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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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 (6/30/2024)

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Darla Boller, Member

Hello, my name is Darla Boller I am a newly elected member of the Barona Indian Charter School Board. I reside on the Barona Indian Reservation with my husband Scott, and our three children. Two of our children attend BICS. I look forward to serve on the school board. My goals are to work toward the students attending BICS to have a safe, and rewarding education experience. I believe this can be accomplished by supporting our Principal and staff. Also parent involvement is crucial. May we as a School Board have a positive effect on the students, parents, and community of Barona.

(Term Ends (6/30/2026)


Melanie Villa, Member

Melanie Villa is a Barona Tribal Member who lives on the reservation with her husband and daughters. She is active in her community both on and off the reservation and enjoys gathering with loved ones. For the past 12 years she has worked at a local Christian school, 9 of which she served as a 2nd grade teacher. Her experience in the classroom and desire to serve her community are the inspiration of her joining the Barona Indian Charter School Board of Directors.  With the help of her fellow board members, she hopes to continue the great progress that has begun and looks forward to sharing in upholding values and tradition.

(Term Ends (6/30/2026)