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Retiring Monrovia School Board Member Ed Gililland Reflects on His Years on Board

By Ed Gililland

As I retire from the Monrovia Unified School District I look back on 15 years of service to this great community, our educators, and our students. There are many great memories, a lot of good memories, and a few memories that were not so good. 

Great memories include working with some excellent, dedicated, and hard working School Board members and educators. Even though the Board is elected via the political process there was very little political influence in our work or decisions. We all wanted what's best for the students. The greatest memories though are of graduation ceremonies and shaking hands with the students who were ready to go out into the world with the skills and knowledge they would need to succeed. Particularly great were those evenings I was able to shake hands with graduates that had been in kindergarten and first grade classes I visited early in my School Board days. 

Really good memories include the establishment of dual immersion language programs, math & science academy at MHS, arts programs, music programs, coding programs, and specialties at each elementary. We were also able to save and improve our Adult School while other Districts lost theirs.  So many other great programs have been established and we have seen tremendous growth in academic rigor and success. 

Really tough days include the ridiculously tough budget cuts and accompanying staff and program cuts. Also tough were staff and student disciplinary actions. 

The only regret I have is that just as we were seeing the opening of a path to academic excellence and closing the achievement gap, we had to close the schools and completely retool our delivery to distance learning. 

I thank the wonderful people of Monrovia for the opportunity to serve all these years and the for the great cooperation and sense of community that you create here in this beautiful place we live.

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