Board Members

Helen Pitkin

hpitkin.jpgIn 1988, Helen was elected to a four-year term on the Corning City Council.  She became an advocate for the community and small businesses, traveling to Sacramento to attend the California Water Quality Control Board meetings to help resolve water issues for Bell Carter Olive Company as well as the League of California Cities Conference to protest State Budget cuts to cities.  She became the council liaison to Tri Counties Economic Development and Tehama County Economic Development Corporation. She served two years as Fire Commissioner and two years as Vice Mayor.

Helen worked for the Corning Elementary School District from 1987 to 1994 as an Accounting Technician.  While employed for the Corning Elementary School District, she attended the CASBO Business Managers Academy and completed courses on School Construction Management through the California State University, Davis extension program in Sacramento.

 Helen believes that living, working and raising her family in the community where she grew up has offered her great opportunities to give back to the community through service.  She has been involved in numerous community events i.e. Corning Little League, youth soccer, youth basketball and Neighborhood watch.

 She feels it is important for students to feel connected to their community and their school, and feels that the adults in their lives need to encourage them to take pride in who they are, where they are from and what they can become.

 In her many years on the Board, Helen has learned, “It’s easy to know what the right thing is to do, but doing it is not always they easiest or the most popular.”  

Marty Mathisen


Ronda Holland


Steve Kelish

Steve Kelish, retired Superintendent of the Corning Union Elementary School District, joined the Board of Trustees in 2014.  Steve served as Superintendent in Corning from July, 2005 to June, 2011 and as Superintendent in Humboldt County at the Arcata School District for 6 years. Prior to being a superintendent, Steve served as a Director of Instructional Services for 3 years, a principal for 11 years, and an assistant principal for 2 years. Steve has a total of 36 years as an educator in public schools, 28 of those years as an administrator and 8 years as a teacher. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor for CSU, Humboldt, where for the past 16 years, he has taught Educational Leadership/Administration. 

Together, Steve and his wife Cindy, have 5 children and 10 grandchildren.  They enjoy bottling green olives from their olive orchard, traveling to see family, and numerous projects around their home and yard.  Steve’s intimate knowledge of the workings of the Corning Elementary School District, its staff and programs is a huge asset to the Board.  Steve feels strongly that the Corning Union Elementary School District is a great place to work and a great place to learn. He is honored to serve as a Board Member in the District.


Jessie Trotter

Jessie Trotter, the Board of Trustees newest member, is a Retired Teacher who taught at Corning Union Elementary for many years. Jessie is a long-time member of the community and has served students and community members alike in many different capacities. Welcome to the Board of Trustees! 

Contact Information

Ronda Holland Email Term of Office: 2002 - 2018
Steve Kelish Email Term of Office: 2014 - 2018
Marty Mathisen Email Term of Office: 1983 - 2020
Helen Pitkin Email Term of Office: 1994 - 2018
Jessie Trotter Email Term of Office: 2016 - 2020

Please send all Board Member correspondence to:
Corning Union Elementary School District
Atten: (Board Member Name)
1590 South Street
Corning, CA  96021