The Los Angeles County School Trustees Association (LACSTA) welcomed its new officers and directors at its annual meeting in Gardena on Oct. 29.
Ben Allen, who was reelected to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education on Nov. 6, was among the new LACSTA board members.
“We are here to show our unwavering commitment to public education and to shine the spotlight on the critical field of career and technical education,” said newly elected LACSTA President Micah Ali. “We support the call to strengthen the rigor and relevance of career and technical education.”
Ali thanked the legislators and officials at the event, including Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, whom he described as a “champion of public education”.
In her remarks, Roybal-Allard underscored the need for a strong commitment to vocational education, which offers career pathways to high-paying and high-demand jobs, such as those in the fields of health, construction and information technology. These jobs are vital to keeping the United States competitive in the global economy, she said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca also addressed the gathering of more than 100 school board members from across the County about his efforts to help young people.
Also attending the Oct. 29 event were Congresswomen Linda Sánchez (39th district) and Maxine Waters (35th district), State Controller John Chiang, State Senator Alan Lowenthal, Assemblymembers Mike Eng, Mike Feuer and Anthony Portantino, Carson Mayor Jim Dear, Water Replenishment District President Albert Robles and Los Angeles County Board of Education President Rudell Freer.
Roybal-Allard led the oath taking of the new officers, including Ali, president (Compton Unified School District); Janet Chin, vice president (Garvey School District); and Scott Svonkin, secretary/treasurer (Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees).
Sworn in as new board members were: Susan Christopher of Castaic Union School District, Laura Santos of Bassett Unified School District, Bob Bruesch of Garvey School District, Shelley Weinstein of Sulphur Springs School District, Carol Raines-Brown of Inglewood Unified School District, Linda Wah of Pasadena Community College, Philip Hu of San Gabriel Unified School District, Xilonin Cruz Gonzalez of Azusa Unified School District, Ben Allen of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and David Vela of Montebello Unified School District.
The event was sponsored by UA Local 250, a union of steam-refrigeration-air conditioning pipefitters.
LACSTA, which represents K-12 and community college trustees in Los Angeles County, aims to educate, empower and assist school board members in advancing the quality of education for all students in the county. LACSTA is supported by the Los Angeles County Office of Education.