The Pueblo Chieftan

School district 70 board fills vacant seat

Tony Montoya is eager to begin helping the Pueblo School District 70 Board of Education in continued school improvement.

Montoya was appointed last week to fill the vacancy on the board created when Sally Pappas moved to Parker. She held the District 1 seat, which is a portion of Pueblo West. He will serve until 2015, when Pappas’ term was scheduled to end.

Montoya has a history of work with a variety of education levels, so he said he’s excited to serve Pueblo West.

“I’ve always thought about it,” Montoya said.

“I was involved in Denver and here in Pueblo and in Greeley, but it always seemed like I had a lot on my plate at the time.

“I recently retired, and that opened up my schedule a little so I could take on something like this.

“The opportunity presented itself and here I am.”

Montoya has lived in Pueblo West for about 11 years, and is a retired Colorado State University-Pueblo administrator.

He served in several positions there, including Director of Affirmative Action as well as on the Upward Bound and Veterans Upward Bound programs.

Currently, Montoya is working on a dropout prevention program with high school students at South and Centennial high schools as part of a the League of United Latin American Citizens.

“I’ve done things with various ages of students, non-traditional and more,” Montoya said.

“I think a bring an understanding of education and the difficulty that faculty – in particular – have with doing their jobs, given the economic situation. We’re always trying to do more with less.

“Being cognizant of those issues, I can hopefully look at other funding we can go for. I’m empathetic with the faculty and administration.”

Montoya said he also realizes that families are often going through issues related to the sluggish economy as well, so that makes it harder for them to meet the needs of their children because of personal situations.

Montoya will be expected to hit the ground running and hopefully become well versed in the District before other board positions become vacancy in November.

“I think we’ll grow together and learn as a group,” Montoya said.

“I think we’re in a good position right now wit the construction that’s being done with various schools, which is a real positive for the schools.”

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