Retired Superior Court judge David B. Finkel has been elected chair and Dr. Andew Walzer vice chair of the Santa Monica Community College board for 2010.

This is the first time that these trustees, both elected in 2006, have been selected for these leadership posts, which rotate annually. Finkel succeeds Louise Jaffe as chair and Walzer succeeds Finkel as vice chair.

Finkel, a resident of Santa Monica for 45 years, was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2006.

Finkel has had a long and distinguished career in public service and education. He is a retired judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and a former judge and presiding judge of the Santa Monica Municipal Court. He also served on the City Council and as mayor pro tem.

Upon retiring from the bench in 2002, he served as an arbitrator and mediator for six years. Until his election to the SMC Board of Trustees, he was an adjunct professor of political science at the college, teaching U.S. and California government and politics with an emphasis on constitutional law. Since fall 2008 he has resumed teaching that course as a volunteer.

He is currently a volunteer tutor at the SMC Counseling Center in English and social sciences, and in 2009 tutored a deaf student in political science. He is also a former faculty member of the California Judges College, teaching judicial ethics and fairness, and was a member of the Ethics Committee of the California Judges Association.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and his law degree from USC.

Walzer, a resident of Santa Monica for seven years, was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2006.

Walzer is a tenured associate professor of humanities at Los Angeles City College, where he has taught since 2004. Before that he was an adjunct instructor at Santa Monica College, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Dominguez Hills. He is also the student success coordinator at LACC.

He is a member of the Executive Board of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1521, and a member of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

Walzer graduated with a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Minnesota in 1997 and a bachelor’s in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1983.

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