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Our Opinion: Goodbye to a big Wildcat heart

May 30, 2002

After 32 years at Brawley Union High School, Principal Bud Smith has decided to retire. If ever there was an educator who bled blue and gold, it is Smith — who has been a beloved coach, a tough disciplinarian and a good counselor to the kids at Brawley High.

Smith will be replaced by Tony Munguia, a dedicated educator who has given countless hours to making sure the needs of BUHS students are met. We are confident he will do a fine job at the helm of the high school.

Smith should be lauded for his years of service at BUHS. Those who know him credit Smith for making the high school a safer place, and that is important when we are talking about making sure our kids have the best education and best environment possible in which to learn.

After serving as baseball coach, Smith spent many years as deputy principal in charge of the discipline office. That is not an easy job; the person in it is rarely popular because he or she has to take tough stands. Smith worked hard at taking that hard line with the students, but according to his fellow educators, he did it in such a way that got parents, teachers and students involved in trying to rectify whatever situations students were facing.

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For the last three years Smith was the school's principal and he continued to work on making sure the high school was as safe as it could be for the students. His service is to be commended.

As Munguia takes over the principal position, he appears to have the background, knowledge and desire to serve the students that will allow BUHS to continue to move forward. And the school does seem to be moving in the right direction in terms of the quality of education.

We stand behind BUHS officials as they continue with their successful but controversial senior project program, as they implement a master plan to meet the needs of students and as they upgrade the campus.

The loss of Bud Smith means losing part of the heart of the Wildcats, but that heart is strong and will continue beating.

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