By Shayla Gasca
A well-known faculty member at the Las Positas-Chabot College District, Barbara Fracisco Mertes, has retired after for forty years of service with the district.
Mertes has had a huge impact on the history of the college district. So much so, in fact, the the school had named the fine arts building, after her family – the Barbara Fracisco Mertes Center for the Arts.
In 1975 Mertes became the first Dean and President of Las Positas, prior to that she was an instructor at Chabot College.
Current college president Dr. Barry Russell said that the building’s name is intended “honor her being the first president and having such a tie to the campus and serving as a trustee for this area for many years.”
Along the line of her career, Mertes also held down the office of administrator of the college district. As well as being a member of the Board of Trustee for 14 years.
Mertes, along with her husband have been faithful servants of the district for decades. But with the death of her beloved husband David, it has become time for Barbara to bid farewell.
David also served as one of the founding members for the Foundation Board.
Russell’s reaction to the news of Barbara’s retirement was similar to all who worked alongside her.
“I was very sad to hear of her retirement,” Russell said, “because it was kind of an ending of the era of great leadership (on) her part.”
Mertes’ term was supposed to run through 2016, so the Board has been forced to find her replacement on short notice.
On Tuesday Jan. 27, 2015 the Board had an open interview for five people who had applied for Mertes’ position.
The Board voted William Macedo to take her position and will soon start on Feb. 17, 2015.
Macedo is a retired maintenance and construction manager, and further information pertaining to him will released by the district in the coming weeks.