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Munguia appointed Brawley High principal

May 30, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — An Imperial Valley native will take the reins as the principal of Brawley Union High School at the end of June.

Tony Munguia, who has worked at BUHS for nine years, first as a counselor and since 1998 as deputy principal in the discipline office, said he is looking forward to the challenge of being principal.

"It's going to be a huge challenge," said Munguia on Wednesday. "We have a real good school here and we need to continue to grow and get better."

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Munguia will replace Bud Smith, who announced his retirement as of June 30. His decision to retire had been made earlier, and Munguia was chosen in February as the next principal.

Smith, who worked at BUHS for 32 years, the last three as principal, said Munguia is ready to lead the school and he is confident in Munguia's ability to help improve the school.

District Superintendent Garth Isom said he is confident in Munguia's ability to take on the new leadership role.

Munguia is pleased to be a principal of a school in the Imperial Valley.

Raised in Calexico, he graduated from Calexico High School in 1981 and went on to Cal Poly University, Pomona, where in 1986 he earned a bachelor's degree in computer science.

Munguia said his initial plan was to be a computer programmer, a profession, he joked, in which he could have made more money.

However, while at Cal Poly he worked as a peer counselor for students in the educational opportunity program and he started to enjoy working as a counselor. After graduation he first worked as a computer programmer, but it didn't take long before he decided it was time to move into the educational field.

He went back to school and earned a master's degree in education in counseling from the University of San Diego in 1993 and he later earned a preliminary administrative credential from the University of Redlands.

While working on his master's degree he started as a counselor in the Upward Bound program at Imperial Valley College and in 1993 he started at BUHS.

Munguia said he has enjoyed his time as BUHS, stating, "I really enjoy working with the students."

He added the high school has a supportive community and that makes a difference in the school's effort to provide a quality education to students.

He said his goal is to continue to help the school grow and improve with the aim of making sure students have the "skills and options so they can choose whatever they want to do after high school."

Munguia added, "I have an open mind to try new ideas to see what works and what doesn't work."

Another goal Munguia has is to try to make sure parents understand all BUHS has to offer so they can best utilize the services.

"The key is we are here for the students and to best prepare all of our students for the path they will take after high school," he said.

As an Imperial Valley native, Munguia said he sees himself as a role model to local young people. He said he wants them to know they can achieve success in whatever they want to do after high school.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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