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Monrovia School Link ~ Number 42 ~ June 12, 2002

The number of Monrovia students going directly to four-year colleges has jumped dramatically! And, the school board says it would really appreciate it if the legislature would obey the law. And some other stuff, too. Read on.
~ Brad Haugaard (

DOUBLE ~ The number of Monrovia high school students planning to go directly to four-year colleges approximately doubled from the 2001 to 2002 school years. Counselor Oscar Ibarra explained why. He said he looked at students grades, contacted them to suggest four-year schools, helped them fill out applications, put up banners and signs in classrooms, made announcements on the PA system, yelled out deadlines in the hallways, sat students down and helped them fill out forms, promoted scholarships and college aid programs, and had college field trips. Wow! What an Energizer Bunny! Keep that guy! President Bruce Carter added that 79 percent of Monrovia students say they're planning to get some type of advanced education.

18 YEARS ~ Board Member Roger Graziani called the increase in students going to four-year colleges "amazing," and added that, "This is something I've been looking for for 18 years." I think it's amazing too, but if Roger has wanted this for 18 years, why didn't he make it happen 18 years ago? I mean, he and his fellow board members are the bosses, aren't they? Hey! If you guys want something done, for Pete's sake, do it!

GONAZLES ~ The pleas for Canyon High Principal Manny Gonazles, who "retired," continued this evening. Several speaders credited him with helping them get their lives - or the lives of their children - turned around. The board can't legally talk in public about personnel issues, which is all very well, but it is kind of frustrating to hear people praise Gonzales so highly and not know if there's any good reason why he's leaving, or being let go.

DONATIONS ~ Board Member Monina Diaz had another bright idea. She said it's fine to look to Sacramento for money, but the district needs to do a bit more itself. She suggested promoting the donation programs various merchants offer to benefit schools. You shop, they donate to the Monrovia Schools Foundation. Monina should have had a few details ready, but still, it was a good idea. Maybe the district should promote the idea in that little schools newsletter; Spotlight, or whatever it's called.

RETIRING ~ Wild Rose Principal Dianne Lahti is retiring this year after 35 years with the district (Wow! I don't think I've ever worked anywhere for much more than four years.) Anyway, the board honored her and six other retirees (Bernice Collins, 30 years; Helen Medina, 29 years; Norma Hyde, 28 years; Barbara Hodson, 22 years; Marilyn Serotko, 18 years; and Victor Guardado, 16 years.

NOT UNRETIRING ~ I had never seen an item pulled off the consent agenda (a bunch of items staff believes are no-brainers that are all bunched together so the board can vote on all of them at once), but it happened tonight. A teacher had announced her retirement and changed her mind. The item was on the consent agenda for acceptance. President Bruce Carter pulled it off the consent agenda so it could be discussed, argued that with the tight budget the district can't take on any more teachers, and the board decided not to rescind the teacher's retirement.

THE LAW ~ The board passed a resolution urging the state legislature to obey the law. Yup. The state constitution requires the legislature adopt a budget by June 30, and the board would like that to happen. Somehow it could be of some financial benefit for the district. But anyway, as long as we're dreaming, I'd like peace on earth and a good asada burrito.

AUDITORIUM ~ Clifton Middle School will get new auditorium seating. The board accepted a bid for the work, which should be done by Aug. 16 of this year.

COMPLETION ~ I was brought out of my daze tonight by a speaker talking about counseling. She said something about "suicidal completion." Huh? What is a suicidal completion? The completion of a suicidal? A completion that wants to end it all? I'm aware that teen suicide is a big problem, but this is the first I'd heard of the same problem on the part of completions.

SPELLING ~ Well, if I'm going to be Mr. Smarty-Pants Grammar, I guess I gotta take it as well. I got this letter about the last issue: "Now, don't take offense at this, but 'paultry' should be 'paltry' [I must have been thinking of poultry] and 'recieved' is 'received.' (You know, "i before e except after c" [or when sounded as a as in neighbor or weigh])." I will recEIve your comments about this paltry newsletter in the helpful spirit in which they were intended.

NEXT BOARD MEETING ~ The next regular board meeting is on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 at 7:30 p.m. at the administration office at 325 E. Huntington Drive.

Copyright (c) 2002, Brad Haugaard. Also on the Web at: