Governing Board

West-MEC is governed by a seven-member board. These board members are elected from the geographic area in which they reside. West-MEC is a districted system, meaning that the seven elected members represent a specific land and populace area. The districts were approved by the United States Department of Justice and receive the same scrutiny as all electorate districted systems.

The West-MEC Governing Board is a policy setting board following the same rules and regulations as all public school district governing boards in Arizona.

Members of the public are welcome to attend each meeting of the Governing Board. By law, the board members may only address items on the agenda. Individuals are welcome to address the governing board by completing a Call to the Public form before the meeting has begun.

Board meeting agendas are posted on our website at least 24 hours prior to the meeting, at the West-MEC District Office, at all West-MEC campuses, as well as sent to all twelve member school districts.

West-MEC Governing Board meetings occur on the second Wednesday of every month at 4:30 p.m.

District Boundary Map

JR

Juan Ramirez

District 1 | present-2022

juanramirezjr@gmail.com

Juan Ramirez is an Arizona native. He grew up in San Luis and Yuma before moving to Tempe to attend Arizona State University. He has three siblings, all of which work in public service.

Juan earned a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering. Following graduation, Juan worked as a project engineer at the Yuma Proving Grounds testing military vehicles during the Iraq conflict. Subsequently, Juan returned to Phoenix to work as a communications engineer for Arizona Public Service.

Life experiences and community involvement motivated Juan to pursue a law degree. While in law school, Juan was an active member and officer of several student organizations. After becoming a licensed attorney, Juan’s desire to serve drew him to several community and professional organizations, including Valley of the Sun Kiwanis, Catholic Phoenix, Tepeyac Leadership Initiative, and the St. Thomas More Society of Phoenix.

Since 2014, Juan has provided legal advice to hundreds of client’s who have suffered serious bodily injury.  He is passionate about educating his client’s about their rights and constantly works to provide his client’s great service. In his leisure time, Juan enjoys spending time with family and friends. He also enjoys exploring local hiking trails and locally owned restaurants.

Governing Board Member James Kaltenbach

JAMES KALTENBACH

District 2 | present – 2022

James.kaltenbach@west-mec.org

Elected to West-MEC Board 2004, Kaltenbach was first sworn in January 2005. He is now serving in his 15th year of service on the Governing Board.

Having grown up in Laramie, WY, he arrived in AZ in June 2001, and now resides in Peoria, Arizona.

Since 2002 he has been a Career & Technical Education Agriscience Teacher and FFA Advisor at Peoria High School. As an Agriscience Teacher, Mr. Kaltenbach is proud to have an opportunity to work with amazing young people at a great school.

Career & Technical Education is vital to the education of our youth and the economy of Arizona. Through Career & Technical Student Organizations like FFA and SkillsUSA students develop leadership, work ethic, and career soft-skills that help them into careers, on into college, and all throughout their lives. Through Work-Based Learning opportunities, students make connections to future employers, find their passions, and cement the skills they learn in the classroom. Having quality, certified instructors who are masters of their craft and concerned about their students’ futures gives students the fuel to work hard; harder than they thought they could. This is the magic of CTE and Mr. Kaltenbach is delighted to be a part of that mission.

When he was first asked to be a part of West-MEC he was excited about the opportunity to help direct the efforts to bring CTE to students across the West Valley. He is proud of what West-MEC has accomplished so far, and even more excited about what the future holds for the over 40,000 high school students across the 4,000+ square miles that is West-MEC.

West-MEC Governing Board Member Peter Pingerelli image

DR. PETER PINGERELLI

Vice-Chairman, District 3 | present – 2024

Peter.pingerelli@west-mec.org

Dr. Pingerelli has lived in Arizona for 16 years. He and his wife, Beverly, have two children. During leisure time, Peter enjoys reading, writing, and watching movies.

Dr. Pingerelli holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and received his Ph.D. from the Division of Regulatory Biology and Biophysics at Wayne State University. His work experience includes 25-years in the biotechnology industry directing commercial research & development, product management, and marketing. Peter is an energetic educator and holds instructional adjunct faculty positions at Grand Canyon University. He also has a specialized secondary STEM certificate through the Arizona Department of Education. His publications include commercial and academic works in the fields of neuroscience and biotechnology and, recently, essays reflecting upon education, culture, and disability.

“Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs provide students with a diverse and alternative set of career pathways besides those offered by traditional four-year college degree programs. A CTE educational experience delivers — to each student — the applicable educational skills, leadership development opportunities, and genuine workplace expectations. The importance of CTE is further highlighted in that its programs incorporate industry-recognized credentials and, in many cases, preparation for state licensures. I believe CTE is an essential component of public education to prepare a future workforce and ensure continued prosperity for our country. Additionally, CTE benefits all students, both college- and industry-bound, by providing them with a career exploration experience while cultivating skills towards a family-sustaining job to achieve economic independence.”

“Growing up, we’ve likely encountered a teacher that helped us maintain focus, perseverance, and commitment to a goal. Serving our community and public school systems is a privilege and an opportunity to thank all the dedicated teachers and school administrators that supported my career aspirations. I’m passionate when it comes to education and improving our community and honored to contribute my skills and experiences to Maricopa County families through service as a West-MEC governing board member.”

West-MEC Governing Board Member Barbara Wyllie image

BARBARA WYLLIE

District 4 | present – 2024

btwyllie7@gmail.com

The house/family that built me was in a small farming community consisting of 400 people in Middle America. I was the oldest of six children. My education was in a Catholic school next to the Catholic Church in my hometown. We had two and three classes in one room and one teacher per room. High school was 10 miles away and attended by children from five or six other small towns. There were 47 students in my high school graduation class. I did go off to college but I was kicked out after the first semester.

My husband and I with our 2 small children moved to Arizona in 1970 and have been involved in the real estate business ever since. I have owned companies, sold real estate, provided mortgages, and participated in organizations that work to improve the industry.

Personally, I am an activist. If I see something that I feel is wrong, I say something. If something can be done to make life better, I do it.

image0

Michael Hutchinson

District 5 | present – 2024

michael.daniel.hutchinson@gmail.com

Michael D. Hutchinson was recently elected to his first term on the West-MEC Governing Board. Michael lives in El Mirage and is very active in the community. Michael has earned an Administration of Justice Associate’s Degree. He has worked as a theft and fraud investigator, as well as an armed responder at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. He started his own security firm in 2012, providing security, compliance, loss and liability protection to commercial entities.

As a businessman, Michael understands the demand for skilled workers, and the great benefit to the community that West-MEC brings. His goal at West-MEC is to provide outstanding technical education while also keeping costs down to the taxpayers.

West-MEC Governing Board Member Jim Migliorino image

JIM MIGLIORINO

District 6 | present – 2024

jamesmigliorino@gmail.com

Mr. Migliorino has 56 years of background experience in education, spanning Washington State, Ohio, and Arizona. During this time, Migliorino has served in the following roles: Teacher, Business Manager, and Assistant Superintendent for Business Services.

Additionally, Mr. Migliorino has served for 10 years as the Executive Director of Mohave Education Services Purchasing Co-Op as well as 25 years of membership in Arizona School Business Officials Association/ Board of Directors.

Jim Migiliorino has served on the West-MEC Governing Board for 5 years.

WEST-MEC Governing Board Member Frank Straka

FRANK STRAKA
Chairman, District 7 | present – 2022

frank.straka@west-mec.org

Frank Straka has been a member of the West-MEC Governing Board since 2007.  Over the years Mr. Straka has watched West-MEC grow into a State and National leader in Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Having been a long-time advocate for the West-MEC Strategic Plan, Straka is looking forward to championing the third Strategic Plan for the district. Throughout this process, West-MEC has evolved into an organization that serves students while being flexible for today and investing to serve students in the future.

Professionally, Mr. Straka has more than 20 years of working in the technology field and over 25 years of experience working in the banking and insurance industry. He is an experienced leader of both large and small teams within professional and community groups.

Mr. Straka is a married father of four who have attended the public school system. He enjoys the outdoors and competing in endurance events including marathons and Ironman triathlons.