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Members of the Board of Education

Click on a board member's name to access his/her personal contact form.

Linda Canlas

Linda Canlas was elected to the Board of Education in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. She is a principal in the Hayward Unified School District, where she also has taught.

Ms. Canlas and her husband, Dennis LaFlam, have been Union City residents since 1983 and are the parents of two daughters who attended New Haven schools.  Before her election to the Board, she served on New Haven’s Strategic Plan*ning Team and co-chaired school site councils at Cabello and Eastin elementary schools and Alvarado Middle School.

Sarabjit Cheema

Sarabjit Cheema was elected to the Board of Education in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Born in Punjab, India, she taught math and science in her native country before moving in 1991 to the United States, where she has worked as both a part-time and substitute teacher and as a transportation engineer.

Ms. Cheema and her husband are the parents of three sons who attended New Haven schools. Long active on school site councils and parent-teacher associations, she participated in New Haven’s Strategic Planning process and is member of the District’s Equity Task Force. She also is a member of Union City's Human Relations Commission.

Jonas Dino

Jonas Dino

Jonas Dino was elected to the Board of Education in 2002 and won re-election in 2004, 2008 and 2012. A graduate of James Logan High School, where he later taught, he is a public affairs specialist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

A former Marine Corps sergeant, Mr. Dino earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in instructional technology and a teaching credential in life science, all at San Jose State University. He and his wife are the parents of a son who attends Eastin Elementary and a daughter who is a pre-schooler.

Michelle Parnala


Michelle Parnala was elected to the Board of Education in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. A lifelong resident of the Decoto area and a product of New Haven schools, she earned a bachelor’s degree in human development at California State University, East Bay, and is a Deputy Probation Officer with Alameda County.

Ms. Parnala is the mother of three sons, Marcus, Will III and Lorenzo.


Michael RitchieMichael Ritchie

Michael Ritchie, who has served on site councils at two schools and is one of the founding members of the New Haven Boosters Association, joined the Board as an appointed replacement in January 2012 and was elected to a full term the following November. 

A marketing consultant and the father of three children who are products of New Haven schools, Mr. Ritchie served as School Site Council chair at Cesar Chavez Middle School and is a member of the SSC at Logan. He also helped found the Boosters Association, which raises funds for extra-curricular and co-curricular activities, and is a member of the New Haven Schools Foundation.