Dr. Maribel Garcia is a product of El Monte City Schools having attended Columbia School and graduated from El Monte High School. Armed with a passion for educating and empowering El Monte youth, Dr. Garcia embarked on her teaching career in 1998 at the very school she attended – Columbia School. Aiming to effect greater change on behalf of students, Dr. Garcia served as Assistant Principal of Rio Hondo School, and later, Columbia School. In 2008 she became principal at Columbia where she implemented systems that drastically improved the school’s standing. In 2013 she was appointed as Superintendent. Dr. Garcia attended UCLA and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership. She is an active member of the El Monte community, serving on boards and supports organizations that promote quality of life, access to resources, and equitable opportunities for El Monte students. Dr. Garcia enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family and friends.
Kris Olafsson has worked for the district since 1997 as its Chief Business Official overseeing Fiscal Services, Informational Technology, Child Nutrition, Purchasing & Risk Management along with the Facilities Department. Kris holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California State Polytechnics University, Pomona , and a Masters from University of Redlands, California. Mr. Olafsson enjoys traveling and golfing in his free time.
Steve Sallenbach began his education as a kindergartener at Cortada School. He is proud of the fact that he grew up in El Monte and is a product of the EMCSD school system. He graduated from El Monte High School in 1987. Steve earned his Bachelors of Science in Human Development, Teaching Credential and Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific University. He received his Administrative Credential from Point Loma Nazarene University. Steve began his teaching career in the EMCSD as a 6th grade teacher at Le Gore Elementary. He would later move into administration as the Assistant Principal at Potrero Elementary, the school that he attended as a 7th & 8th grade student, and then over at Durfee Elementary as an Assistant Principal. In 2010 he was promoted to Principal of Frank M. Wright. He is proud and honored to be working back in the same district that gave so much to him as a child. Steve is married and has two children. He loves to spend his free time with his family going camping and attending swim competitions that his children compete in.
Cynthia Traino has spent the last 33 years in service to the students and families of El Monte. She began her career at Potrero School in 1980 where she taught 1st, 5th and 8th grades. In 1983, she received her Master's Degree and credential in Educational Administration, which she soon put to use in her position as teaching assistant principal at New Lexington. She then served as assistant principal of Rio Hondo and principal of Cherrylee for four and eleven years respectively. Serving the next 10 years as the Director of Instruction prepared Mrs. Traino to accept her most recent promotion to Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. Throughout her career, she has most enjoyed getting to know the staffs, parents and students at each assignment. Away from the District, Cynthia enjoys traveling, reading, knitting and spending time with her four grandchildren.