Crowe was selected, by a 3-1 vote, on Thursday night to fill the vacancy left by former board member Paul Vincent Avila. The longtime board member resigned from his seat last month after being elected to the City Council in November. Prior to leaving Avila hinted that he did not want the outgoing board Crowe to be chosen. Crowe lost his re-election bid to Steve Garcia.
"I sense there is a movement to appoint one particular person that does not have the mandate of the community," Avila said at his last meeting.
On Thursday night, in an effort to make the process transparent, the board interviewed all six candidates which included a retired district employee, two college professors, a community volunteer and a18-year-old student.
After hearing from the candidates Garcia suggested the board consider filling the vacancy with a Montclair resident, adding that it had been years since someone from that city was represented on the school board. Candidate Flora Martinez was the sole candidate who resides in Montclair.
The board instead opted to select Crowe.
Board President Elvia Rivas said the district has been moving in the right direction and Crowe has been "a major part of that and we'd like to continue to move in that direction."
Following the vote, Martinez criticized the board's action calling it biased.
"It's so unfortunate that for so many years Montclair hasn't been represented," she said.
The candidates besides Crowe included: Sandra Kaye Escamilla, Michael Cory Flores, Joseph J Laponis, Martinez, and Robert Anthony Ortega.