Getting to know new commissioner Hector Lujan

DOWNEY - Hector Lujan has taught 4th grade (language arts, math, science, social studies, English language development) since 1996 at Roosevelt Elementary School in the Paramount Unified School District and is the current Downey AYSO commissioner.He has also been involved with a number of community organizations/programs like the Bosco Parents Association and most recently the Kiwanis International Club (interfacing with the Builder's and Key Clubs), while coaching the Paramount Poly League (since 1991), West Downey Little League (since 2006), and the St. Raymond's basketball teams (since 2008). He has also had a 5-year stint with SARB He gave up his membership with the Paramount/Hollydale Optimist Club (1991-1995) when the decision was made to relocate his family here in Downey. With Mayor Luis Marquez tapping him as District 5 planning commissioner, taking over the spot vacated by now Councilman Fernando Vasquez, this latest assignment marks the first time he'll ever engage in public service. Lujan says he's excited at the prospect of serving the Downey community. His family, consisting of wife Cheri and sons Hector Jr. and Mark, has resided here since 1997. He says he chose to live here because of the usual reasons, the most important being the fact that it offered the best conditions for raising the children. ((Hector Jr. , 15, is now a sophomore at St. John Bosco, while 11-year old Mark is a fifth grader at St. Raymond's; Cheri, an instructional aide since 1990, now teaches third grade at Harry Wirtz Elementary, also of the Paramount USD). He says he has cousins "everywhere" - in Guadalajara, in Mexico City, in Hermosillo Sonora, etc. "I've always dealt with kids. Now I'll deal with adults, too," he says, anticipating his new and latest service venture. He was scheduled to attend his very first planning commission meeting early last night. When contacted, he couldn't hide the edge of excitement in his voice while trying to sound calm. The other commission members he'll meet and be working with: District 1's Mike Murray, District 2's Bob Kiefer, District 3's Louis Morales and District 4's Ernie Garcia. Lujan, 42, was born in Vera Cruz, Mexico and was brought here by his parents when he was in first grade. He says they emphasized the virtues/values of hard work, education, religion, and helping people. These lessons helped him, he says, successfully navigate the "rougher parts" of his earlier environment in East L.A. He was the first in the family to get a college education, obtaining a bachelor's in liberal studies ('95) at Cal State Dominguez Hills and, later, earning his master's in multi-cultural studies ('97) from his alma mater. He got his administrative credential from Cal State Fullerton in 2006. With his demonstrated all-round competence and impressive record of community service, he seems a safe bet to make a positive impact on Downey.

********** Published: February 03, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 42