Joann Steinmeier will wrap up 24 years of service on the Arcadia Unified School District Board of Education when she retires in July, leaving newcomer Fenton Eng to replace her. Meanwhile, Janet Chew will retain her seat for a third term.
Chew and Eng filed papers earlier this month to run for two open slots on the board. Since no third candidate filed by the Jan. 25 deadline, the pair will be formally appointed to the board at its Feb. 12 meeting.
They will take the oath of office at the school board's first July meeting.
"I thought long and hard about running again this year," Chew said. "It is a big commitment and huge responsibility, but for a cause that I am passionate about. The education of our children is our greatest responsibility and the foundation of our future. It is truly a privilege to be a part of it."
Chew has served on the board for six years; she was first appointed in 2007 and re-elected in 2009.
Though this may be Eng's first term on the school board, he is by no means a stranger to Arcadia Unified.
Eng has two children; his daughter is a senior at Arcadia High School and his son is a 2009 graduate. He currently serves as a vice president on the AHS Parent-Teacher-Student-Association, but prior to that, was PTA President at Dana Middle School and Executive Vice President of the Arcadia Council PTA.
Eng 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.
"I have a passion for youth and this community," Eng said, adding that balancing the district's budget will be his most challenging task as a school board member.
However, first and foremost in his mind "is looking out for the welfare of the students. That's the only way."
For her part, Steinmeier said her roles as a grandmother and member of the community will keep her busy in retirement, though she may "have other irons in the fire" she's not ready to disclose yet.
While Steinmeier looks back on her days on the school board with fondness, she says the time has come for her to step down.
"There are two good candidates for the open seats," she wrote in an e-mail to Patch. "I feel confident that the district is in good hands with the current board and administrative leadership. I can retire and feel good about what we have accomplished together."
Editor's Note: Do to misinformation from the district, an earlier version of this story stated the candidate filing deadline was the Jan. 23. It is Jan. 25.