On Wednesday, October 9, the Mendocino-Lake Community College District Board of Trustees welcomed Noel O’Neill to its board as provisional Trustee for area number one, which includes Willits and Fort Bragg. The board vacancy is a result of the recent resignation of Paul Ubelhart, who served on the board for fifteen years.
Mr. O’Neill ran unopposed for the seat on the board, and was interviewed in a public meeting format at the regularly scheduled October meeting. The board discussed Mr. O’Neill’s qualifications following his interview and agreed by majority vote that he would be an excellent candidate to fill the opening.
Board President, Robert Jason Pinoli stated, “I am very appreciative to Mr. O’Neill for continuing to serve the public in this very important role as a Trustee for area number one. His background will be invaluable to the important work we have before us. I am also pleased that Mr. O’Neill fills the last vacant seat making our board whole once again.”
Mr. O’Neill, a retired Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, has over 35 years of experience working in the behavior health industry, most of which he spent working for Mendocino County Behavioral Health. Mr. O’Neill also has ties to Mendocino College, having worked as a part-time Academic Counselor and Instructor from 2001 to 2008. Mr. O’Neill currently is a Council Member for the California Behavioral Health Planning Council and serves on the Mendocino County Juvenile Justice Commission. Mr. O’Neill is an advocate for student support programs in higher education and due to his background has a familiarity with the unique challenges students sometimes face when going through the college process.
“I am very eager to serve as a Trustee on the Mendocino College Board representing area one where I have lived for more than half of my life. It is a privilege to both advocate for my immediate community and also support the overall growth and development of this amazing academic institution,” stated O’Neill.
“We are thrilled to have Mr. O’Neill join our College Board of Trustees representing the coast and north county. With so many initiatives guiding us towards improving student success measures, Mr. O’Neill’s proficiency in higher education and behavioral health will enable him to provide valuable input regarding current and future student needs,” said Interim Superintendent/President Eileen Cichocki.
The Mendocino-Lake Community College District Board of Trustees is responsible for the performance of the Mendocino-Lake Community College District, which serves approximately 8,000 students at locations in Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Lakeport, Willits, and online, by providing vital educational services to the various communities in the region.