Meet our Governing Board

Barona Indian Charter School is governed by a California nonprofit public-benefit corporation and has an independent Board of Directors who meet regularly to oversee the school’s management, operation, activities, and affairs. The Board of Directors defines, composes, and revises (as needed) the policies of the school and ensures compliance with its agreements and applicable laws and regulations.


All regularly-scheduled board meetings begin at the Community Center at 1095 Barona Road in Lakeside, unless otherwise noted on the agenda. Agendas for the board meetings may be found on this website at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. Have a question for our Board of Directors?  Send an email to

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Raymond J. Welch, Chairman

A third generation Barona leader, Raymond J. Welch, is currently serving his first term as the Chairman of the Barona Indian Charter School and his first term as Chairman of the Barona Tribal Council. Prior to his newly elected position, Chairman Welch served as Vice-Chairman for six years. He has called the Barona Indian Reservation home his entire life.

Taking a cue from his upbringing and predecessors, Chairman Welch encompasses the same ethical and moral responsibility to lead and stand by his Tribe. He believes that with success comes the responsibility to speak up for and help his brothers and sisters that are less fortunate. Happily married to Sandy Welch for 32 years, they have three children and one granddaughter. When asked what the word family means to him, he responded, "everything" – which is no surprise since he is most happy when spending time with his family.

(Term Ends (6/30/2024)

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Tawnya Phoenix, Vice Chairperson

BICS Vice Chairperson and Barona Tribal Councilwoman Tawnya Phoenix grew up on the Barona Indian Reservation in a family that was steadfast in serving the Barona community through service and faith. Her late mother, Linda Curo, created the Barona Charter School in 2000.

Councilwoman Phoenix has served as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2002, thus highlighting her commitment to the Barona community and education. She continues to be a strong proponent of the school’s small class model that incorporates Barona Indian culture, history, language and art. Councilwoman Phoenix and her husband, Frank, have been married for 32 years. They have three sons, and seven grandkids and they all live on the reservation. She delights in their company every day.

(Term Ends (6/30/2023)

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Mandy Curo de Quintero, Secretary/Treasurer

A true BICS mom with two daughters; one who has already gone K-8th with Barona, and the other following suit in 4th grade. She is a tribal member of the reservation, born and raised in this community, and enjoys being involved in her culture and passing the torch. She serves on the museum committee, gathering committee, culture camp committee, and is a board member of Signatus. She is currently following in her father’s footsteps and learning her indigenous language.

Mandy studied at the Art Institute of Colorado and graduated with a degree in photography. She’s been married for almost 20 years to another photographer and they do a lot of events together. Mandy also plays live music around town, sharing her passion for singing and storytelling through songwriting. Her daughter Carmen often performs with her. She is new to the school board, but she’s not new to Barona Indian Charter School.

(Term Ends (6/30/2022)

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Shirley Ruis, Founder and Member

Haawka, I am a tribal member from the Barona Band of Mission Indians and one of the original founders of Barona Indian Charter School.  It has been an honor to be able to serve my community in this manner.  I can say with pride I have raised 7 children on the Barona Indian Reservation.  Three of my children have attended the Barona Indian Charter School.  I have 10 grandkids and 10 great grandchildren.  It has been my pleasure to serve on the Museum, Election, and Senior committees in the past.  I am an active senior chair volleyball player for the Barona elders. I am very proud of having played a small part in watching Barona Indian Charter School grow into what it is today.  I have high hope for the future of both the tribe and Barona Indian Charter School.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, especially my grandchildren.

(Term Ends (6/30/2022)

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Danthia Little Raven Gil, Member

Haawka, I am pleased to serve the children of our wonderful community. I'm a married mother of four. My two youngest attend the Barona Indian Charter School. I am a tribal member from Barona and have Iived on the reservation my entire life. I'm on the enrollment committee and a small business owner. I love my community and am very involved. I am very grateful to be part of the Barona Indian Charter Board of Directors. I believe education is the key to success in life. 

(Term Ends (6/30/2022)