CSULB's highest alumni honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, is bestowed annually in each College by the CSULB Alumni Association. In addition to demonstrated pride and positive affinity for CSULB, awardees have achieved a record of distinction, recognition and accomplishment in their fields and a proven record of leadership and service to their communities and society at large. Please find the complete list of College of Education Distinguished Alumni below.
2019 Distinguished Alumna: Mary Stanton
1965, B.A. Elementary Education
Mary Stanton is a tireless educator whose extensive career has impacted countless students and improved the institutions of California’s third-largest school district, Long Beach Unified. She earned her degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Music Education in 1965 and has been dedicated to the development of our school system ever since. Stanton retired from 24 years as an elected member of the Long Beach Unified School District’s Board of Education. Her tenure was a period of reconnection for the district, and Stanton was a leader in the development of the Long Beach College Promise, which has famously shown significant gains in student achievement over the last decade. Among many achievements, Stanton chaired the School Site Committee, which developed the Magnet program at Los Cerritos, saving Los Cerritos Elementary from closure. She worked to combat classroom overcrowding, launched the Jordan High Freshmen Academy, fought to restore instrumental and vocal music classes in all middle schools and made protection of the arts in Long Beach schools a top priority. As a CSULB student, Stanton represented education students as an ASI Senator. She fondly looks back on the art and music history classes that prepared her for life’s adventures, and credits her music education at CSULB as foundational to her teaching career. She has worked to share the love of vocal music she found at CSULB with students from small art classrooms in San Francisco to one of the state’s largest districts in San Diego. A lifelong learner, she proudly returns to CSULB today as a student through the OLLI Senior University and as a patron of performances on campus.
2018 Distinguished Alumna: Audrey Yamagata-Noji
Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji
Vice President, Student Services, Mt. San Antonio College
1974, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, CSULB
1975, Master of Science, Counseling, CSULB
1987, Ph.D., Education, The Claremont Graduate University
Throughout her career as a college educator and administrator, Audrey Yamagata-Noji has strived to give all students “an equitable opportunity to attend and graduate from college.” In her current role as Vice President of Student Services at Mt. San Antonio College, Yamagata-Noji has focused on reaching out to low-income and first-generation students, foster youth, veterans, Latino, African American and Asian Pacific Islander students. Mt. SAC now offers a slate of innovative student-success programs and has the distinction of being home to one of the country’s first community college-based “Dream” centers, the highly successful Bridge Program and the Minority Male Initiative.
She is a founding member and current president of Asian and Pacific Americans in Higher Education and a co-facilitator of the Leadership Development Program in Higher Education, which strives to enhance the professional development of Asian and Pacific Islanders working in higher education. Over a period of 25 years, Yamagata-Noji also served six terms, including one numerous years as president, on the board of the Santa Ana Unified School District.
Yamagata-Noji is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the prestigious Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award, which is presented by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges in recognition of outstanding contributions to community diversity and equality.
2017 Distinguished Alumna: Denise F. Noldon
Dr. Denise F. Noldon
Interim President, Los Angeles Southwest College
1998, Doctor of Philosophy, College Student Personnel Administration, University of Maryland at College Park
1991, Master of Science, Counseling in Higher Education, CSULB
1977, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Black Studies, CSULB
Known as “a dynamic leader with a heart for student success,” Denise Noldon has used her platform as a leader in public higher education to improve the lives of thousands of college students and community members over the course of her remarkable career. In her current role as interim president of Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC), Dr. Noldon provides executive leadership — with an emphasis on academic programs, campus budgets, enrollment management, human resources, and facilities — for the entire LASC campus. Previously, the Berkeley native provided statewide leadership and technical assistance as interim vice chancellor for student services and special programs for the California Community Colleges. Other positions include president of Contra Costa College and vice president of student development and enrollment management at Folsom Lake College. Dr. Noldon is grateful for the mentoring she received and lifelong friendships she made at The Beach. As an employee of CSULB, Noldon served as an Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) counselor and Director of the Upward Bound program. Her involvement with EOP continues to this day: she gave keynote address to the EOP graduating class of 2015 and also moderated a panel for the program’s fiftieth anniversary in 2016. She began her work with students as a student assistant with the Student Support Services program.
