Unified School District Governing Board Members and Community College District Governing Board Member
By Susan Motander
Duarte, Monrovia and Temple City’s School Unified School District are holding elections this November for its respective Governing Boards, normally referred to as the School Boards. The local Community Colleges, Citrus and Pasadena are also holding their elections for trustees. In the races for school boards all the candidates run against all other candidates in an open filing. The Community College Governing Boards are divided into separate trustee positions. The candidates for these offices were asked for brief statements about their background and why the individual chose to run for the position. Their answers are printed here.
Several candidates exceeded their word limit, but will be strictly limited on their next statements. Those running for the Duarte School Board will be printed in the Monday edition of the Duarte Dispatch.
A few candidates, despite repeated attempts to contact them for a statement, never sent this newspaper any information. We regret that we cannot share more information about these candidates.
Monrovia School Board Election
My experience, skills and interest indicate a strong correlation with Monrovia Unified School District’s expectations for a School Board Member: I have 19 years as an administrator at both the elementary and middle school levels and 15 years experience as a successful teacher at elementary, middle, high school and adult school. I have effective and diverse experience in education, including administration, teaching, curriculum writing, grant writing and staff development. I have been an educator in public schools for the past 34 years. I hold an Administrative Services Credential and a California Teaching credential that allows me to teach; Chemistry, General Science, Physical Education, as well as Computer Concepts and Applications. Recognizing the need for administrators to have a strong knowledge base in school finance I completed a Certificate in School Business Management from USC in January of 2004. I offer proven abilities that I believe qualify me to be an asset to Monrovia Unified School District. My wife, Kelly, I have lived in the Monrovia School’s attendance zone for the past 11 years. Kelly is a graduate of Arcadia High and our three children have attended Arcadia Schools. I grew up in rural South Dakota and like the small town ambiance of Monrovia. The sense of community in Monrovia draws me to serve the students, families and staff of Monrovia Unified School District.
I am 63 year old Monrovia resident and currently School Board President, School Board Member since 2005. Retired as an Engineering Program Manager for the US Forest Service, I am now self employed as an technical consultant. A resident of Monrovia for 18 years, I am running for reelection to make sure the great progress we have made continues and that Monrovia has World Class Schools for Word Class Students.
Rob Hammond has owned and operated Neighborhood Pawn Inc. for over 22 years, and he has served the community two terms as a council member and three terms as mayor. His business experience and local government experience will be beneficial to our school district during these tough economic times.
Janeane Lechuga Covarrubias
I am a native Monrovian and third generation MHS alum and my daughter attends Clifton. My volunteer work with my church, Girl Scouts, and the Monrovia Latino Heritage Society has inspired me to strive for this vital leadership position.
I am a life long resident of Monrovia and attended all levels of MUSD. Currently, I have three children in MUSD, two in High School and one in Kindergarten. I have been a businessman for 10 years. I am running to broaden the prospective of what our children’s’ needs are in this great, eclectic city.
“My name is Terrence Williams, an independent sales & marketing representative for trucking and transportation companies. I’ve been a residence of Monrovia for over 21 years and a parent who currently has 3 children in the MUSD with one that just graduated this year.
I am a candidate for Governing School Board of Monrovia because I feel that I can make a difference and bring diversity to the educational system by continuing to put the students priorities first. A great education happens when knowledgeable, passionate teacher’s efforts are mirrored at home with parents as educational partners. I’m more interested in what a student is learning and how they will develop as productive and positive human beings. Quality public schools have a profound impact on the lives of children and communities. My objective is to do what’s right for the kids by focusing on the basics!”
Hi, my name is Bryan Wong and I’ve lived in Monrovia for 18 years. My children both attend Monrovia schools, one is at the high school and the other is at Clifton. In addition to currently serving on the MUSD Board of Education, I am the executive director for an affordable housing nonprofit and serve on the board of directors of a community bank. I am seeking reelection because it has never been more important for strong proven leadership within the school district as it is today given all of the fiscal turmoil in the state.
