Newcomer Fenton Eng will replace Joann Steinmeier on the Arcadia Unified School District Board of Education when she retires in July.
Though this may be Eng's first term on the school board, he is by no means a stranger to the district.
The father of two serves as a vice president on the AHS Parent-Teacher-Student-Association, and prior to that, was PTA President at Dana Middle School and Executive Vice President of the Arcadia Council PTA.
He works as an administrator at the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California and sits on the board of the non-profit How Can We Help Foundation. He also teaches martial arts at a studio in Arcadia.
Here, Eng opens up to Patch about his background and what he hopes to accomplish as a school board member.
Congratulations on becoming the newest school board member. Can you tell us about your background and history?
"My family and I moved to Arcadia in 2001 from New York. My wife (high school sweetheart) and I have 2 children, my son is in college and is a graduate of Arcadia High School, my daughter is currently studying at AHS. I am a former advertising executive. I am currently the head instructor at a local kung fu school in addition to being the administrator of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. As a community servant: I am a youth leader at San Gabriel Presbyterian Church, I have served on the board and coached at Arcadia National Little League, I was an adult leader and merit badge counselor for Boy Scout Troop 111 of Arcadia, I was president of the Dana Middle School PTSA, 2 term president of the Arcadia High School PTSA, current Executive Vice President of Arcadia Council PTA. I was the 2012 recipient of the Golden Apple Award."
How did you arrive at your decision to run for the board?
"During the last few years, it was suggested by a number of community leaders that I would be a good candidate for the school board. I have always been a proponent of giving the best opportunities to our youth. I want to serve and offer my skills to Arcadia Unified School District."
Why is education important to you?
"I was educated in the public schools of New York City. The lessons that I learned as a youth continue to impact my current life and way of thinking. I am so appreciative of my past teachers. What we give to today’s generation will impact our future."
Where do you see the Arcadia Unified School district in 5 years? In 10 years?
"I see an even higher level of performance: Academically and artistically. We should have financial stability."
What goals do you have for the district?
"I not only see the school district continuing its level of excellence, but to improve to the point where we become an example of how public school districts should operate."
What do you hope to accomplish on the school board? What do you hope your legacy to the school district will be?
"I hope to phase in the latest technology, possibly electronic tablets for students, shared databases, digital textbooks, etc. There should advantages in cost and immediacy of information. Operating with a balanced budget is very important, even re-establishing a reserve if possible."
Anything else you'd like the public to know about you?
"I will serve to the best of my ability in the interest of our students."
Editor's Note: Fenton Eng declined to have a photograph taken and there were no other photos available for publication.