Editorial – Why SierraMadreNews.Net Endorses Larry Torres for PUSD Board of Education

PUSD Candidate Larry Torres, photo courtesy of Larry Torres for School Board

Editorial posted 2/15/15 – Why SierraMadreNews.Net Endorses Larry Torres for PUSD Board of Education

  • When you meet Larry, you get the feeling that he’s genuinely happy to meet you.
  • When you talk with Larry, you feel you’re speaking with someone who honestly cares what you think.
  • When Larry talks with you, you feel you’re speaking with someone who is telling you honestly what he thinks.
  • Larry is a career educator who has taught in public schools for more than 25 years.
  • Larry’s career has largely been in the classroom, however, he also had a brief foray into the administrative side of education.
  • Larry has been actively involved in Pasadena schools for well over a decade, participating in both the Sierra Madre School and Pasadena High School site councils.
  • Larry has degrees in education from UCLA and Harvard.
  • Larry has received the top certification awarded to educators in this country, a certification that is only awarded to 3% of educators – he is a “National Board Certified Teacher”.
  • Larry wants to make sure that the arts are a key element in every student’s education.
  • Larry recognizes that it has been shown that there comes a time beyond which children who are not at grade level reading are unlikely to catch up, and wants to emphasize ensuring that students have the skills they need BEFORE they reach that point.
  • Larry recognizes the possibilities for our students from the use of new technology in their education, and wants to make sure our schools are responding to societal changes.
  • Larry is proud of PUSD in its current state, while recognizing that there is room for improvement.
  • Larry has a daughter that is currently attending PHS.
  • Larry is endorsed by Ty Gaffney and Gayle Bluemel, the two most recently retired principals of Sierra Madre School. That speaks volumes.
  • Larry is endorsed by former Sierra Madre mayors John Buchanan, Rob Stockly (an educator), and Bart Doyle.
  • Larry is endorsed by Assemblyman Chris Holden, State Senator Carole Liu, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard.
  • Larry is endorsed by the United Teachers of Pasadena.
  • Larry has the endorsement of several current and former members of the School Board.
  • Larry is endorsed by many people whose opinion I respect.
  • Larry is endorsed by the Pasadena/Foothills Association of Realtors®.

Now that last item might be considered a statement about Larry’s opponent, Sandra Siraganian (a realtor®) as much as it is about Larry. The fact is, this editorial endorsement for Larry could just as easily have been titled “Why SierraMadreNews.Net Doesn’t Endorse Sandra Siraganian for PUSD Board of Education”, but that column would have had an entirely different tone, and I was more interested in encouraging people to vote FOR someone rather than against someone. But as it turns out, someone else has already written that article. If you’re interested, you can read that article here.

Something to remember, folks – this election is taking place at an odd time, and it’s the only Sierra Madre oriented item on the ballot. PLEASE – Encourage People To Vote on March 10th.