TEMPLE CITY SCHOOL BOARD
Temple City School Board
I am a retired teacher having taught for 33 years I taught elementary education. I have ben substiuting since retiring. I am running beacuse I wan the temple City Unified School distrct to be great like it should be and once was. THere was a time when the bs of education, the teachers and the community worked together as once. I want that once more. We need the right leadershiop and right now I am concerned that we are lacking in this area. I want to be part of the solution to this problem.
I am a life long resident of Temple City and when through the Temple City school system. I went on to Cal Poly, Pomona and earned a degree in Civil Engineering. I worked for the Navy in Long Beach where my extensive experience included environmental issues, government procurement, management, contract negotiations, bid process, budget development and monitor, program management, engineering recruiting and training, and cost control. I serviced for over 35 years with a credit union on the Supervisory committee and as a Board member. I have attended the school board meeting for the pasted 3 years. One of the major concerns is why there seem to be an increase in turnover of Administrators. Other concerns would be on budget planning, insuring that we maintain our high test scores, support our school sites, and develop long term strategies of the District.
I have spent the last four years being privileged to serve the students, residents and community of the Temple City Unified School District as a member of the Board of Education. My name is Rachel LaSota and I am currently an incumbent, requesting your support and vote, for another term on the Board of Education. I am alumni of the Temple City School District, as well as the mother of a recent TCHS graduate and an incoming middle school student. I have been an active parent, involved with various booster groups, and PTA. As a Regulatory Inspector with the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, Medical Board of California, I believe that we need to continue to build our future by providing the best education and learning environment that we can. Please give me your support and vote.
I am the Incumbent and a retired Vice President of a Commercial Lender as well as being a homemaker. As a resident of Temple City for over 30 years, I love our town of “Mayberry” now known as a “Wonderful Place to Raise Kids” per Bloomberg Businessweek. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve on the board for the past 4 years. During my tenure, our district has won several Distinguished School Awards, made the 10 Highest Performing District, and 2 of our schools scored above 900 API. I am especially proud of our accomplishments given that TCUSD faced funding cuts of over $6 million resulting in many difficult board decisions dealing with balancing the needs of our kids while maintaining financial solvency. There is much to be done and more challenges lay ahead as we strive for excellence. With your vote, I will continue supporting our vision of “creating the model citizens of tomorrow today” and help each student achieve their greatest potential.
Robert “Bob” Ridley
No statement was received.
Kien C. Tiet
I have carefully considered running in this election and have come to the conclusion that I can play an important role in ensuring that we continue to provide a first rate education for our children. My wife, Dr. Paulina Han, and I both live and work in Temple City. We are raising our three children here. Our eldest son attends La Rosa. I have a unique set of skills that will be helpful to the Board. I am a lawyer by training, but I have budgetary experience, financial expertise, management ability, and an ability to form working relationships with legislative bodies. In these tough economic times, we need to pull together to make public education work. We will need to keep reasonable teacher to student ratios at all costs. We will also have to make sure our curriculum stays up to date and one of the best in the State.
As a School Board member, I believe that you are the eyes, ears, heart and soul of the public and the employees. A School Board member must remain accessible and keep everyone fully informed of the Board’s actions and plans. I believe that the School Board should be above reproach when it comes to openness and transparency when it is conducting business. If elected, I pledge to be ethical, fiscally prudent, and prepared to discuss subjects and issues related to our district. I will work diligently to improve our educational standing by working with students, parents and teachers.”
