It’s a phrase my wife has used for years to describe one of the values we taught our daughter and son when they were growing up. College was never talked about as “optional.” We explained that competition for successful careers, whatever our kids chose, would be fierce. I believe that instilling this value at an early age played a significant role in our kids, now 24 and 23, graduating from one of the top public universities in the nation. Indeed, studies have shown that parent involvement in their children’s education makes a difference.
Former Superintendent Thelma Melndez de Santa Ana celebrated education by working tirelessly in her three years at the helm of PUSD to develop a new direction, encourage parent participation and increase community support. She received high marks for spending time on campuses and in the community visiting with kids, teachers, and parents. In response to parents’ desire for more educational options, the District established academies that focus on specific career paths, some beginning in 7th grade.
I am excited about these positive changes and accomplishments and wholeheartedly support them. Importantly, it was refreshing to hear support for these changes from parents and other stakeholders at recent meetings conducted to gather input from the community on the qualities our new superintendent should possess. I will do my best to ensure that active parent involvement is maintained as a priority to supplement our teachers’ hard work in the classroom.
We must keep our campuses crime-free to provide safe educational environments conducive to learning. If elected, I will insist that our new superintendent continue the same working relationship with new Pomona Police Chief Dave Keetle that Dr. Melndez enjoyed with former Pomona Chief Joe Romero and also the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
Public service is a privilege; that said, I consider myself more privileged than most. Voters elected me in 1997 and 2001 to represent the best interests of Pomona and Diamond Bar children. After the untimely passing of longtime Board member Candelario Mendoza in June 2008, I was honored that my Board colleagues believed I was worthy enough to be appointed to fill Cande’s unexpired term.
I appreciate the opportunity to have represented the children of our community on the Board of Education for nine years. I hope that you find me a worthy leader and respectfully ask for your support again on Nov. 3.