School officials and the community will honor longtime Montebello school board member Eleanor Kim Chow with a dinner Friday to raise money for playground equipment.
Chow, retiring after 23 years on the board, requested that her send-off receipts be used to furnish a kindergarten play area at Winter Gardens Elementary School in East Los Angeles.
As a board member, Chow combined a motherly style with the hard-nosed determination and political savvy needed to push through policies that she favored. She helped garner board approval for higher teacher salaries and academic programs that earned the school system widespread respect.
She also endured pointed criticism when the district’s free-spending ways nearly resulted in its bankruptcy. And she remained in office as district officials approved painful budget cuts and managed a difficult, ongoing financial recovery.
A California native who attended district schools, Chow served as board president six times. The mother of three has been active in community organizations including Girl Scouts, PTA, the Montebello Chamber of Commerce, the Asian Pacific Family Center and Republican Party groups. She also has served on federal and state education advisory panels.
The retirement dinner will be at the Commerce Casino, 6131 E. Telegraph Road, in Commerce. Information: (213) 726-1225 Ext. 2276.