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College Trustees Elect Shamey Chair, Nichelson Vice Chair

By Teresa Rochester

In an unanimous vote by acclamation, Annette Shamey was elected chair of the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Wednesday night and Patrick Nichelson was elected vice chair.

Shamey, the former vice chair, and Nichelson are no strangers to leading the board. They have both served as chair in the past.

In November they were reelected to their seats and on Wednesday they were sworn in to office along with newly elected trustee Margaret Quniones, a former member of the Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District's Board of Education.

"I'm delighted," Shamey said after the meeting that marked the start of her third term in office. "I try to view every issue that comes before us in terms of how it's going to contribute to student success because the institution is there for students… I think the message has to be loud and clear we are there for the student."

Shamey, who once served as vice principal at St. Monica High School, took the reins from Dorothy Ehrhart-Morrison, who was feted by her board colleagues.

"Thank you for your support," Ehrhart-Morrison said. "The year's been exciting and challenging."

SMC President Dr. Piedad Robertson was voted by acclamation as the secretary of the board. Shamey and fellow trustee Herb Roney were elected Trustee Liaisons.

Shamey, Nichelson and Quinones beat out a field of seven candidates in the November election. The three made up the slate of the powerful grassroots tenants organization Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights.

The three each have a long history in education. Quinones, a counselor at El Camino College, served on the school board for two terms. Shamey was first elected to the Board of Trustees in November 1992. A one-time teacher of the year, Shamey has taught at SMC and SMC's Emeritus College for older adults.

Nichelson was elected to the board in 1987. He is a professor of religious studies at California State University Northridge. He also heads up the university's honor program.

Robertson gave trustees an update on a number of capital improvement projects on campus. Asbestos removal will begin on Thursday in the college's liberal arts building and in January asbestos will be removed from the letters and science building. Work on the new Municipal Pool also is underway, and construction is complete on the College's library.

"We did a walk through and it looks beautiful," Robertson told the board. "Everything is in place and will be functioning for the winter session."

Joe Weichman contributed to this report.

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