consulting service to assist districts with instructional technology planning. In addition to volunteering for the SAPSF board, she volunteers with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orange County and with a local Alzheimer’s residential community.
Sonia R. Llamas, Ed.D., L.C.S.W.
Superintendent’s Representative, Santa Ana Unified School District
Assistant Superintendent, K-12 School Performance & Culture
Proud SAUSD leader who has been part of the SAUSD family for 8 years. She oversees a dynamic team responsible for leading district-wide initiatives such as the We Care Mental Health Campaign and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) . She is a highly motivated, energetic and dedicated leader, who is grounded in strong ethics and integrity in attaining positive outcomes to meet the needs of the SAUSD students and families she serves. Service and goal directed professional with strong clinical and communication skills in English and Spanish.
She holds a Bachelor’s in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley, a Master of Social Work from California State University at Long Beach with PPS in Counseling and Child Welfare and Attendance, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California in Educational Psychology.
Chapter President’s Representative, California State Employees Association Chapter 41
Erika Pereyra is a SAUSD success story, having attended Monroe Elementary, MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate and Saddleback High School. After attending Santa Ana College, Erika returned to serve our District as a classified employee, working as a Bilingual Instructional Assistant and Library Media Technician.
In keeping with the family tradition, Erika’s children have attended Jefferson, Villa Fundamental and Segerstrom High School. As a single parent, she is especially proud of their chosen careers of speech therapy and mechanical engineering.
Outside of work, Erika was active in PTA and School Site Council and served as a Classroom Team Mother.
Additionally, Erika was and continues to be an outstanding leader in the California School Employees Association, CSEA.
Her positions include Treasurer, Negotiation Team, School Calendar Committee, Political Action Chair, Reclassification Committee Member and Social/Event Coordinator.
President’s Representative, SAEA: Santa Ana Educators Association
School Counselor Century High School
Beau Menchaca has worked in the Santa Ana Unified School District for over 26 years. He is currently a counselor and has been a counselor at Century High School for over 20 years and for five of those years was a coordinator/counselor of the Higher Education Center. He has been a teacher for the Career Technical Education program and an adjunct faculty member of Santa Ana College.
Beau was site co-director of Santa Ana College’s Graduate Success Program as well as lead for Century High School’s Extended Summer Learning Program. His passion for counseling is well known and he is always thinking ahead about the next project to help students to succeed or to recognize students for their academic achievements. Century High School’s student population is 99% Hispanic and Century is a Title I school. He encourages all students to explore higher education opportunities.. Beau is a problem solver and he is willing to put in whatever extra time or effort is required for a successful outcome.
Principal Librarian, Young Adult and Volunteer Services, City of Santa Ana
Cheryl Eberly has had over 16+ years of professional experience in implementing innovative, high impact community responsive youth programming in Santa Ana via successful collaboration with a vast network of community agencies and organizations.
She began serving the City of Santa Ana via the Santa Ana Public Library for over 17 years since 2001, when she was hired to oversee the Santa Ana History Room collection and programming.
Through these many years she has taken on progressively higher levels of responsibility, starting with the creation and development of the Library’s Innovative TeenSpace program, which is now in 4 satellite locations in the City of Santa Ana. Much of work has focused on engaging youth and emerging adults via a targeted mentorship approach to civic engagement and youth workforce development via the various mentorship based programs at the library like the Teen Community Historians, Youth Health Ambassadors, and Seeds to Trees Digital Media Technology Institute Program at Santa Ana Public Library. She now serves as the Youth Services Supervisor for the City of Santa Ana, tasked with coordinating and implementing citywide collaboration based high impact youth programs.
She is responsible for the creation and oversight of Award winning high impact youth development programming:
- 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award for TeenSpace: Circle of Mentoring Program which provides a wide array of college/career, life skills, STEM and arts programming and meaningful volunteer opportunities for 700+ youth annually
- Youth internship programs that have provided 500+ Santa Ana youth with paid internships/externships and valuable work experience
- Youth Civic Engagement Internship Program that engages 10K+ youth and community members annually in civic and service events and initiative
She has designed, secured, implemented and managed grants valued at over $3 million in grant funding that have provided jobs, and educational/learning opportunities for 700+ of our communities most at risk youth. These grants have come from multiple federal, state and local funding sources including a grant from Google to provide computer science and computational thinking learning opportunities and internships for youth.
