Contra Costa Community College Board President Sheila A. Grilli passes away

Sheila GrilliMARTINEZ, CA – The Contra Costa Community College District (District) sadly announced the passing of Governing Board president Sheila A. Grilli on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at the age of 75. Ms. Grilli represented Ward 3 which included most of Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Concord, and the community of Pacheco.

She was first elected to the Governing Board in 1998, and was serving her fourth consecutive term of office.  Grilli is only the third member to represent this area since the District was created in 1948.  Former Ward 3 representatives included founding Governing Board member George R. Gordon for whom the District Office in Martinez is named, and Eugene H. Ross for whom the District Office board room is named.

Our prayers and sympathies are with the Grilli family and friends,” says Governing Board Vice President John E. Márquez.  “Sheila was a feisty advocate for the students who come to us with hopes of fulfilling their higher education goals with us.  One of my fondest memories will be the joy on her face as she describes her participation at graduation ceremonies and seeing the contribution our colleges make in the lives of our students.  She will be missed.”

After earning her A.A. degree at Diablo Valley College, Grilli attended U.C. Berkeley, where she graduated with a B.A. in English and Journalism.  She then went on to San Francisco State University, where she earned her general secondary teaching credential and taught at Clayton Valley High School. She also studied for her M.A. in English at California State University, Hayward and taught writing there for four years.

During her fifteen years as a Governing Board member, Grilli was a tireless supporter of the community college mission to provide affordable and quality higher education opportunities for our students and the community.  She worked on the passage of Bond Measure A 2002 and 2006 which have modernized our campus facilities to improve the learning environment for students and prepare them for 21st century jobs and careers.

Grilli was a bookstore owner in Martinez and active in community work.  She served as treasurer of the Muir Heritage Land Trust, secretary of Woodbridge Children’s Centers, and secretary of St. Catherine’s Pastoral Council.  She was also active in the Cal Alumni Association and in the revitalization of downtown Martinez.

In adherence to California Education Code 5091, the Governing Board shall decide within 60 days if the District will order an election or make a provisional appointment to fill the vacancy.

The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,065,177 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon.  The District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez. For more information about the District, visit

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