School Board Members


Sophia Tse photo
Sophia Tse
President of the Board
Trustee Area 5
Elected - 2007

Mrs. Sophia Tse was elected to the ABC Board in 2007, re-elected in 2011, and in 2015.  Sophia Tse is a Director of Post-Partum, Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Sophia has been a resident of Cerritos for 27 years. All three of her children attended ABC schools.  Sophia has been involved in her children's schools as PTSA board member and Carmenita MS and Whitney HS, chairwoman at Whitney HS Chinese PTSA and volunteer nurse practitioner for Cerritos HS soccer teams.  She has served in the community through the following organizations:  Chairwoman and Board Member of the Southern California Chinese Culture Association; coach, team mom, and first aid provided for City of Cerritos soccer teams; participant in the March of Dimes Program for Premature Infants; and community instructor for basic life support and parenting classes.  Mrs. Tse was the liaison to the Career Technical Education Ad Hoc Board Advisory Committee.  She believes that educational instruction should develop all aspects of the student, including the physical, intellectual, social, and psychological aspects, in order to create a well-rounded individual.  She strongly feels that success in a student's education can only occur through strong parental involvement and participation.

 

 
 
 

 

Soo Yoo photo
 
Soo Yoo
Vice President of the Board
Trustee Area 2
Elected - 2013

Mrs. Soo Yoo is the Founder and Director of an after school Tutoring and College preparatory academy since 1994. Soo earned her Bachelor Degree from University of California, Irvine and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. Soo is fluent in English, Spanish, and Korean languages.

 

Soo has extensive experience as a College Admission Consultant,   newspaper education columnist, speaker for PTA sponsored college prep seminars at ABC Schools, and Committee Member on the City of Cerritos’ Let Freedom Ring Committee.

 

She is also a member of PTA at Wittmann Elementary and served on the School Site Council at Gahr High School. Additionally, she served as a girl’s volunteer basketball coach for the City of Cerritos Park and Recreation.

 

In 2007, Soo founded the American Red Cross, Gateway Chapter. She is the Artesia/Cerritos Annual Team Sponsor for American Cancer Society-Relay for Life since 2008. Soo is an advisor to the Mid-City Korean Senior Association.

 

A Cerritos resident since 1996, Soo is married to Sam, a Pastor, for 22 years. They have four children:  Hannah, Amy, Rachel, and Abigail. They all attended, or attend ABC Schools at Wittmann Elementary, Carmenita Middle School and Gahr High School.

 
 
 

 

Ernie Nishii board member photo
 
Ernie Nishii
Clerk of the Board
Trustee Area 3
Elected - 2017 

Mr. H. Ernie Nishii was born in East Los Angeles (Boyle Heights) and raised in Santa Ana, attending a very diverse Saddleback High School. At 10, he started a gardening business, which he used to help pay his way through college.  He graduated with a BA in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside, and shortly after that entered and graduated UCLA Law School, passing the California Bar in 1992.

 

He is a husband and a father.  At Leal Elementary School, he was part of the LEAP Foundation and grew an afterschool program that was at the core of Leal’s Blue Ribbon designation.  He helped create the Winter Arts Festival, which enabled special kids to be part of the school community.  Leading the foundation, he improved finances, improved participation, and grew a new bank of leaders to continue the next generation.  He has participated in the Whitney Summer Academy and Foundation fundraisers and is a past member of the Whitney Foundation for Educational Excellence, Whitney PTSA, and past Chair for the Safe and Modern Schools Measure BB committee. BB now provides 256 million dollars in needed modernized school facilities and safety enhancements.

 

Mr. Nishii is currently a director on the Southeast Japanese School & Community Center Board, Tuna Canyon Detention Station board, and volunteer legal counsel for Historic Wintersburg.  He wants our education to be multidimensional and passionate.  His family was incarcerated during WWII, and he remembers stories his grandfather told about what happened.  When history is only in our books and not in our hearts—we forget and repeat the sins of our past.  Quality education can enable us to rise above this.  Recognizing that ABC is an excellent school district, he works to be a partner with administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and the community to make our schools even better.

 

 
 
 

Christopher Apodaca photo

 

Christopher Apodaca
Member of the Board
Trustee Area 7
Elected - 2015

 

 

 

Dr. Christopher Apodaca was born in Santa Ana, California to a working class family. As the middle of three children, he began working at the age of 15 as a janitor to help his family keep a roof over their heads. He is a product of the K-12 public school system and was a scholar athlete throughout his four years at Orange High School.  

He is the youngest Latino to be elected to the school board and serve as Vice President. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, a Master of Business Administration in Accounting & Finance, and maintains a Federal NMLS License. 

Mr. Apodaca is actively involved in his community and has served on the board of various non-profit organizations. Among them are: the California Public Schools Advisory Council, the OC Children’s Language Center, Patriots & Paws, the ABC Education Foundation, and the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP). 

He has received recognition from Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, State Senator Tony Mendoza, Assembly Member Cristina Garcia, and various local officials for his work with the Primary Intervention Program (PIP). 

In 2012 and again in 2014, he was named a “Presidential Management Fellow” semi-finalist. A competitive and prestigious program offered by the United States Office of Personnel Management on behalf of the President. 

