Arturo Delgado fondly remembers teaching fifth grade at Hurley Elementary School in La Puente. Now, 30 years later, Delgado is the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Education.
But the county’s top educator took time from his busy schedule Wednesday to visit two Rowland Unified schools where his career began.
“I want to see my old classroom, Room 52,” Delgado told Hurley Principal Astrid Gallon-Gonzalez.
That’s where the young bilingual teacher got his start in education.
The youngsters were learning how to tie their shoelaces when the county superintendent walked in. Delgado promptly kneeled down to talk with the first graders.
“I know how to tie my own shoes,” said a proud Diego Perez. The 7-year-old proceeded to show the smiling visitor how he does it.
“I used to teach in this classroom,” Delgado told the kids. He even brought a picture to show them his fifth-grade class in 1984.
“That is me when I had dark hair,” Delgado told the dubious youngsters.
Hurley students even had an early Christmas present for the county superintendent. The school’s mariachi band and violinists serenaded the administrator with several rousing numbers.
Music filled the room as the students picked up their violins, trumpets and guitars. The young musicians played with gusto as Delgado watched.
“I wanted you to know it took all my strength not to cry. You’re wonderful. It’s great to see what you’re doing with music here,” Delgado said. “We don’t have this in many elementary schools.”
Rowland Superintendent Ruben Frutos led the happy administrator on a brief tour of the La Puente campus. They stopped in Hurley’s Wonder of Reading library.
“We’ve redone many of our school libraries and most of our classrooms,” Frutos said.
Delgado was impressed with the reading corner, story amphitheater and massive wooden bookshelves filled with books.
“I think this is better than some of the city libraries I’ve seen,” the county superintendent said.
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PHOTOS: Hurley Elementary Mariachi Students play for Dr. Delgado. Dr. Delgado at Rorimer Elementary with ASB students and at holiday performance.