She has successfully facilitated and coordinated strategic community partnerships and collaborations:
- Coordinated a Resilient Youth, Resilient Community Youth Services Provider Summit on 4/8/2016 for 90+ of the city’s key stakeholders in youth development and education
- Been a Santa Ana Partnership for Higher Education Coordinating member since 2010
- Community Partner for Orange County Foster Youth Outcomes (FYO) and Eliminating Disproportionality and Disparity (ERDD) Committees since 2007
- Launched collaborations with Google and Microsoft for STEM based youth programming
Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, SAUSD
Robyn MacNair worked as a design consultant before becoming a teacher. She became an elementary Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) specialist teaching dance, theatre, visual art and music for 7 years. She taught secondary visual art for 12 years before becoming the SAUSD VAPA specialist. Her responsibilities include professional development, grant writing, programming, community relations, advocacy, instructional leader,
community relations, coordinating arts programs and events, and developing the conservatory at Santa Ana High School. Robyn has also worked with the city of Santa Ana on the Arts and Culture Master Planning committee to connect the youth of Santa Ana with the city. Through her work with the city, she has built many partnerships with local artists and arts organizations to bring resources and support to the students of SAUSD. She is president-elect of The California Art Education Association, a professional organization for visual artists and a delegate for the National Art Education Association. She is also involved with the professional arts orgs for dance, theatre, and music. She is a teacher leader in The California Arts Project, a Subject Matter Project from the department of education responsible for professional learning in the arts from Pre-K to post-secondary.
Retired Teacher, Curriculum Specialist and Instructional Coach, SAUSD
Marta Moyer has been passionate about education for 43 years. Since 1981, she has served the SAUSD community in a variety of roles and grade levels. As an elementary teacher, she supported her sites through different leadership roles. As a Mentor-Demonstration Teacher, she was a resource to administrators and teachers by providing ideas for both classroom management and instructional strategies in a classroom setting.
Additionally, at her school sites, she was a teacher-leader serving on both the Instructional Leadership Team and School Site Council. She was the site GATE Coordinator and was responsible for monitoring the program and referrals and administering the GATE test. In this role, she spearheaded and organized her site’s Science Fair and parent night, Spelling Bee, and Parent Literacy Night. Additionally, during this time, she was a Trainer of Trainers for Thinking Maps and Write From the Beginning.
Her last six years in the district have been dedicated to continuing her work as an instructional mentor. Ms. Moyer became a Certificated Learning and Achievement Specialist, supporting teachers and administrators as they sought to better understand and apply the then-new Common Core State Standards. In this role, Ms. Moyer co-authored several of the Units of Study and Modules that were used by all K-5 teachers district-wide. She was responsible for the professional development of both teachers and administrators on these various modules and Units of Study during that time. At the close of this transitional effort, Ms. Moyer then moved to the District Office as a curriculum specialist for History-Social Science. In this role, she continued to write inquiry-based curriculum which used history to teach a wide variety of literacy standards and provide training for teachers. She also became involved in National History Day and worked hard to build awareness in SAUSD for this academic competition through principals’ meetings and teacher trainings. She wrote curriculum to support 4th and 5th-grade teachers’ efforts in this rigorous undertaking. She was very proud when in her last year as a curriculum specialist, two teams of students finished in the top six for Orange County and one team went to the State Finals. She finished her career as a Teacher Effectiveness Coach (TEC) supporting the administrators and teachers at three school sites. In this role, she continued to provide professional development based upon site needs. She provided demonstration lessons, co-teaching opportunities, and collaboration time for over 75 teachers at her sites.
Ms. Moyer graduated with honors and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Michigan State University. She received a Master’s of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Laverne where she also graduated with honors. Ms. Moyer retired from SAUSD in June 2018.
Assistant Principal and Alumni, SAUSD
Vivian Hanson has been teaching in Santa Ana Unified School District among outstanding educators and appreciative students and families for over 28 years now. She has taught grades 2-5 and 7-8 and served as a Teacher Effectiveness Coach (TEC) and academic coach for grades TK-12. She currently serves as the assistant principal at Madison Elementary. Vivian knows the level of dedication teachers and community members involved in SAUSD demonstrate because she has been immersed in it since 7th grade.
