Last week, school started again in Monrovia Unified Schools. The students were all in their places with bright shining faces and it was a new day. It was back to full-time, in-classroom learning.
Among the bright shining faces at MUSD was Dr. Ryan Smith, the new superintendent.
With the retirement of Dr. Katherine Thorossian at the end of June, Dr. Smith began the following day on July 1. He came to Monrovia from Paramount where he was the assistant superintendent in charge of educational services.
In discussing his educational philosophy, he said: “I believe every student should be ready for college, even if that is not the direction the student wants to go.” To that end he says he also believes in vocational education for those students who wish to go in that direction.
He is a charming and personable individual, as different from my middle school (although in those days we called it junior high school) math teacher as possible. That was, however, his initial venture in education.
His college education began at San Diego University. He expanded it at the University of Southern California where he obtained his doctorate.
In his first letter to the community, he wrote the following: “I think it is important that you know what my core values are, as they are what drives me:
- Students first, ALWAYS
- Equity, Access, and Success
- Trust and Respect.”
On the first day back to class on Aug. 18, Smith said he was proud to welcome students back and introduce new families to the district. “On behalf of Monrovia Unified administrators, faculty and staff, we are ready to resume our mission to provide our children with a world class education that prepares them for success in college and career.”