My name is Matthew Wong. I am the Founder and Executive Director of the Temple City Voice. I am a Temple City resident and a graduate of Temple City High School. I am running for School Board because I care passionately about this community. I believe the Temple City Unified School District needs a School Board Member who can work with City Hall, the local businesses, and religious community in order to tackle the very difficult issues that TCUSD faces.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT TRUSTEES
CITRUS COLLEGE – AREA 5 (while there are several seats open this is the only one impacting the immediate area)
I retired after working 34 years at PCC as professor and Science Dean. With 12 years on the Monrovia School Board and experience in Sacramento, I have the skills and desire to help Citrus College continue to serve our community during this time of financial crisis. My comprehensive understanding of student, faculty, management and governance issues makes me an excellent choice for the Governing Board of Citrus Community College.
I look forward to serving you as Citrus Community College District Trustee. A Life time of commitment to youth, public education, and community service has provided me with the leadership and knowledge to maintain excellence in our high quality educational programs that will lead to attainment of degrees, certificates, employment and transfer. The fiscal scene for the college is constantly changing. We need experienced trustees who know the history of the college and can give the guidance needed to meet the challenges ahead. I have a background in education, serving 32 years as an elementary school teacher and 12 1/2 year as your representative to Citrus College (two terms as Board President). My community involvement is an important asset.
PASADENA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
I am seeking reelection because I believe my many years of experience as a university manager, teacher (Ph.D. in English), and Trustee are an asset to the PCC Board. As the mother of three former PCC students, my first commitment continues to be educating our young people. I have concentrated on strengthening academic programs, cutting administrative waste and keeping PCC financially sound. The community can be proud of the results. PCC has one of California’s highest rates for degrees awarded and university transfers; the emergency reserve is $18,766,934; compared to $60,000 when she took office; the $250,000 campus renovation is under budget. While hard times have forced other community colleges to cut teachers and classes careful budgeting has let PCC expand class offerings. However, success brings new challenges. PCC’s energetic new president needs an experienced Board to continue to improve training for jobs in today’s economy and guarantee district high school students priority admission.
Brian M. Fuller
No statement was received.
M.A.C. “Maestro” Enriquez- Marquez
No statement was received
President, Pasadena City College Board of Trustees, 2010 – present, Member Board of Trustees since 2007; represent Board of Trustees on Pasadena City College Foundation.
Additional examples of my civic involvement: Mayor of Pasadena (1988 – 1990); Member Pasadena City Council ( 1981 – 1997); former President, Member Rose Bowl Operating Company; Member, former President, Rose Bowl Aquatics Center; Board Member, Pasadena Educational Foundation; Member, Pasadena City of Learning.
In my professional life, I’m an Intellectual Property Attorney , litigating complex patent and other intellectual property cases in jury and court trials and before the International Trade Commission. Much of my practice involves representation of Asian and European based clients, in addition to U.S. clients.
Today, decisions are being made that limit students’ access to higher education. We need to carefully examine the college’s priorities and put the interests of our residents first. Access to quality education in our community and a well-supported faculty are my top priorities.
With financial resources reduced, we can’t afford to shift funds away from student instruction. Let’s work to reverse this trend and promote a college budget with students’ needs as its primary obligation. Our college should not be expected to work alone; I will work constructively with businesses and local organizations to meet today’s changing occupational demands. I have the experience and commitment to our community to follow through on these issues. I am a Community College Teacher, US Army veteran, and life-long local resident. I attended local public schools and started college at PCC. I graduated from CSU Northridge and Baylor University and deeply value the opportunities provided through accessible public education. As your elected College Board Member, I will work to ensure that your interests and those of your neighbors are given the highest priority. I respectfully ask for the opportunity to be of service to our community, for your support and vote on November 8th.
John Martin is the first person ever elected to the Pasadena Community College Board from the Temple City and Rosemead area. Martin is proud to have been a part of PCC’s proud past and global future. PCC’s new resurgence includes a modernized campus, emphasis on student success and quality instructional programs. PCC ranks in the top 50 community colleges in the country. John Martin’s priority continues to be “More Classes”. With state funds being drastically cut, John Martin uses his Masters Degree in Economics and financial expertise as a Chief Financial Officer to reduce bureaucracy and fight for “More Classes”.