2016 Distinguished Alumnus: Robert Garcia
Dr. Robert Garcia
2010, Doctorate Educational Leadership
2005, MA Communication Management
2002, BA Communication Studies
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia became the city’s first Latino (and youngest) mayor when he was elected in 2014 – but this was only the latest in a long string of “firsts” for the trailblazing educator and public servant. Garcia, who was five years old when he immigrated to the United States from Peru, became the first person in his family to attend and graduate from college; later, he was part of the firs cohort of students to graduate from CSULB’s doctoral program in educational leadership. Garcia went on to co-found the North Pine Neighborhood Alliance, which advocates on behalf of downtown residents and businesses, and to launch the Long Beach Post, a daily digital-first publication that has grown from a small business to an essential source for community information with more than 40,000 subscribers. After serving as a councilmember for the First District, he was unanimously elected vice mayor by the City Council. Garcia has taught courses in communications at CSULB and at the University of Southern California. Named one of the city’s “most innovative minds” by Long Beach Magazine, Garcia appeared on The Advocate’s list of “40 Under 40” (2010) and on Instinctmagazine.com’s list of “Leading Men” (2009). He is also a recipient of the Equality California Vanguard Award. Garcia enjoys movies, television, books, and spending time with his partner, Dr. Matt Mendez and their cat, Tommy.
2015 Distinguished Alumnus: Phillip Perez
1976 BA English Literature
1976 California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential
1980 California Bilingual Specialist Teaching Credential
1981 Master of Arts, Educational Administration
1981 California Administrative Services Credential
Hailed as an effective leader and a strategic thinker who embraces purposeful school reform, Phillip Pérez has led the Little Lake City School District — the school district he attended as a child — since being appointed superintendent of that 4,600-student school district in 2001. Previously, Pérez served as deputy superintendent, as director of instructional services (K-6), and as director of curriculum (K-6) for the Riverside Unified School District, and prior to that, he worked as both a school principal and a classroom teacher. During Pérez’s tenure as principal, Revere Elementary School was named a “California Distinguished School” in recognition of its success in narrowing achievement gaps. In 1988, Pérez received the national Milken Educator Award, and in 1998, he was honored as one of the Inland Empire’s “Most Influential Latinos.” He is the recipient of the California Department of Education Educator Award and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Distinguished Service Award, and he was the ACSA Region XV Superintendent of the Year Nominee in 2014. A proud alumnus of CSULB, Pérez has been an annual fund donor since 2005 and a collaborator with the College of Education for more than a decade; he also serves on the CSULB Education Advisory Committee. Pérez and his wife of 35 years, Edna, a CSULB alumna and retired elementary school teacher, have three daughters. In addition to spending time with his family — which now includes his first grandchild, born in December 2014 — Pérez enjoys golfing, biking, exercising, reading, and traveling.
2014 Distinguished Alumna: Patricia Ann Farber
Patricia Ann Farber
1967 BA English
1983 MA Educational Administration
Patricia Ann Farber is passionate about le-aching and has a 30+-year career in Southern California public schools to prove it. In 2005, she retired from La Quinta High School and, from 2007- 11, substitute taught for the Long Beach Unified School District (USO). From 1988-91, she was a MENTOR teacher for the Bellflower USD. She co-developed an integrated high school curriculum, "Futures in Space," which partnered with space industry giants such as Rockwell and Boeing, among others. As a respected expert on teaching math and learning, Farber presented workshops and served as a writer and TV guest. Her honors include 2001 and 2004 La Quinta High School Teacher of the Year Awards, ABC TV's 2001 Golden Apple Award and a 1995 U.S. Congress Certificate of Recognition. While attending CSULB, she was chosen Miss Cal State Long Beach, 1967. As a member of the Carillon Society, Director's Circle for Athletics, and President's Associates, Farber donated the funds for the Patricia A. Farber Merit Scholarship, and, together with her husband, CSLILB alumnus and Dean or Students Emeritus Stuart L. Farber, contributed to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Farber Fitness Room and the CHA outdoor study plaza.
