DOWNEY - William A. Gutierrez, who has served as a member of the board of the Downey United School District since December of 2000, was voted president on Tuesday, succeeding Donald E. LaPlante. Gutierrez was board vice-president this past year.For the 55-year old Gutierrez, this will be his second time to serve as DUSD board president, having once before served in the same capacity in 2006-07. He was a successful participant in last month's grueling Ironman Arizona triathlon competitions held in Tempe, as he finished his 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike ride , 26.2-mile endurance test well within its stipulated time of completion, as part of his health regimen and "for fun." Voted also to serve as board vice-president was Tod Corrin, while D. Mark Morris was tapped as clerk. During his tenure as president in the past year, La Plante, who has served for nearly 35 years on the board of education and has served as DUSD board president several times, led the board through some significant events, most notably the hiring of Dr. John Garcia as new superintendent and the ushering in of the beginnings of the first school funding reform in 40 years in the state of California. He was also inducted, along with school board members Barbara Samperi and Nancy Swenson, into the newly-created Warren High School Hall of Fame. Offering their congratulations to LaPlante for his year of service were current and past local city officials led by mayor Mario Garcia in his "last act as city mayor," along with representatives from state and federal congressional offices. Looking ahead, Gutierrez said that he looks forward to the upcoming year and the "exciting challenges" that the district faces, especially the district's transition to the new Common Core State Standards and a thorough review of its facilities in relationship to 21st Century teaching and learning. Finally, he said that "the upcoming year of service to our students, teachers, and support staff will be the new focus of my energies, and I know we have a winning team."
********** Published: Dec. 12, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 35