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Montebello Unified Appoints Susanna Contreras Smith as Superintendent of Schools

The Montebello Unified Board of Education voted on June 25 to promote Susanna Contreras Smith, the District’s former Superintendent of Education, to the position of Superintendent of Schools. Contreras Smith, who joined the District’s leadership team three years ago, is replacing Cleve Pell, who will now serve as the District’s new Chief Financial and Operations Officer.

Contreras Smith has served as Superintendent of Education since early 2013 after moving up through the ranks since she joined Montebello Unified in 2012 as associate superintendent of accountability and compliance. She, together with Pell, served more than 30,000 students in Montebello Unified, the third largest school District in Los Angeles County.

“With more than 40 years of experience – both in the classroom and as an administrator – I cannot think of anyone more capable and well suited for this position,” Pell said. “I congratulate Susanna for this outstanding appointment and thank her for her continued service to our students, families, teachers, staff and leadership teams.”

Having started her educational career at Montebello Unified as a college instructional aide more than 40 years ago, Contreras Smith brings more than two decades of administrative leadership experience. Her service includes years as a classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal. She has held the position of director of curriculum and instruction as well as assistant superintendent of education.

“I want to thank the Montebello Unified Board of Education for the honor and privilege of appointing me to lead this District that I know well and have come to deeply cherish,” Contreras Smith said. “I will continue to work collaboratively with parents, teachers, staff and our community partners to ensure all students have access to a stellar 21st century education.” 

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