CONTACT:  Sarah Wahrenbrock                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 229                                      15 DEC 2008



SMMUSD Welcomes New Board Member, New President, New Vice President


At its annual reorganization meeting last night, the SMMUSD Board of Education elected Ralph Mechur to serve as Board President and Barry Snell to serve as Board Vice President.  Both members won their position by acclamation. 


The Board of Education also welcomes Ben Allen, who was elected to the board in the November 2008 election.  Mr. Allen, who has served on the district’s Financial Oversight Committee for the past year and a half, is a former Santa Monica High School student.  


“Our district is fortunate to have such dedicated elected officials,” commented Superintendent Tim Cuneo.  “I look forward to working with both Mr. Mechur and Mr. Snell as they take on their new leadership roles.  I also welcome Mr. Allen to the district.  His previous involvement with SMMUSD will be an asset to our district.”


Ralph Mechur, who was recently elected to serve on the Board of Education in the November 2008 election, was first appointed to the board in August 2007, following the departure of Emily Bloomfield.  Prior to joining the Board of Education, Mr. Mechur served as President of SMMUSD’s Education Foundation for eighteen years, on the Facilities Master Plan Committee for three years, on the Measure “BB” Advisory Committee, on the Santa Monica Planning Commission for eight years (serving as chair for four years), on the SMMUSD Capital Improvements Oversight Committee, and on the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board for five years (serving as Chair for two years). 


Barry Snell, who was elected to the Board of Education in the November 2006 election, has been an active member of the community for over ten years.  As a board member, he has served as liaison to the Community Health and Safety District Advisory Committee and has championed district efforts to close the achievement gap.  Mr. Snell was nominated by his peers to run for an open seat on the California School Board Association (CSBA) Delegate Assembly last December. 





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