2013 Distinguished Alumnus: Steven Fish
1971 BA Psychology
1978 MA Elementary Education
Steven Fish has been an active force in K-12 education for over 40 years. He retired as superintendent of the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, where he served from 2005- 10 and Oversaw more than $200 million in new construction and learning environment improvements. Prior to this, he was superintendent of Torrance Unified (2002-05) and West Covina Unified School Districts (1996-02). From 1983 on, he ascended through the ranks of the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), starring as a program specialist and rising to elementary school principal and finally deputy superintendent. His educational career began as an elementary school teacher in both the Magnolia School District and LBUSD. Presently, Fish teaches the USC Ed.D. Program’s leadership class and is the former Dean's Advisory Group for Superintendents chairperson. From 1995-1 0, he was a Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditations visiting committee chairperson. He is an American Association of School Administrators and Southern California Superintendents member, and sat on directors' boards for the Greater Lakewood and Torrance Chambers o f Commerce as well as the Salvation Army. Since 2011, he has volunteered at Vista Del Mar Elementa1y School. At CSU LB, he belongs to Phi Delta Kappa and, in 1994, served on the Education Administration Advisory Board. Fish and his wife of 40 years, Sue, have two sons, Brett and Brad, and two grandchildren, Brady and Kendall. He enjoys working on his '52 Ford Galaxie.
2012 Distingushed Alumna: Jana Echevarria
Dr. Jana Echevarria
1978 BA Liberal Studies: Spanish/English
1984 MS Liberal Studies: Special Major
Jana Echevarria joined the Department of Educational Psychology, Administration and Counseling in 1993 and served as chair from 2002-04. Her professional experience includes elementary and secondary teaching in general education, special education, English as a Second Language and bilingual programs. She has lived in Taiwan and Mexico, where she taught ESL and second language acquisition courses at the university level, as well as in Spain, where she conducted research on instructional programs for immigrant students. Her UCLA doctorate earned her recognition from the National Association for Bilingual Education's Outstanding Dissertations Competition. She is a nationally known expert on English learners and has written numerous journal articles and book chapters, has written and produced several videotapes and has co-authored two books: "Sheltered Content Instruction: Teaching Students with Diverse Abilities," and "Making Content Comprehensible for English Language Learners: The SIOP Model," both published by Allyn & Bacon. Her work from a seven-year grant project (1996-03), "The Effects of Sheltered Instruction on the Achievement of Limited English Proficient Students" with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) and National Institute on the Education of At-Risk Students (NIEARS), resulted in development of a model of instruction for English learners, the SIOP Model, which is currently used in all 50 states and several countries.
2011 Distinguished Alumnus: Robert E. Ellis
Robert E. Ellis
1958 MA Secondary Education
Robert E. Ellis is a retired, longtime educator from the Long Beach Unified School District. Among the positions he held during his career were principal ships al Jordan, Poly and Wilson high schools; Hughes Middle School; Avalon School; and Fremont and Newcomb elementary schools. He was also the district’s assistant director of personnel. During WWII and the Korean Conflict, he served in the U.S. Navy. As a CSULB alumnus, Ellis is a member of the Legacy Society, College of Education Dean' Development Committee, Carpenter Center Director's Circle, Medici Society College of the Arts and a longtime participant in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Both he and his wife, alumna Barbara Seeglen-Ellis (1961, B.A., social science; 1965, credential), are Friends of Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, where they were married 15 years ago. Along with his involvement with The Beach, Ellis is active with the Long Beach City College Board of Governors, Long Beach Human Relations Commission, Long Beach Fire Ambassadors and the California Retired Teachers Association. Ellis gives CSULB credit for providing a foundation for his successful career, and he visits the campus often, as his home is across the street. Aside from volunteering, he loves golf and traveling, having recently been to the Far East. Ellis has one son, Bob, and three young adult grandsons.
