HomeCity NewsSan Marino School Board Salutes Its Departing Student Member

San Marino School Board Salutes Its Departing Student Member

Megan Choa is a product of the San Marino Unified School District. The school system has helped her blossom into all walks of life. From academics to friendships and everything in between, it has kept her rooted in the community she grew up in.

Having attended Carver Elementary School, Huntington Middle School and now, San Marino High School as a senior, Choa said she has a deep appreciation for the schools that have built her up and made her the leader she has become as a student member of the district’s Board of Education.

“Growing up in the San Marino Unified School District, I’ve always been passionate about giving back to the community that has given me so much,” Choa said.

When Choa learned of the open position, she saw being a student board member as “the perfect way to contribute.” In her role, Choa embodied the voice of her peers at every grade level by keeping the board informed about student life and taking on the responsibility of providing communication reports that detailed events and activities at all four SMUSD school sites.

Choa’s term for the school year ended at the May 14 board meeting. The occasion shined a light on the outgoing student representative and allowed the board to express its gratitude for Choa’s service to the district. A bouquet of Titan blue flowers was presented to the senior.

Photo courtesy SMUSD / Superintendent Linda de la Torre presents student board member Megan Choa a Titan blue bouquet for her year of service to the district.

“I feel honored and blessed for the opportunity to serve as a student board member,” Choa reflected. “The San Marino community has always been wonderful, but you never truly understand the hard work that goes into maintaining it until you get an opportunity like this. On a personal level, this experience has been incredibly meaningful. I find it very rewarding to provide a student perspective to the Board of Education. It ensures that the voices of all SMUSD students are heard and considered in the decision-making process.”

Superintendent Linda de la Torre spoke proudly of Choa, outlining what the senior had accomplished while sitting on the board’s dais as a “dedicated advocate for student voice.”

“Throughout her tenure, Megan has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a deep commitment to her responsibilities as a student board member,” de la Torre said at the meeting. “… Her insightful contributions have enriched our discussions and decision-making processes, bringing a fresh and invaluable perspective to our meetings. Megan’s ability to articulate the needs and aspirations of her peers has not only bridged the gap between students and the administration, but has also fostered a greater sense of unity and understanding within our district.”

Board member Jane Chon, who recalls seeing Choa on the playground at a younger age, said that mental picture often pops in her head.

“It’s been a privilege to watch you grow up right before our very eyes,” Chon said to Choa. “… It’s so nice to watch you grow in grace and in confidence and intelligence. Know you’re going out there in the world, you are fierce, but you are kind, more importantly. I’m very excited to see what you’re going to do in the world, because you embody everything we hope our students to be.”

Board member Joanna Lam is the only person on the dais who sat side-by-side with Choa. With her leaving, Lam said her absence will not go unnoticed.

“I’m going to miss looking to my left side and not seeing you in this seat,” Lam said to Choa. “We are so proud of you. You are our pride. Seeing where you’re going and the adventures you’re about to embark on — I’m going to miss you.”

Photo courtesy Jazley Faith / When Megan Choa was not sitting on the Board of Education dais as a student representative, one of her extracurricular activities included dancing and being a part of San Marino High School’s Dance Company.

Board Clerk Francesca Gill added that Choa always brought enthusiasm and energy to each meeting, as she did behind the scenes as well.

At SMHS, Choa has brought her talents to the Associated Student Body, theater department, Dance Advisory Board and Dance Company.

One core memory that was echoed during the meeting was when Choa taught de la Torre, board President Shelley Ryan and board Vice President C. Joseph Chang how to dance. The memorable moment was put on TikTok to promote the school’s spring dance show, Dancetra.

Ryan said she has cherished her time with Choa, noting she not only taught her how to dance this year, but also how to smile.

“I had the privilege of working with Megan, but more importantly, I had the privilege of getting to know her,” Ryan said.

De la Torre said Choa becoming a student board member was only one of many steps forward in her “bright and successful future.”

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your outstanding service and for being a shining example of potential that lies within each of our students,” de la Torre said to Choa.

Chang added: “We will always remember you,” a sentiment that could be felt in the room as board members shared their farewells to Choa.

The soon-to-be SMHS alum is set to begin her collegiate journey by studying abroad in Paris for a semester following graduation. In the fall, Choa will make her way to Northeastern University in Boston as a business administration major with a concentration in marketing.

“During my time as a student board member, I’ve learned the importance of communication, collaboration and the inner workings of educational administration,” Choa said. “I’ve also gained a deeper appreciation for the dedication and effort that goes into maintaining and improving our schools. My advice to other students following in my footsteps is to be proactive, stay organized and always be willing to listen and learn. Embrace the opportunity to make a difference and remember that your voice matters in shaping the future of our school district.”

First published in the May 23 issue of the San Marino Tribune

Photo courtesy Megan Choa / Megan Choa (fourth, from left) and her SMHS Dance Company teammates took part in many contests, including the SHARP dance competition where they were named a division winner.


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