Metoyer says she’ll go to great lengths to inspire kids

Principal Charlene Metoyer performs a "donut salute" to her sixth-grade class while standing atop the roof at Eastbluff Elementary School in 2006. Metoyer has announced she's running for school board.
(FILE PHOTO / Daily Pilot)

School board candidate Charlene Metoyer is willing to climb onto the roof to sing the praises of Newport-Mesa Unified schools.

After all, she’s done it before as Eastbluff Elementary principal.

In 2006, Metoyer climbed to the top of the school and sat on the roof for an entire day, serenading her students with popular Disney tunes. It was one of several sacrifices Metoyer made if her students read more than 1 million pages in a year.

“Children need to be motivated,” she said. “Some are intrinsically motivated, some are motivated by their parents, and others are motivated by their crazy principal singing on the roof.”

Metoyer said her extroverted personality and classroom experience are assets that would serve her well on the school board.

Metoyer, 64, will battle former school board Trustee Michael Collier, who lost his incumbency in 2010, to represent the Costa Mesa High School zone.

Katrina Foley, who currently represents the zone, is running for a seat on the Costa Mesa City Council.

Foley, Councilman Gary Monahan and the Retired Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers have endorsed her candidacy.

Metoyer said she will share her enthusiasm for the level of education provided in the district with parents who are hesitant to send their kids to their neighborhood school.

Such reluctance plagues the Costa Mesa zone.

“We want to make sure our neighborhood schools are the schools of choice for parents,” she said.

Metoyer also plans to focus on nurturing early childhood education, maintaining a high quality in schools and emphasizing college, career and technology education for students.

Metoyer has been involved in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District community for 38 years. In that time, she’s worked as an elementary school teacher, an adult-education principal at Pomona and Sonora elementary schools, and a principal at Eastbluff and Harbor View elementary schools. She was also the district’s first science and math coordinator.

Metoyer took a decade off work to stay at home to raise her children, but never really left the classroom.

She volunteered in her children’s classes, taught as a substitute and was active in the parent-teacher association for many years, she said.

Metoyer retired from the district in 2012 but realized that she wanted to continue to stay involved.

“I’ve been in a classroom since I was 5 years old,” she said. “I’ve never sat behind the dais, and I know that’ll be a different job, but I’m ready.”