2010 Distinguished Alumna: Blanche G. Cannady
Blanche G. Cannady
1954 MA Education: Elementary Education
Blanche G. Brewster Cannady retired from the Long Beach Unified School District after serving 34 years, the last nine as an elementary division assistant superintendent. For two years, she worked as an hourly instructor for Long Beach City College (LBCC) and served for six years as a commissioner for the LBCC Personnel Commission. After she acquired a state life and disability insurance license, she worked for the PFP Insurance Agency from 1985-04. Her proudest accomplishments include serving as a founding member of the 32/32 Club, a Children's Dental Clinic support group; being elected as the first chairman of CAMEO, a professional Assistance League of Long Beach auxiliary mentoring group; and establishing the Books for Babies Program. She served on the Long Beach Dental Clinic Board and was the 2004-06 LBCC Foundation president. Cannady is a member of Soroptimist International of Long Beach; Delta Kappa Gamma, Era Chapter; and The Steel Magnolias, a Geraldine A. Stramski Children's Development Center support group. She was honored with the 1976 CSUSB Distinguished Achievement in Education, 2003 Steel Magnolia and 2003 Soroptimist International of Long Beach Woman of Distinction in Education Awards. As an alumna, she is a member of the CSU LB Alumni Association, Fine An s Affiliates and the women's volleyball and basketball booster clubs. She has two sons, Michael and alumnus Donald; six grandchildren, including alumna Marni Brewster; and six great-grandchildren, among them CSLILB student Thomas Cannady.
2009 Distinguished Alumna: Leslie C. Antosy-Flores
Leslie C. Antosy-Flores
1985 BA Art
1998 200 Credential
Leslie Antosy-Flores' record of distinction has earned her regional, state and national recognition as a teacher. She is the three-time winner (2005-07) of lime Warner's Crystal Apple National Teacher Award as well as the California Teacher~ Association Cesar Chavez Art Contest. She and her class are four-time winners (2003-06) of Time Warner’s Time 10 Count Reading Program as well as three-time winners of the Dr. Seuss Writing Contest. In 2008, The Boeing Company selected Antosy-Flores 10 represent the Ocean View School District at NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., where she was awarded a Right Stuff Award. As a master teacher and mentor, she volunteers her time to work with CSU LB reading method students and student teachers. While attending CSULB, Antosy-Flores was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority and team captain of the fencing team. As an alum, she remains active with the Delta Gamma sorority, serves as a teacher aid for the CSULB Summer Writing Program and attends numerous sporting events. Born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in San Marino, Calif., she has traveled to all seven continents, including Antarctica, and shares her experiences with her students. Her twin brother, Stephen J. Antosy IV, earned his 13.S. in business at CSULB in 1984. Antosy-Flores lives in Huntington Beach with her husband, Abe, who is the director of player development for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
2008 Distinguished Alumnus: John C. Hernandez
Dr. John C. Hernandez
1992 MS Counseling
Born in Oriente, Cuba, and raised in Anaheim, Calif., John Hernandez has been around enough to recognize quality when he sees it, and he sees it at CSULB. In his own words, "CSULB has become a premier institution regionally, nationally and internationally," he said. 'The student development in higher education and counseling program, in particular, has developed into a nationally recognized graduate preparation program and has reached professional maturity as evidenced by the hundreds of alums who work in higher education regionally and nationally." Since 2005, Hernandez has served as vice president or student services for Santiago Canyon College in Orange, Calif., where he is the chief student services officer responsible for the overall planning, coordination, delivery, funding and evaluation of all student services and programs. Before joining Sa111iago Canyon, Hernandez was associate vice president and dean of students at Cal Poly Pomona, associate clean of stuclc111 dcveloprnc111 at Santa Ana College, ass1s<am dean for student affairs and outreach counselor a< Cal State Fullerton, and a member of the governing board for the American College Personnel Association. He is the recipient of numerous professional awards, including the Apple of Cold Award from the Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund, the William Thomas Jr. Mentor Award, and Manager of the Year Award from Santa Ana College.
