CITY OF INDUSTRY – Hacienda La Puente Unified’s Board of Education celebrated two of its longest-standing Board members, honoring the contributions of clerk Dr. Joseph K. Chang and member Anthony Duarte during a ceremony on Dec. 7.
Chang, a Hacienda La Puente Unified resident since 1978, was first elected to the Board in 1993, serving as a member, clerk, vice president and five-time Board president for a total of seven terms. During those 29 years, he worked alongside seven superintendents, handed diplomas to thousands of graduating students and awarded hundreds of seniors with the Dr. Chang Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarship, aiming to assist students in pursuing a career in STEM-related fields.
“It has been a great honor to serve the students and families of our communities,” Chang said. “I want to thank families for trusting and supporting me for 29 years and the District staff for their patience and confidence with my decisions focused on improving HLPUSD learning experiences.”
Duarte is also a longtime community member, having attended Nelson Elementary School and Sparks Middle School. He was first elected to the Board in 2012 and has since served as a member, clerk, vice president and Board president. Duarte said a few of his proudest moments include the implementation of transitional kindergarten- through- 12th-grade Ethnic Studies curriculum, approving several upcoming facilities projects and witnessing the La Puente High School Pool, Kitchen and Locker Rooms Project come to fruition.
“It has been an honor to serve on the Hacienda La Puente Unified Board of Education over the past 10 years,” Duarte said. “I am proud of the projects we have been able to accomplish and the ones to be completed in the near future. The HLPUSD family would be nothing without our dedicated staff. I know that Dr. Jiménez and all our hard-working faculty will continue to lead us into the future and keep HLPUSD one of the best school Districts in the state.”
Both Board members have had numerous family members attend and graduate from HLPUSD, which helped ignite their initial interest in running for the Board with the goal of enhancing the curriculum and learning opportunities for all students.
During the ceremony, the retiring members were recognized with Certificates of Recognition from The City of La Puente Mayor Charlie Klinakis, words of appreciation from dignitaries and community applause.
Chang and Duarte said their farewells during their last Board meeting on Nov. 21, expressing gratitude to the Board of Education, Jiménez and administrators for their constant collaboration and partnership and thanked the community for allowing them the privilege of serving Hacienda La Puente Unified.
“Thank you, Dr. Chang and Mr. Duarte, for your dedication, pride and constant collaboration to ensure our students have the tools necessary to meet the challenges and opportunities of a changing world,” Jiménez said. “On behalf of the Board of Education, it has been an immense honor to work alongside you the past few years and we will miss you dearly.”
HLPUSD_BOARD: From left to right: Board Clerk Dr. Joseph K. Chang, City of La Puente Councilman Gabriel Quiñones, City of La Puente Mayor Charlie Klinakis and Board member Anthony Duarte celebrate the retirement of Chang and Duarte during an appreciation ceremony on Dec. 7.