skip to main content



Regular meetings of the Board are held on the third Monday of each month. No meetings are held in July. Open session begins at 5:15 p.m. followed by closed session. Meetings take place in the District Office Conference Room located at 745 Tenth Street, Colusa, CA.


Colusa Unified  School District’s governing board consists of five trustees. The role of the Board of Trustees is to ensure that the district is responsive to the values, beliefs and priorities of the Colusa community. Trustees fulfill this role by performing five major responsibilities:
  • Setting direction
  • Establishing an effective and efficient structure
  • Providing support
  • Ensuring accountability
  • Providing community leadership as advocates for children, the school district and public schools 

These five responsibilities represent core functions that are so fundamental to a school system’s accountability to the public that they can only be performed by an elected governing body.

Authority is granted to the board as a whole, not each member individually. Therefore, board members fulfill these responsibilities by working together as a governance team with the superintendent, principal, and our talented teachers and staff to:

  • Assure that Colusa Unified School District students have the oppurtunity to actively participate in a rigourous and rewarding academic environment enriched with visual and performing arts, technology, athletics and extracurricular actitivities.
  • Sustain financial security of the District, while utilizing available resources to their highest potential and best use
  • Working together to provide the vision, resources, advocacy, leadership, and accountability in a transparent, respectful, and collaborative manner to help students, their parents, and their teachers
  • Increase student achievement.
  • Recognize the talents, devotion, and extraordinary efforts of all district employees.
  • Partner and collaborate with others who believe in student achievement and success, while distinguishing Colusa Unified School District as a leader in Colusa County.

Each of the Board of Trustees would appreciate and welcome your ideas and thoughts as we strive to move the District forward. You can contact Trustees through the email addresses provided below.
Erin Steidlmayer
Christopher Mcallister
Melissa Yerxa Ortiz
Kelli Griffith - Garcia
Kathie Whitesell
Erin Steidlmayer 

Erin Steidlmayer 

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science, Psychology with a minor in Spanish, University of California, Davis; Juris Doctorate, Santa Clara University
ABOUT ME:  As a school board member, I want to instill a love of learning and give our children choices. I was born in Hawaii, raised in Marin County, and found my way to Colusa in 2014. My husband, Luke, is from Colusa, and we decided to raise our three kids in this close-knit community. I am an attorney, a mother and a local business owner. I joined the school board in December 2020 to support our board members in our determination to serve all students.
In 2010, I graduated law school and worked at Oracle America, Inc. as a software license compliance and education consultant. In 2014, I changed gears to work at Steidlmayer Law, a general law practice, with my husband and father-in-law. Although family circumstances motivated my career change, I have found joy in engaging with local clients and their unique family and business endeavors. After work, I’m playing with our kids, running on the levee with my dog, reading and baking.
TERM: Expires: 12-2024
Christopher Mcallister 

Christopher Mcallister 

EDUCATION: I attended school in the Colusa County area from grades K-12th. I attended Princeton Unified School District for grades K-2nd, from 3rd to 10th grade I attended Pierce Unified School District and for my final two years of High School I attended Maxwell High School. After high school, I continued my education at the University of College City, in College City California. Here I majored in Agriculture and mechanics.
ABOUT ME: My lovely and supporting wife, Teresa, and I have lived in Colusa since we were married in 2001. We have three children in the CUSD system. Our daughter Jasmine will be a senior at CHS, our son Christopher will be in eighth grade and our son Matthew will be in fifth grade, all starting in the fall of 2020. I work as a supervisor for River Vista Farms in Colusa, and I also farm a few small acres of my own. My wife and I enjoy watching our kids play softball and baseball. We also enjoy spending time together as a family in December, traveling to my wife’s small home town in Mexico.
TERM: Expires 12-2026
Melissa Yerxa Ortiz 

Melissa Yerxa Ortiz 

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science, Agricultural Business, Cal Poly, SLO, Masters in Business Administration, Texas A&M University
ABOUT ME: It is my belief that only local, highly-invested residents can make and maintain Colusa as a great place to live. I was born and raised in Colusa and attended Burchfield, Egling, and CHS. Colusa is my happy place and I am always on the lookout for ways to enhance our community in meaningful ways. I joined the school board before my children started Kindergarten because I wanted to bring a fresh set of eyes, my business experience, and a fully-invested attitude knowing that my children would soon enter our district.  
Professionally, I split my time between working on our family farm and my consulting business. In my spare time, I love to go on adventures with my husband Antonio and our two children, read, exercise, and act as a champion for the three things I care most about: kids and education, entrepreneurship, and helping individuals and organizations  develop their natural talents.
TERM: Expires 12-2024
Kelli Griffith - Garcia - Board President

Kelli Griffith - Garcia - Board President

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies with a minor in Child Development, California State University, Chico.
ABOUT ME: I was born and raised in Colusa and attended Burchfield, Egling, and Colusa High School. Colusa is more than my hometown, it is where I take pride in being involved in my community, supporting our citizens, and making Colusa the foundation of successful individuals. I joined the school board because I wanted to be a part of a team that held education as a top priority.  I believe that my experience as a teacher brings a unique outlook as a board member as well as my dedication to education as a parent of students attending Colusa Unified School District. I value a balanced education that provides a safe, student-centered, high quality education for ALL students.
I have been an elementary school teacher for the past 20 years. I am actively involved in many organizations; Colusa Area Little League, Colusa Community 4-H, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Colusa Recreational Sports, American Red Cross, and, The Farmers Daughter just to name a few. In my spare time, I enjoy a wide variety of adventures with my husband Andy and our two daughters. We treasure our time together at the lake, working in our yard, DIY projects, exercising, reading, snow skiing, and traveling.  My greatest accomplishment is the life and family we have built together.
TERM: Expires 12-2024
Roberta James - BOARD CLERK

Roberta James - BOARD CLERK

EDUCATION:  Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Teaching Credential, University of California, Santa Barbara, Master’s Degree in Education, Chico State University 
ABOUT ME: Education has been both a professional and personal focus for most of my life. After working for most of my career in Colusa schools, I am thrilled to have this opportunity to continue serving our students. In addition to my work here in Colusa, I have taught at Chico State University, and served in several positions mentoring and supervising teachers throughout the area.  
I have a deep regard for education, and for the teachers, staff and educational leaders who devote their career years to the children in our community. They are an invaluable asset. Providing quality education, and interesting, meaningful learning experiences for students was a constant mission throughout my career, and one I bring with me as I serve as a Colusa Trustee.  
I was born and raised in Napa Valley, and moved to Colusa after college to take a teaching position. This has been my home ever since. My husband Jon was born and raised in Colusa, and we raised our two daughters here. Among my many interests are quilt design and fiber arts. I am part of the collective at Salmon Bend Art Studios and am working to further my education in the Arts during my spare time.  
TERM: Expires 12-2026
Contact the board

Contact the board