2007 Distinguished Alumnus: Dennis H. Mangers
Dennis H. Mangers
1962 BA Education: Elementary Education
Dennis Mangers has a distinguished career in public and private service, from leading the largest national cable association to serving as a state assemblyman, school board trustee, teacher, principal, U.S. Navy veteran and singer. The Sacramento area resident is now the president of the California Cable and Telecommunication Association, the nation's largest state cable association. Named in 2004 as the organization's third president since its inception in 1958, he worked for the association for 24 years as its senior vice president and principal lobbyist. From 1976 to 1980, Mangers, who was born in Inglewood and raised in Lawndale, was a member of the California State Assembly, D-73rd District (Huntington Beach). He is a graduate of Leuzinger High School and was selected in 1966 for a full scholarship to the USC School of Performing Arts after a nationwide talent search by the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company. Before his assembly service, he was elected to serve on the Huntington Beach Union High School District board of trustees, was a school principal and taLtght at the elementary level in the Long Beach Unified School District. His community service includes: The California Channel board of directors; the California Musical Theater board of directors; the presidency of the Sacramento Ballet, and board chair of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. He has lived with his domestic partner, Michael Sestak, for 15 years. Mangers has two adult children and two grandchildren.
2006 Distinguished Alumna: Corina Villaraigosa
1983 BA Liberal Studies: Bilingual - English & Spanish
1984 200 Credential
Los Angeles' new First Lady, Corina Villaraigosa, was born in Pico Rivera, Calif., as Corina Raigosa. Inspired by a hard working mother and father, she fulfilled her dream of pursuing higher education when she received her bachelor's degree in liberal studies at CSULB and a master's degree in educational administration from Cal State L.A. She is actively involved in issues of education, particularly with underserved communities. She works to educate English-language learners from low socio-economic backgrounds in the Montebello Unified School District and ensures that they receive appropriate academic instruction and support. While serving as the First Lady of Los Angeles, she was recently appointed by Chairwoman and Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina to sit on the First 5 L.A. commission. She will help oversee $209 million in annual funding for early childhood development, health and education programs in Los Angeles County. Villaraigosa also serves as a board member for the Center Theater Group and the Orthopedic Hospital Foundation. She met Antonio Villar in 1985 and married three years later, merging their last names to form Villaraigosa. She is frequently described by Mayor Villaraigosa as the glue that binds together the Villaraigosa family, which includes two children, Antonio Jr. and Natalia Fe.
2005 Distinguished Alumna: Erin J. Gruwell
Erin J. Gruwell
1994 120 Credential
1994 MA English: Literature
As a new teacher in 1994, Erin Gruwell inspired a group of disillusioned, at-risk students at Long Beach's Wilson High School to express their thoughts through personal diaries. That effort became the foundation of 'The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them." The book became a hit and since then, she and her students have appeared in national news media and will be the subject of a planned feature film. It has put her on the road as a popular speaker who has visited nearly 40 states and spoken before 500 events. She currently is writing her second book to be published by Doubleday in the spring of 2006. She went on to found the Erin Gruwell Education Project, a diverse and dynamic group of Freedom Writers, students, educators and professionals who work with school districts, other educators, community and civic leaders, and other students to promote acceptance and innovative methods for educating our diverse population. The native Californian was born in Glendora and grew up in La Verne and Newport Beach. She is a second-generation 49er, following her father, Steve Gruwell, who received his master's degree and teacher's credential from CSULB. Gruwell is a visiting professor in the College of Education.
