As the father of five current and former PUSD students, Bob Harrison has a long history as an advocate for public education. Elected in 2007, Harrison's priorities include accountability to teachers, parents and the community, partnerships with local colleges, organizations and employers, and transparency in budget procedures.
"I appreciate the support and I am honored to serve as the President of this body. I will use the culture statement that we approved last week as a compass as I lead Board meetings and go out into the community," said Harrison. "I believe that culture starts with the Board, in how we go about our business and how we treat each other and our community. As the moment by moment behaviors of the Board and the senior staff spread throughout this organization, I am confident we will be effective in bringing about the change that we've talked about."
Harrison is a local restaurant owner and an active community volunteer. He is past president of Pasadena Educational Foundation, past president of Neighborhood Church, and serves on the board of the First Tee organization.
Board members selected Renatta Cooper to serve in the role of Vice President. Cooper was also elected in 2007. Cooper formerly taught graduate-level child development programs at Pacific Oaks College, and has been a member of the First 5 Los Angeles Board of Commissioners. "I thank my colleagues for supporting me in this candidacy. This has been a very difficult cycle, and I think it will continue to be difficult," Cooper said. "I am hopeful that we will be able to pull together in a strong and ethical manner to do what's best for the district. Everyone has a right to be represented in relationship to school issues, but no group's representation should come at the expense of another's."
The Board members also thanked Tom Selinske, who has served as President for the past two years, and Scott Phelps, vice president since July 2009. The PUSD Board elected its officers at the annual organizational meeting on Monday, May 3.
The new officers will assume their positions July 1, 2010.