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CASCWA State Executive Board Members 2020-21


Jeni Mendel
CASCWA State President

Grossmont UHSD Retired


Melissa Parrett
 President Elect

Nevada County
Superintendent of Schools 

Dr. Kevin Torosian
Vice President

Central USD


Evelyn Ocasio
Past President

Hayward USD  

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Michelle Walsh

Vista U.S.D.

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Robin Gainey 

 Mojave USD

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Tom Mangione 

Los Angeles USD Retired


Dennis Wiechmann 
Board Advisor
Sanger U.S.D.   

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Dishawn Givens
Bay Section President

Fremont U.S.D.

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Melissa Parrett
  Delta- Sierra President

Nevada County
Superintendent of Schools 

Praxides Torres
San Joaquin Section


Parlier U.S.D.

Rick Riegel

Southern Section

Placentia-Yorba Linda USD  

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David Kopperud
CDE & State SARB

California Department of Education - Education Programs Consultant

Sherman Garnett 
Southern Section 
Legislative Chair
San Bernardino County   

Dan Martin
Central Legislative Representative

Los Banos USD

Allen Dosty
Central Legislative Representative

Lodi USD

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Erica Peterson
SI&A Representative

School Innovation

& Achievement  

Brian Chandler
Law Enforcement Representative

Ceres Police Department

Jennifer Gomez Trejo

State SARB Representative

Student Support Services Solutions, Inc

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Bob Mueller

San Diego COE

Andrew Kevy
Website Advisor

Director of CWA

Hayward USD


Jennifer Kottke
Co-Intercom Editor and Los Angeles COE Representative


Frank Boehler

Co-Intercom Editor
Orange U.S.D. Retired

CASCWA's State President's Message

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Welcome to all CASCWA members and friends to our website.  My name is Jenifer Mendel and I am proud and excited to be this year’s State President. 


I am from the Southern Section of CASCWA where I attended my first State Conference in San Diego, where I am from, in 2004.  That conference was full of energy, phenominally professional and the passion was amazing!  At that Conference, I decided I wanted to be a part of this amazing organization.  I have been honored by being nominated and serving in many roles in Southern Section and on the State Board.  Now,  I am honored to be serving as the State President. 

This past school year has been something that none of us ever believed could happen.  Witnessing the closure of school for over a month and then to come back to only online education has been unreal.  This delivery method of education was truly a new experience to many districts, schools, and teachers, not to mention students and their parents.  As Educators, we had to pull together and our resilience, dedication, and loyalty to the youth are what will help us through this tough time.

CASCWA has always strived to assist educators with bringing forth the best practices, the most up to date legislative information, and the professional resources from around the nation. Our strong partnership with CDE, SIA, Red Book, S4, Sherman Garnett and Associates, Dora and Nancy Dome and may others, provides us so many avenues to share information with our members. In all 4 sections of CASCWA you will find ongoing trainings and workshops that will assist you in your day to day activities in your chosen careers.

This last year we had to cancel our State Conference due to the COVID 19 guidelines.  The good news is that we are looking forward to next April when we will be holding the conference at the Bahia Hotel and Resort in San Diego.  Please continue to review our website.  We will updating the most current information on the conference and all the other trainings and workshops that will be held around the State by CASCWA four sections.  I am also excited to report that we are working on CASCWA moving into the world of webinars, which you will also be able to register for on our website as they come available.

CASCWA is still here and dedicated to assist you in a number of ways.  Through our newsletter, the Intercom, you can find articles posted of current concerns, best practices and legislative updates.  All of our four section and state board members are posted on our website.  This includes email contact information and they would be honored to answer any questions you may have. While things may not ever again be the same in our lives, especially how we educate our youths, we still need to provide the best opportunity to every youth to reach their fullest potential and create a future for themselves and others.

We invite all to become members of the legacy that is CASCWA. We welcome and need all of your expertise.  Your diversity and the sharing of information is what makes CASCWA strong, so please join this 84 year old organization of truly dedicated people and help us help all those who work with youth!

If you are working in the fields of child welfare and attendance, you are special.  You are making a difference in today's world and positively impacting the future of tomorrow. 


May you find 2020-21 and your partnership with CASCWA to be truly rewarding!


Jeni Mendel

We asked Jenifer for a few words about her background.  This is her response:

Jenifer Mendel, Dropout Prevention Specialist, retired from the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) in San Diego County after 38+ years of service.  The last 13 years I served the District as their Child Welfare and Attendance Coordinator.  I served on the Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board for the County from 2009 – 2014 at which point San Diego County combined the Mental Health Board and the Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board developing Behavioral Health Advisory Board which I have served on that since its inception in 2015. I was appointed to the Juvenile Justice Commission in 2017 by the Juvenile Preceding Judge and I have just been reappointed for another 4 years.   


Youth Community Court is also a rewarding program I am involved in. I became a member of the State SARB in 2011 enhancing my connection with CDE. In 2008 I first became a Southern Executive Board member, I have had the honor of holding the positions of Regional Rep, VP, President Elect and President.  On the State CASCWA Executive Board I have held the positions of Legislative Rep, VP, President Elect and now am honored to by the current CASCWA State President. 


Being a part of CASCWA has given me the support, training and resources to enable me to be the best CWA that I could be and to provide GUHSD all that they needed for supporting youth. Please consider joining CASCWA, if you are not already a member, to have the amazing experience I have had with this 85 year standing organization with all they have to offer you on your pathway.

Our 2020 CASCWA State Conference was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.  The good news is that we are planning on holding the 2021 CASCWA State Conference at the Bahia as previously planned.  There will be information sent out to all members sharing the conference information as the details are finalized!

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CASCWA's 2020-21 State Executive Board Meeting Dates:

CASCWA State Executive Zoom Board Meeting to be held on Friday, July 10, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Minutes will be posted.


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