Besides teaching in this fine district, she was fortunate enough to attend McFadden Intermediate and Saddleback High School. Thanks to the help of her wonderful teachers, she was able to win a full scholarship to the university of her choice. Her scholarship was awarded by the estate of educator Hazel Cubbon Greenleaf who was a resident of Santa Ana. She feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to pay it forward to the SAUSD community each day.
It is Vivian’s constant goal to collaborate with fellow educators and community members to continue improving student achievement and develop opportunities for growth and success. She is ever grateful to be working alongside caring and dedicated change-makers to develop learners who are ready to contribute positively to our ever-changing world.
Carolina Tercero has a wide range of experience in education for over 35 years as a district administrator, director, principal, Title I Resource Coordinator, Mentor Teacher and classroom teacher. Now retired, she directs her own consulting business and is a skilled evaluator of grants for several districts in Orange County, Los Angeles County and Riverside County.
Ms. Tercero is an effective facilitator for strategic and long range planning and is a trained Principal Coach.
Ms. Tercero earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Weber State University, Utah and has a Master’s Degree from USIU (United States International University, San Diego). She received her Administrative Credential from UCI (University of California, Irvine). She has served as president of AAUW, American Association of University Women, Mission Viejo-Saddleback Branch for 2 years, President of Future Leaders of America, Orange County, Conference Chair for Principal Conference, Orange County Department of Education, and recently selected as First5LA Grant Reviewer for Community Opportunities Fund. She is an active and current member of ACSA (Association of California School Administrators). Carolina enjoys spending time with family and two grandchildren.
Creative Director SAUSD, Retired Gothard Media Services
-Elementary Classroom Educator/Tech Coordinator at SAUSD
-Restarted the SAUSD-TV Channel at the District Office in 2006
-Provided photo and video services for SAUSD schools and District Office
-Brought SAUSD students and alumni in as interns to learn TV and Photography
-Supports Annual CENA Event, SAPSF Breakfast and other activities of SAPSF
Jeff’s passion for the students and families of Santa Ana is boundless. He has repeatedly given his time and treasure to help SAUSD students for 18 years, first as an elementary classroom teacher, then as Supervisor of the SAUSD-TV Cable Channel serving the Santa Ana Educational community. By highlighting the success that is visible throughout our district among our excellent students, parents, faculty and administrators working in the schools and the community, Jeff puts a positive spin on by asking “What’s the Good News?” Telling the stories of how we build partnerships and collaborative groups to advance the cause of learning and generate resiliency factors that lead to success. After his recent retirement from teaching and TV production at SAUSD, Jeff is staying connected to the District and continuing with the mission of the Foundation volunteering to cover events and assist with getting the good word out about what is happening in Santa Ana Schools.
Rob Richardson, Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation President, 2010 – 2020
Rob Richardson was an inaugural member of the Board of Directors of the Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation and served as President of the Foundation from 2010-2020.
In addition to his leadership role within the Foundation, Rob served in many community leadership roles, including eight years as a City Councilman in Santa Ana, over eight years on the Santa Ana Board of Education and five years as Board President, and a variety of roles in county government.
He served in a variety of community service roles, including with the City of Santa Ana Planning Commission and Historic Commission, the Santa Ana Kiwanis Club, on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club, Cambodian Family Board of Directors, the Salvation Army Orange County Advisory Council, and chaired the Santa Ana High School Centennial Committee. Richardson graduated from UCLA in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Cum Laude, in political science and history.
Except for his college days, Rob was a lifelong resident of Santa Ana, attending Wilson Elementary, Willard Intermediate and Santa Ana High School, graduating in 1979. Rob lived in Santa Ana with his wife Bellavadey and their four children; Kaia, Cameron, Lia and Ian.
Audrey Yamagata-Noji PhD
Founder, Board Member
Audrey Yamagata-Noji is an inaugural member of the Board of Directors of the Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation. She served as an elected member of the Board of Education for the Santa Ana Unified School District for 25 years, stepping down recently in December of 2014.
Audrey has a doctorate in education from Claremont Graduate University. She serves as the Vice President, Student Services at Mt. San Antonio College.
In 2014, Audrey was presented the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity Award in California Community Colleges by Dr. Rice’s daughter, former Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleeza Rice.
Audrey also serves on the Board of Directors for the Kevin Armstrong, M.D. Memorial Sports Foundation, Asian and Pacific Americans in Higher Education and the National Asian Pacific Islander Council.
Audrey and her husband Gene have lived in Santa Ana for 34 years and have one son, Randall.