NORWALK - Promising to use their next four years to promote student success and shared responsibility in the community, the four, newly-elected Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District board members took the oath of office Monday, sworn-in before a standing-room only crowd.Margarita Rios, who received the most support during last month's municipal election, was unanimously elected as the new board president, replacing former board member Ed Hengler, who was defeated last month. Cerritos College board trustee Bob Arthur led the oath of office as Rios, Ana Valencia, Darryl Adams, and the newest member Sean Reagan stood shoulder to shoulder, greeted with welcoming cheers and noisy flashes from digital cameras. Darryl Adams, first elected in 1993, thanked the community for the last 20 years and reaffirmed his commitment to "always do what's best for the children." "When I first moved here, I wanted a district that was best for my children," he said. "Now I'm determined to make sure the future is just as bright for my grandson as it was for my kids." Rios, 43, a Los Angeles Unified School District police sergeant, received nearly 19 percent of the vote last month. Adams, 52, a Norwalk-La Mirada teacher, and Valencia, 46, also a teacher, finished second and third respectively. Reagan, a 38-year-old government teacher from California High School, thanked all his supporters for trusting him with their votes. "This has been a challenging and humbling experience. I'm extremely honored and excited that this day has finally arrived," Reagan said. "I was the fairly unknown local guy, but you put your faith in me...my sole goal is to help our students achieve. Good schools don't just happen without us all working together." Valencia, first elected in 2001, praised her family and reelection team that helped her garner another term on the board. "I am honored and humbled -- I can't thank the voters enough for my third reelection," she said. "I will try to represent you well. I'll try not to disappoint you, but if I do, let me know and hold me accountable." An emotional Rios expressed her gratitude to the community, maintaining her commitment to the communities of Norwalk and La Mirada. "I want to see this district be one of the best," she said. "I still have the belief and passion that I had four years ago -- I believe success for students is possible." After thanking her husband and three sons, Rios proposed her goals for the following year that place priority on modernizing school facilities with a new bond measure, building bridges to higher education, promoting teamwork and shared responsibility, and establishing Project 100, which will seek to achieve a 100% graduation rate throughout the district. "We will strive to give a quality education to every student -- I hope the community will support me," Rios said.
********** Published: Dec. 12, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 35