You are here:  Home  >  Calendar >  Vista High School Graduate Appointed Federal Judge

Vista High School Graduate Appointed Federal Judge

By   /  November 30, 2017  /  2 Comments


Jose Luis Penalosa, Esq., Appointed May 5, 2017

Jose Luis Penalosa, Jr.

San Diego, CA, November 30, 2017:  Jose Luis Penalosa, Jr. was appointed to the 9th Circuit as a Federal Immigration Judge on May 5, 2017. He was selected from a pool of 18,000 applicants and was one of 7 who achieved the appointment. Penalosa, a graduate of Vista High School, Class of 1980, in Vista, California, played football for the Panthers and was a 2-year member of the Meister Singers choir. He continued his education at Palomar Junior College and achieved an A.A. He was then accepted and enrolled into UCLA where he completed his studies in Political Science, receiving a Bachelor of Science in 1986. Penalosa entered the school of law at Arizona State University. Upon graduation, he practiced immigration law and enjoyed a successful 25-year career practicing as a sole proprietor in Phoenix, Arizona.

Penalosa is the first-generation born Mexican son of Gloria M. Penalosa Romero and Jose Luis Penalosa, Sr., a Vietnam Veteran and 30-year decorated member of the United States Marine Corps.  Jose is the first son in the Penalosa family to attend college, and his two sisters followed suit.

Jose is married to Nora Fraire Penalosa and has three daughters: Alexa, a recent graduate of UCSB and an Environmental Studies major, Sofia, a 9th grader, and Dionayra, an 8th grader. Jose’s second daughter, Camilla, died in utero at six months with complications from an unformed skull and Down Syndrome. She is beloved by all family members and buried in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jose’s siblings, Rebecca Lopez, Akiva Penaloza and Michael Penalosa, are also graduates of Vista High School. Lopez enjoyed a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Banner Health Nursing Academy and achieved her RN designation in 2010. She lives in Valley Center, California with her husband of 40 years, George Lopez and works as the Head Nurse and Manager for a large medical clinic in Escondido. Akiva, formerly known as Patty, graduated from Vista High School in 1984 and attended Pepperdine University where she earned a B.A. in Communications and Creative Writing. After a successful career in publishing, Akiva attended the American Film Institute (AFI), Class of 2003, as a Screenwriting Fellow in the MFA Program. She resides in New York City with her partner, Joan, and is a successful screenwriter. Michael Penalosa enjoys a 25-year career in the travel industry, where he has held several successful positions at US Air. He currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and two kids.

For more information, please contact Akiva Penaloza at akiva46@icloud.com or 718-309-4582.



Do you want more news like this? We're supported by our subscribers and readers!

  • Published: 1 year ago on November 30, 2017
  • By:
  • Last Modified: December 1, 2017 @ 12:06 am
  • Filed Under: Local

About the author



  1. Congratulations to Vista High graduate Jose Luis Penalosa, Esq. We are proud of you!

  2. Dove says:

    Congratulations your story is inspiring

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also like...

Vista Night Out

Read More →