He has been a member of the following organizations: Thomas I. Bergin Society, Pacific West Association of Realtors, the Surfrider Foundation, Young Professionals Network (YPN), the Orange County Association of REALTORS, the Santa Clara University Alumni Association, and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. 

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his Labrador retriever, watching Netflix, and playing the piano. He has also been sighted singing karaoke on occasion. 

“With education comes empowerment, not just for some but for all. I am proud to be your trustee and look forward to working with you to strengthen our community.” –Board Member Chris Apodaca 

 

 

 

Brad Beach board member photo

Brad Beach
Member of the Board
Trustee Area 4
Elected - 2020

Mr. Brad Beach grew up in Cerritos and attended ABC schools. He went to Bragg Elementary, attended Haskell Middle School, and graduated from Gahr High School. Mr. Beach later attended San Diego State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice (Cum Laude) and a minor in Kinesiology. He is currently attending POST Command College and working toward a Master of Science degree in Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego.  

 

Mr. Beach has worked in law enforcement for more than 21 years for the State of California and has promoted to the rank of Captain. He serves on the Board of Directors with the International Red Ribbon Movement, which is a non-profit organization that advocates for prevention of substance abuse by our community’s youth.  

 

Mr. Beach is an active member of the community and served on the City of Cerritos Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, and Cerritos Community Safety Committee. He is a Cerritos Neighborhood Watch Block Captain for Zone 32 and a member of the Los Angeles County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).  Mr. Beach was also appointed by the Mayor of Cerritos to the Bellflower Unified School District Citizen’s Task Force and served in that capacity for one year.  

 

He served as a member of the ABC Strategic Planning Committee and the School of Choice Committee, and he was Chair of the Facilities Committee for the District. Mr. Beach is proud of the Facilities Master Plan that the team created and for the work the School of Choice Committee completed to put the residents as first priority in the School of Choice lottery. He was also PTA President for two years at Nixon Academy and is a proud member of the Nixon Watch DOGS (Dads Of Great Students).  

 

In his spare time, Brad enjoys coaching his daughter’s softball team with the Cerritos Girl’s Softball League and traveling with his family. He and his wife Marlene, who was a Corpsman in the United States Navy and an Iraq war veteran, are raising their daughters, Addison and Makenzie, in Cerritos, and the girls currently attend ABC schools.

 

 

 

 

Michael Eugenio board member photo

Michael Eugenio

Member of the Board
Trustee Area 1
Elected - 2020 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Michael Ray Eugenio is a family man and has been married to May for 20 years. He has grown up in Cerritos and is a product of the ABC Unified School District, attending Bragg Elementary, Haskell Middle School, and Gahr High School. He continued his involvement with the school district with his three children, Madison and Mason, who graduated from Gahr High School and Cerritos High School. Madeline, a child with special needs, is currently attending Cerritos High School. Her challenges have given great insight into the obstacles families are facing. 

 

His love for education continued with his graduating Magna Cum Laude from CSU Dominguez Hills with a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education in 2000, then graduating from USC with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2003. Professionally, he is a California State Officer and knows safety is of utmost importance. Dr. Eugenio has also served on Artesia’s Public Safety Commission. He has volunteered as medical staff for the Gahr Wrestling Team, parent volunteer at both marching bands for Ross Academy and Gahr High School, parent volunteer at Elliott Elementary, and a coach for youth flag football and basketball. 

 

He also does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Filipino Martial Arts because he knows it teaches discipline, respect, and hard work. Collecting comics is another passion because he has a love for art and wants to preserve a valuable art form for generations to come. 

 

Dr. Eugenio wants all children to get the best possible start in life in a safe and healthy environment, with wonderful teachers who will prepare them for the future. He knows that in these unprecedented times, communication is key with parent involvement. He feels blessed to have been a part of this community and now gets to give back even more.

 

 

 

Dr. Olga Rios
 
Dr. Olga Rios
Member of the Board
Trustee Area 6
Elected - 2017


 

Dr. Olga Rios grew up in Hawaiian Gardens and attended local ABC schools. She attended Hawaiian Elementary, Fedde Middle School, and graduated from Artesia High School. Since then has attained a Bachelor’s degree from California State University Long Beach; a Masters Degree from Harvard University; a Teaching Credential from UCLA extensions; an Administrative Credential from UC Irvine; and most recently a Doctorate Degree from USC’s Educational Leadership Program. She beat the odds and knows others can too. 

 

She is also an involved parent.  The city of Lakewood has been her home for the past eighteen years and has been a great place to raise her two children. Her daughter attended ABC schools and graduated from Artesia High School in 2017. Before that her daughter attended Carmenita Middle School and Leal Elementary. Her son is also making his way through ABC. Participating in her children’s education has been a priority for her. She has served on PTA, been PTSA President, and served on School Site Council Committees.  She knows the value of parent participation. 

 

Dr. Rios is an advocate for children. Currently, she is a school principal for Bellflower Unified. Before that, she was a teacher for sixteen years. Dr. Rios believes that her success can only be truly meaningful if she helps others.  This has been her mission as a teacher, an administrator, and will be as a Board Member.  She understands the importance of preparing all ABC students to be college and or career ready.

 

In her free time, Dr. Rios enjoys reading, watching her son play baseball, and helping her daughter navigate college life.