Dr. Maribel Garcia is a product of El Monte City Schools having attended Columbia School and graduated from El Monte High School. Armed with a passion for educating and empowering El Monte youth, Dr. Garcia embarked on her teaching career in 1998 at the very school she attended – Columbia School. Aiming to effect greater change on behalf of students, Dr. Garcia served as Assistant Principal of Rio Hondo School, and later, Columbia School. In 2008 she became principal at Columbia where she implemented systems that drastically improved the school’s standing. In 2013 she was appointed as Superintendent. Dr. Garcia attended UCLA and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership. She is an active member of the El Monte community, serving on boards and supports organizations that promote quality of life, access to resources, and equitable opportunities for El Monte students. Dr. Garcia enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family and friends.
Steve Sallenbach began his education as a kindergartener at Cortada School. He is proud of the fact that he grew up in El Monte and is a product of the EMCSD school system. He graduated from El Monte High School in 1987. Steve earned his Bachelors of Science in Human Development, Teaching Credential and Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific University. He received his Administrative Credential from Point Loma Nazarene University. Steve began his teaching career in the EMCSD as a 6th grade teacher at Le Gore Elementary. He would later move into administration as the Assistant Principal at Potrero Elementary, the school that he attended as a 7th & 8th grade student, and then over at Durfee Elementary as an Assistant Principal. In 2010 he was promoted to Principal of Frank M. Wright. He is proud and honored to be working back in the same district that gave so much to him as a child. Steve is married and has two children. He loves to spend his free time with his family going camping and attending swim competitions that his children compete in.
Virginia Castro is the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. Castro steps up from her position as Director of Instruction and is eager to take on her new role. She has used her influential leadership to help develop itinerant music, dual language, musical theater and STEAM summer programs. She has continued to promote a culture of effective professional learning communities, and to facilitate positive relationship development among the educational community. As the daughter of immigrant parents, Virginia began school as an English learner. Experiencing the struggles of being an English learner has provided her with insight, knowledge and familiarity. She has used these tools and served as an expert panelist on MSNBC’s Education Nation where she highlighted her work with a model Dual Language School and her focus on ensuring the success of all subgroups, including English learners. Castro began her career as an elementary school teacher in her hometown of Baldwin Park. She then became a middle school teacher, and moved into administration as assistant principal and then later was appointed principal. Under her leadership, her school transformed from one of the lowest to one of the top performing schools in the Baldwin Park School District. Castro is married and has two daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family, yoga, travel and good food.
José Marcelino Herrera is the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services. Herrera was formerly the Director of Budget and Accounting at East Whittier City School District (EWCSD). In addition to being licensed as a Certified Public Accountant, Herrera is certified as a Chief Business Official through the California Association of School Business Officials. He graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles with a dual degree in Economics and Latin American Studies. Herrera and his wife Elizabeth live in Whittier, both are active members of the community. Elizabeth is a dance teacher for EWCSD and they have a young daughter. Herrera enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, and performing music with his five siblings who form the musical group Hermanos Herrera.