School Board says farewell to Smith, Walker

Both Matt Smith and Joe Walker decided to retire rather than run in 2013.

Written by ALBERT CHEN, Senior Editor and Celene Chang, Staff Writer / Published November 22, 2013 

Temple City School Board Members Matt Smith and Joe Walker have decided to retire.

Smith, first appointed in 1998 and subsequently elected, and Walker, first elected in 2005, have served a combined 23 years.

Since Walker and Smith both declined to run for another four-year term, the 2013 school board election was cancelled. The only two qualified candidates, Vincent Bell and John Pomeroy will be sworn into office next month.

After serving two terms, Walker has decided to step down.

“I don’t think you want to have somebody in there for 12, 15, 20 years,” Walker says. “It’s just too much.“

Smith cites his long term and the graduation of his three children as reasons for no longer continuing his career as a school board member.

“I decided not to for the school board again for two primary reasons. First, 15 years is a long time to have already served on the board; and second, my youngest son graduated from Temple City High School three years ago, so I no longer have any children attending school in the District,” says Smith.

Both Smith and Walker have high hopes for the school board candidates who will be replacing them, expressing confidence in the candidates’ abilities. They are also especially impressed by their willingness to volunteer and give back to the community.

“I saw two men that ran that I knew for years and were really good,” Walker says, “If I dropped out, those two people would automatically become board members and we could save that money to reduce class sizes or use it on technology.”

Smith states, “[Bell and Pomeroy] both strike me as being highly energetic and genuinely interested in doing what’s best for the children of our community. I applaud the fact that they have already both been very involved in working with our youth to promote development and character by volunteering their time to serve.”

For Walker, retiring from the school board is an opportunity for him to step away and delve into other activities.

“This gives me more time to be a dad and pursue other interests,” Walker says, “I can always run again in two years.”

Smith, however, will continue to stay active within the community and be involved in programs such as the Kiwanis Club of Temple City.

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