Three new Board members, Rachel LaSota, Janet Rhee, and Robert (Bob) Ridley, were sworn in by Superintendent Dr. Joan Hillard at the December 12th Board of Education meeting. Assemblymember Anthony Portantino was supposed to have sworn in the three new Board members, but did not arrive until shortly after the superintendent had sworn them into office.
LaSota, Rhee, and Ridley defeated incumbent Robert McKendrick, former Councilmember Dan Arrighi, and former Temple City Board member Joan Vizcarra in a fiercely contested election in November. The three relatively newcomers trumped the three politically experienced elected officials.
After the three new Board members assumed their seats at the dais, an election was called to select the officers of the new Board of Education. Joe Walker, elected by voters in November 2005, was chosen to become the President. He succeeds Mukesh Luhar, who resigned earlier in the summer when he moved to another state.
Ridley obtained the Vice Presidency, while Board member Matt Smith was selected as Clerk.
A decision was made to keep the current Board meeting times as the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Board meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Regarding representative appointees, Rhee was appointed Representative to County Committee on School District Organization and Ridley was appointed Representative to Los Angeles County School Trustees Association.
It was also voted and approved that Dr. Hillard and Reed be Board Representatives in dealing with Employer/Employee Relations. Lynne Burkardt was reappointed as the non-voting District Representative to Temple City Chamber of Commerce.
Other voluntary board commitment assignments include Representative to Temple City Schools Foundation, volunteered by LaSota and Ex- Officio Representative to Temple City Chamber of Commerce, volunteered by Walker.
During the regular meeting, a special recognition was given to outgoing members Emilie Cales and Robert McKendrick. Cales was not in attendance; however, the Board recognizes her and McKendrick’s contribution over years they served as Board members. Both received plaques for their continual effort and support in the Temple City Unified School District.
McKendrick’s parting words included his intent to continue to stay involved with the school system and to contribute any efforts to ameliorate the District.
This article was written by Connie Lu. It was published in the January 9, 2008 issue of the Temple City Voice.