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Long Time Monrovia Educator, Joanne Montgomery, Has Died

Long time Monrovian, Joanne Montgomery, who just retired last month after 22 years of service on the Citrus College Board of Trustees, has died. City Council member Becky Shevlin said she believes Montgomery was about 86 years old.

Shevlin writes: "Our Monrovia community lost one of its heroes... Joanne was a beloved Monrovia Unified School District teacher, Citrus College board member and was active in countless other community organizations. Joanne was a beautiful example of sharing love and support for all who knew her. She will be missed.

The announcement of her retirement early last month included this information:

She began her career as an educator and worked as an elementary school teacher for the Monrovia Unified School District for 32 years. She was also a master teacher for several universities and served on numerous school committees.

"During her more than 20 years of service to Citrus College and the communities it serves, Trustee Montgomery has contributed greatly to the college's growth and progress. Her leadership has been instrumental in establishing Citrus College as a national leader in higher education," said Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College. "On behalf of the college community, I congratulate Trustee Montgomery on her retirement and thank her for the decades of guidance and vision she has provided. Her presence at the college will be dearly missed."

Throughout her career, Montgomery received awards as an educator and community leader. Some of her honors include a Teacher of the Year award; being appointed by the California governor to serve on the board of directors for the 48th District Agricultural Association, where she served for more than 16 years; being selected as the 2003 recipient of the Dick Lord Award from the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce; being named the 2015 Woman of the Year for Monrovia for California's 48th State Assembly district; and the Outstanding Educator Award from the Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association. Most recently, in May 2019, Trustee Montgomery received a Fulfilling the Trust award from the Community College League of California.

Montgomery had a reputation for understanding how big-picture decision-making affected instructors and students. She was a passionate advocate for AB 288, which allowed high school students to take college-credit courses while still in high school, and she tirelessly promoted Citrus College.

- Brad Haugaard

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