Paul Montoya on March 1 attended his first meeting of the Montebello Unified School District Board of Educations as a board member.
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The thirty-six year old who took over a seat left vacant by the death of board member Marcella Calderon had already been sworn in on Feb. 29, but repeated the rite last week at the district’s regular meeting for the benefit of the public.
Montoya opened his term with a speech addressing the district’s various stakeholders. “I look forward to working with the teachers to ensure they have what they need to work to the best of their ability to provide the excellent education that every student deserves… To the students, I want to say I understand … I’ve been through it. Some teachers can be tough, some strict, the world around us can be distracting, but I can tell you from experience that the time and effort you invest in your education now will benefit you your entire life,” he said.
He also told parents, “you can’t do it alone, but neither can the district and the schools. We must build a strong partnership and encourage increased parent and community involvement at all levels. The greatest joy a parent can have is to see their children achieve greater success than they have. I sincerely feel that together we can have our children fulfill all our dreams and aspirations. I am one of you.”
Like fellow board member David Vela, Montoya is a product of MUSD schools. “You are homegrown. This whole board really welcomes you with open arms,” Vela told Montoya at the meeting.
Board President Hector Chacon took the opportunity to impart some advice to the new board member. “I hope that in making your decisions, which will not always be easy decisions, you will find it in your heart and in your conscience to make the right decision, like we all do for the benefit of our kids,” he said.
Montoya beat out 16 other candidates for the appointment. He will serve until Nov. 2013, at which point he is required to run for election if he wants to serve out the remainder of Calderon’s four year term. The public has 30 days from the date of Montoya’s appointment to petition for an election to be held instead.