2004 Distinguished Alumnus: Jack Thomas O'Connell
Honorable Jack Thomas O'Connell
1975 100 Credential
After more than 20 years as a California legislator, Jack O'Connell returned to his education roots by being elected State Superintendent of Public lnstruction in 2002. After earning his teaching credential at CSULB, he taught at his high school alma mater and was elected to the Santa Barbara County School Board. ln 1982, O'Connell was elected to the 3 5th State Assembly District and then to the 18th State Senate District in 1994. Authoring the legislation to reduce class size as well as Proposition 39, which reduced the amount of votes needed to pass local school bonds from 67 percent to 55 percent, are among his proudest accomplishments. Calling himself a "tireless advocate to public schools," O'Connell has received numerous legislator of the year and other accolades from local and state education groups. Cal State Long Beach "provides quality educational opportunities for students and enables students to receive skills to become successful in life," he said.
2003 Distinguished Alumnus: Christopher J. Steinhauser
Christopher J. Steinhauser
1981 BA Liberal Studies: History
1981 200 Credential
1984 500 Credential
Chris Steinhauser is very much at home in Long Beach. After growing up in the community and then spending 20 years as a teacher and administrator in the Long Beach Unified School District, he was selected as district superintendent last May. "He knows the community and he is respected for his positive hands-on approach that gets results for students of all backgrounds," said Board of Education President Bobbie Smith upon his appointment. Steinhauser is regarded for his leadership in improving test scores in one of the most diverse large urban school districts in the nation. He is proud of having "many opportunities as a professional to enhance the lives of thousands of young people in our community by ensuring that all students have equal access to a quality education." He also is involved in a number of community organizations including serving on the boards of the Miller Children's Hospital, Campfire USA, Leadership Long Beach and others. His wife, Alida, a 1981 alumna in Liberal Studies, teaches at Signal Hill Elementary School. "I really enjoyed my years at CSU LB. I always felt I was a valued member of the CSU LB family," he recalled. "I believe CSU LB is one of the finest universities in America today."
2002 Distinguished Alumnus: William L. Ste. Marie
William L. Ste. Marie
1969 BA Art: Drawing and Painting
1976 400 Credential
1981 MS Special Education
"After breaking my neck in 1961, my goal of completing high school and going on to college seemed remote," said teacher Bill Ste. Marie. With the guidance of CSU LB College of Education Professors Charles J. Kokaska and Alfred I. Schmidt, Ste. Marie achieved his dream of earning a college degree and a teaching credential. Ste. Marie then returned to his alma mater of Bellflower High School where he founded and heads its special education program, leading to a 29-year career teaching special education for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. A strong community advocate, he started a Boy Scout troop for disabled youths and twice a year presents a five-day "Disabilities Awareness" program for his school's ninth graders. This project earned him the 1998 Access Award from the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities. Last November he was elected to the Bellflower Unified School District Board of Education. "When I think of CSU LB today, I think of a second home that put my life together and on track." He and his wife, Joy, are parents of two adult children.
2001 Distinguished Alumna: Julie P. Romero
Julie P. Romero
1990 BA Liberal Studies: Sociology
1991 200 Credential 1995 299 Credential
"Mrs. Romero always finds a way to make learning run and interesting," writes one of her fifth grade students al Old River Elementary School in Downey where she's taught since 1997. Julie Romero's passion for teaching has resulted in numerous accolades including nomination for Disney's American Teacher Award in 1999 and selection as Teacher of the Year by the Downey Masonic Lodge in 1998. Previously at Imperial Elementary School in the Downey Unified School District, Romero serves as the District’s visual and performing arts mentor, beginning teacher support provider all a master teacher for CSULH's Student Teaching Program. Using her creative bent, the Downey native started an after school drama club that performs Shakespeare's comedies complete with period costumes. "My proudest moments as a teacher have been in making a difference in the lives or difficult and troubled children, helping them sec themselves in a more positive way," says Romero, who comes from a family of teachers. She and her husband, Louie, enjoy traveling to museums in Italy, London and New York and, of course, to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore.
