Oath of office

Monica Pantoja named new Soledad School Board trustee

SOLEDAD — Soledad Unified School District has a new School Board Trustee in Monica Pantoja.

The School Board held a special meeting Nov. 15 in the Board chambers to appoint a new school board trustee to serve the remaining term of former trustee Maria Berlanga. The Board had six candidates to chose from, including Fabian Barrera, Andria Brinson, Jose Fausto, Gloria Ledesma, Monica Pantoja and Lucio Rios.

Each candidate was asked several questions by different school board trustees concerning what they were most proud of in the district, what they would do if they were given inaccurate information by a school administrator and more. After completing the interviews, the School Board discussed the candidates and which ones it would like to put forward.

“I am proud we have a new superintendent that in my opinion sets a positive tone for the administrators and the staff,” Pantoja said. “To see the superintendent participate in the numerous events at our schools just demonstrates the dedication he has.”

Pantoja was also impressed with the technology that the school district has and said that her son brings home an iPad to work on. As for Pantoja’s goals she would like to accomplish, she would like to continue working and advocating for education.

“As a board member, I would contribute to my community,” said Pantoja. “I will support the students so they can receive a strong foundation in their education. I will ensure that the students feel safe at school.”

Pantoja spoke about encouraging more parent participation in the district and offered the suggestion of food or providing day care.

According to Board Trustee President Jodi Massa, the School Board had to make a decision on Nov. 15 or she would have to speak with Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Kotowski the next morning, and an election would have been required.

Pantoja’s nomination was put forward by Board Trustee Josie Perez-Aguilera and was seconded by Board Trustee Javier Galvan, and was approved.

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