East Edition Northeast Edition The Press

Four seek two seats on Montebello school board

MONTEBELLO — Two women are challenging two incumbents for seats on the Montebello school board.

Joanna Flores, a political science instructor at East Los Angeles College; and Nancy Hernandez will compete in the Nov. 3 election against Edgar Cisneros and David Vela.

Flores said she is a lifelong resident of the district and “a proud product of our local schools.”

Before she became a professor, Flores served as admissions and financial aid counselor for high school and college students. She has developed a grassroots initiative to help Southeast Los Angeles County residents achieve access to higher education.

The daughter of immigrant parents from El Salvador and Mexico, Flores is the first of eight siblings to graduate from college and complete higher education. She earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and Spanish literature at USC and master’s degrees in public policy and social work at the University of Pennsylvania.

She and her husband in the city of Commerce.

Vela said his priorities will continue to be implementation ofa challenging curriculum, advancing technologyin the classroom, modernizing school campuses, providing clean and safe schools, improving sports programs and expanding the arts and sciences.

“During my tenure on the board I have implemented college preparedness programs, increasedstate test scores, improved the district’s attendance record to 96 percent and increased the graduation rate to 94 percent,” he said.

“As a UCLA and Pepperdine alumnus and current vice president of a public relations firm, I know firsthand the importance of our students continuing onto challenging careers,” he added.

Cisneros, assistant city manager in Huntington Park, is a lifelong resident of Montebello and a product of district schools.

He said his chief guiding principle is ensuring taxpayer resources are maximized to make the greatest impact on students.

He said his mission is to ensure that all students graduate prepared to enter higher education and competitive careers.

Cisneros said he is most proud of the fact that the district is graduating a greater percentage of its students than ever before. At the same time, the district continues to enjoy a healthy budget while having no employee layoffs during his service on the board.

Hernandez did not respond to a request for campaign information.