LocationAlhambra , CA
Tuesday night’s meeting of the Alhambra Unified School District Board of Education had a celebratory feel to it as a new slate of officers were elected for the coming year, committee assignments were made and scores of student/athletes were honored for their strong achievements during the fall sports season.
Patricia Rodrigeuz-Mackintosh, the board member from district 3, was elected president for the coming year, Jane Anderson, who serves from district 2, was elected vice president and Joanne Russell-Chavez from district 5 will serve as clerk. Superintendent Denise Jaramillo will continue to act as recording secretary. Anderson was ill and unable to attend the meeting.
The new president was born in East Los Angeles and has been member of the board since 2004. Prior to that, she was a member of the Alhambra PTA and served as president on four different occasions. She also served as a member of the School Site Council and the Bond Committee at both Alhambra High School and the Marguerita School. Her two sons, two daughters and two sons-in-law all graduated from Marguerita and Alhambra.
Departing President Robert L. Gin has been on the board since 2002 and is an Alhambra High alum. He resides in Monterey Park, where he grew up, and he and his wife’s four children all graduated from AUSD schools, two from Alhambra High and two from Mark Keppel.
Jaramillo thanked Gin for his strong leadership over the past year and presented him with a plaque with gavel in recognition of his service. He along with Board President Rodriguez-Mackintosh will maintain their positions as the official board liaisons with the Alhambra Educational Foundation, the key support organization that plays a vital role in fundraising for the district bringing in about $300,000 a year.
Rodriguez-Mackintosh moved forward with the agenda and student representatives from Alhambra High School and Mark Keppel presented a review of recent events on campus. The Alhambra representatives were especially high on last week’s visit by Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber, a Moors alumnus, to the campus and the impact it had on the student body. They also spoke of their holiday drive with the hopes of getting 200 pounds of donated food to distribute to needy families.
Next up the board recognized the generosity of the International Futbol Club for its generous donation of toys for AUSD students for the holidays. The soccer club has 100 members and nine teams. A large delegation of the club’s players—who range from the age of nine to high school sophomores were in attendance—and were accompanied by Alhambra Vice Mayor David Mejia, whose son plays for one of the teams. It was Mejia who thought it would be beneficial for the kids to learn about giving back to the community by participating in the toy drive. Natalie Bender, another club parent, spearheaded the effort.
Another football team was honored for its stellar season. Led by coach Eric Bergstrom, Alhambra High School’s Varsity squad ended the season with 12-1 record, losing only to Ramona 28-24 in CIF semifinal game. The Moor’s posted their best season record since 1946, the year it last won a title. Many of the Moor’s players came forward with Bergstrom, who is in the running for LA Rams High School Coach of the Year honors, to receive official commendations from the board members. Bergstrom acknowledged the players hard work and introduced his coaching staff and praised them for their dedication.
Fall sports did extremely well in the AUSD as both the boys and girls cross-country teams from Alhambra High School advanced to the CIF semifinals. Members of both teams came forward with head cross-country coach Sandra Rodriguez to introduce themselves to the board and receive commendations. Alhambra had become a cross-country force and has it make it into CIF contention for thee-straight years.
Across town at Mark Keppel High School members of the girls tennis team who made it to the second round in CIF competition were honored along with their coach Mike Ten. They are Vivian Dong, a sophomore, who made the CIF doubles competition and seniors Lauren Wang and Audrey Thomas who made the singles competition. Suriyah Pierribia who competed in CIF doubles was unable to attend. Mark Keppel principal Jeannie Gutierrez was also in attendance.
Superintendent Jaramillo praised all of these athletes for their hard work and dedication and said they “made the community proud.”
While sports recognition took much of the attention of the meeting, other awards and thanks were given by the board as well.
Matthew Franco, a parent whose son Rocco attends Ramona School was thanked by the board for his generosity in stepping up to pay the unpaid meal balances for the entire Ramona school. In accepting the certificate of recognition, Franco modestly commented that he was “just one parent but that we can achieve a lot if more stepped up and we all worked together.”
Karen Mandujano, a junior at San Gabriel High School, was recognized for being an Every Student Succeeding Awardee from the Assn. of California School Administrators.
And, finally, 14 AUSD teachers were recognized as mini-grant award winners from Delta Kappa Gamma. Those teachers who could attend came forward and explained where and what they taught and the thinking behind their grant applications. The mini-grants ranged from $250 to $500.
After a brief reception in the Cafe AUSD to honor the board members and their new assignments as well as the recipients of board recognition, the meeting continued with an array of agenda items.
Near the end of the evening, the board approved two resolutions the first supporting the proposed Villages development at The Alhambra, which is expected to bring 1,061 housing units. The second resolution was to support the Schools and Community First initiative, a measure gaining traction for the November, 2020 statewide ballot that would revise some of the provisions of Prop. 13 as they relate to levels of taxation fort non-residential, non-agricultural commercial properties. It is estimated that the measure would increase property tax rolls by as much as $12 billion a year. About 40% of that money would go to K-12 and community college education grants.
Alhambra’s City Council heard public comment on the Schools and Communities First initiative at its meeting Monday night and a brief staff report but decided to defer action until the spring of 2020 when it is expected that final wording for the initiative will be in place.