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Monarch School Students Receive Visits from California Justices

Monarch School Students Receive Visits from California Justices

More than 60 students at Monarch School had the opportunity to learn about the judicial system from four California justices – Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero and from the Fourth District Court of Appeals Administrative Presiding Justice Judith McConnell, Associate Justice Martin Buchanan, and Associate Justice Jose Castillo.

Monarch School students posing with Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero

Chief Justice Guerrero, who grew up in the Imperial Valley, shared a mix of life and professional experiences during her 40-minute talk with students. Her parents were originally from Mexico and was the first member of her family to go to college. Her mom instilled in her a love of learning while her dad showed incredible work ethic working multiple jobs to support their family. 

“I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck,” she told students.  

Julieta, a junior, said that hearing that Chief Justice Guerrero was a first-generation college student resonated with her and said it was nice to hear from someone who had similar life experiences and that “they can achieve great things,” she said.

Eighth grader Gio said he felt that her message was inspiring. 

Chief Justice Guerrero answered questions about some of the cases she’s worked on, the structure of the Supreme Court of California, and closed by reminding students about the impact they can make. 

“Your experiences are valuable. Your voices are valuable. You can make a difference in whatever you do,” she said. 

The day prior to Justice Guerrero’s visit, justices McConnell, Buchanan, and Castillo educated many of the same students on the judicial system, sharing about their work serving on the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

The visit was organized by the San Diego County Office of Education as part of the civic engagement curriculum at Monarch School. Dr. Paul Gothold, superintendent of schools, Board President Rick Shea, and Board Member Guadalupe González joined the students for the educational visits with the justices. 

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