Board members appointed Crowe by a 3-1 vote on Thursday night to fill a vacancy left by former board member Paul Vincent Avila.
"The district is moving in a very positive direction. We do welcome Mr. Crowe back and he has been a major part of that," said Elvia Rivas, school board president.
"We would like to continue to move in that direction."
Crowe lost his re-election bid in November to Steve Garcia.
Prior to candidates' interviews for the vacant seat, a couple of residents spoke out against Crowe, a former president of the school board. They said they were concerned Crowe would try to get rid of Superintendent James Hammond.
Several parents and members of the public supported Crowe's appointment. Both the Ontario-Montclair Teachers Association and the Ontario-Montclair Classified Employees endorsed Crowe.
Crowe said he has no intentions of removing Hammond and was partly responsible for hiring him.
Avila, prior to stepping down from the board, hinted that he also did not want the outgoing board members to appoint Crowe. The longtime school board member was elected in November to the City Council.
Crowe said he also looks forward to finishing up projects that he started when he was on the board, such as a joint class with students in Africa and a special education cooking class.
Board members interviewed six candidates. The others were Sandra Kaye Escamilla, a retired district employee; college professors Michael Cory Flores and Joseph J. Laponis; Flora Martinez, parent and community activist; and Robert Anthony Ortega, an 18-year-old student.
During the interview process, candidates were given 12 minutes to answer three questions.
Garcia suggested a Montclair resident should fill the vacancy as it has been years since someone from the city was represented on the school board. Martinez was the sole candidate who lives in Montclair.
Garcia cast the lone vote against Crowe.
Martinez said the board's vote was biased.
"It's so unfortunate that for so many years Montclair hasn't been represented," she said.
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