The California State PTA bylaws (Article VIII, Section 2) state that, except for the office of president, the officers shall be elected biennially in odd-numbered years, and the president-elect shall succeed automatically to the office of president. President-elect for the 2021-2023 term of office Shereen Walter will succeed to the presidency for the 2023-2025 term. Elections will be held at the First General Meeting.


The California State PTA Nominating Committee met on Dec 10, 2022, January 13, 2023, and January 27-29, 2023, to consider all eligible applicants for the 2023-2025 term of office for the California State PTA Board of Directors. On behalf of the Nominating Committee, the following slate of officers is presented for the association’s consideration at the California State PTA 2023 Convention.




Lea Darrah, Third District PTA

Lea Darrah has been a PTA member and volunteer since her oldest child, who is now a college graduate, started kindergarten. Over the years she has been active as a leader at PTA units in her community as well as serving on a wide range of district committees. She was elected to her school board in 2020. She is a passionate advocate for DEI and family engagement. She believes these are the keys to keeping PTA relevant to the families of today and tomorrow. Lea and her husband Matt are committed supporters of public education.

Vice President for Leadership Services

Derby Pattengill, Ninth District PTA

I am a husband and the parent of two children currently in college. Both of my children attended schools in the San Diego Unified School District. I graduated from the University of San Diego with degrees in Marine Studies and Computer Science. I am trained as a faux finisher and decorative painter. I like to work on and race hot rods in the dry lakes of Southern California and Utah. A former professional cyclist, I still ride my bike to stay fit. I have been involved with PTA for over 15 years and have served in multiple leadership positions at the unit, council, and district levels. I am currently the VP of Health and Community Concerns for California State PTA.

Vice President for Membership Services

Ellen Torres, First District PTA

Ellen Torres started her PTA journey when her oldest son entered kindergarten. She has served in many PTA positions during her 30+ years of volunteering including president at the Elementary, Middle School, High School, Council and District levels. She has also served on the California State PTA Board of Managers as VP for Convention, Membership Service Commission, Student Involvement Committee and chaired the Scholarship and Grants Committee. She is an active community volunteer in South Pasadena and is a passionate advocate for all children. Ellen has been married to Edward for 45 years and is the mother to four adult children.

Vice President for Communications

Barbara Smith, Thirty-First District PTSA

Barbara Smith took on leadership roles in the PTA, twenty years ago when her son, Nicholas entered kindergarten, she has a wonderful sense of humor and enjoys working closely with other people. She takes tasks to a new level – be it personalized biographical journals for an entire 2nd grade, to working with units in her District to get them all active on Totem. There are no impossible tasks, just opportunities to learn new skills in order to accomplish goals in her personal opinion.

Vice President for Convention

Will Sanford, Thiry-Second District PTA

Will Sanford, has been an active unit, council, district and State PTA leader for over 25 years. He has served as a commissioner on the California State PTA Convention Commission for 18 years. He is focused on helping PTA’s to be fully inclusive of all community members to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn and grow.

Vice President for Health & Community Concerns

Marilyn Lucey, Thirty-Second District PTA

Marilyn Cachola Lucey is a longtime PTA supporter, having served as president at the unit, council, and district PTA levels. Her work at the state level centered on DEI, legislative advocacy, and education, and her current role at National PTA is to identify and recruit leaders. She currently works as legislative staff, and worked professionally in public education and nonprofit sectors prior. She is proud of her affiliation with ACLU, First 5, and Moms Demand Action. She has a graduate degree from the school of counseling psychology and education. She lives in the SFBay Area with her neurodiverse family.

Vice President for Education

Brad Waller, Thirty-Third District PTA

Brad Waller is a serial volunteer, Internet entrepreneur, and high technology business owner. Trained in Physics (MIT), Brad has worked in engineering and marketing for the last 30 years. Education is a passion, as Brad has served numerous positions at the unit, council, district, and state, and national levels for the PTA; as well as a member of two school boards. Brad started his career in the Aerospace industry doing things he can’t talk about – working in advanced infrared technology, project management, and marketing. Brad lives in Redondo Beach with his wife of 30 years and has a daughter who recently graduated from college.

Vice President for Family Engagement

Anita Avrick, Thirty-Third District PTA

I have been a part of PTA since 1993. I have served in almost every position within PTA, including membership chair, financial secretary, treasurer, auditor, parliamentarian, legislation chair, convention chair and first VP. I was also the president at an elementary, middle and high school, Council and District. I have had the privilege of serving on CAPTA BOM for the last ten years. Because of PTA and what I learned I was fortunate enough to be able to serve as a Trustee on my local school board.


Nicholas Smetak, Thirty-Second District PTA

I have served at different levels and roles of the PTA and have leaned on my experience as a manager to help. Delegation, trust, and active listening are important when working with many individuals. As a Convention Chair, I came in under budget and even saved the District money. It was time-consuming and stressful, and I knew it was important because I remember that feeling of invigoration after my first convention. I also currently serve on a local PFLAG board in Contra Costa. PFLAG aligns with PTA values because we want the best for ALL students and families.


Derick Boerner, Ninth District PTA

Derick Boerner has 10+ years of experience in PTA. He has served as a unit leader in most positions, starting his PTA journey as Treasurer of his daughter’s elementary school. After serving as President, Derick moved on to Secretary of San Diego Unified Council of PTAs, learning he was surrounded with people that shared his passion for PTA and leadership. After serving as the Legislation Director, he quickly embraced a love for the legislative aspect of PTA. While serving as Council President, Derick continued to embrace his passion for Legislation, serving as Vice President of Legislation with Ninth District PTA. As an accountant, Derick offered his Financial Leadership to PTA by serving as Treasurer for the District. Derick’s true joy is his family. He is married to Alexis, a Special Education teacher, and is the proud father to Sydney and Audrey. Derick believes that all children deserve a quality public education and shares a passion for the advocacy within Special Education and diversity. Derick truly respects that PTA works for ALL CHILDREN and encourages all members of the community to join PTA today.