2000 Distinguished Alumnus: Cedric L. Anderson
Dr. Cedric L. Anderson
1979 MPA Public Administration
1988 MA Education: Educational Administration
1994 464 Credential
Cedric Anderson's success stories in pairing high-risk youths with special education students has earned him a multitude of honors including California Teacher of the Year in 1996, CSULB's nomination for the California State University Outstanding Teacher Award in 1999 and attention from national media including CNN, The New York Times and ABC's 20/20. Since 1988, he's been a teacher at Rosewood Community Education Center, a school within the Los Angeles County Office of Education that's the first in the nation to have a compulsory community service program in which high-risk juvenile offenders peer tutor severely challenged students. Anderson implemented the program with three education partners. The 20-year teacher, who serves on a committee for the California Department of Education and on the CSU LB Alumni Association Board of Directors, enjoys the challenges of working with high-risk students. "If I succeed even a little where other teachers or persons have failed, I feel I am doing my job.”
1998 Distinguished Alumna: Judith Magsaysay
1978 BS Liberal Studies: Bilingual - Spanish and English
1979 200 Credential
Judith Magsaysay continually receives recognition for her outstanding leadership and community partnership in developing a safe and positive learning environment for her students. Since being named principal of Santa Ana's Pio Pico Elementary School in 1991, this energetic educator organized a neighborhood association (she's the secretary) to improve the area's environs, convinced parents to get involved in their kids' education and was a catalyst for change. Among the results are a 30 percent decrease in crime near the school and an increase in the children's test scores. Magsaysay says her success was in "establishing a truly connected and caring community of learners: students, families, staff, neighbors, university and business partners." As a result, the Yorba Linda resident has garnered many honors including the $25,000 Milken Family Foundation Educator of the Year Award in 1996 and the Wellness Foundation's California Peace Prize. Supporting Magsaysay along the way are Ron, her husband of 20 years and two children.
1997 Disntinguished Alumna: Christine A. Dominguez
Christine A. Dominguez
1974 BA English: Language and Composition
1980 MA Education: Elementary Education
Christine Dominguez has taken the knowledge she's gained from two degrees at CSULB to guide her on a successful 22-year career with the Long Beach Unified School District, where she serves as assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and professional development. A highly regarded expert in literacy, Dominguez often says her master's degree with a specialization in reading has served as the foundation for all of her work as a curriculum leader. Her efforts in curriculum reform within the school district are recognized on a national level. She's also a leader in the Long Beach Community Partnership Seamless Education Initiative which involves the school district, CSULB and Long Beach City College working together to create a seamless Pre K-16 education system for Long Beach's students. Dominguez has delivered papers at 16 professional conferences and has been honored by the California Department of Education, the Los Angeles County Bilingual Directors' Association and the Far West Laboratory for her leadership.
1996 Distinguished Alumna: Marnos Lelesi
1983 MA Education: Educational Administration
Marnos Lelesi believes in making a difference. Currently, she is making that difference as principal of Roosevelt School, a year-round elementary campus in central Long Beach. Her career goals are to provide leadership and to empower teachers to make a difference in the lives of their students. Roosevelt was recognized in the 1995-96 school year by the California Department of Education for unprecedented success as a Program Improvement Initiative School in the areas of student achievement and school climate. When conferences and workshops on those topics are held nationwide, it's Roosevelt they see on tape and CD-ROM. Lelesi served as principal of Burcham Elementary School for more than six years. She is president of the Long Beach Elementary and Secondary (School) Administrators Association and president-elect of the Association of Long Beach Educational Managers. Her husband Alexander is a math teacher at Compton High School, her son Timothy is a systems analyst for the Torrance-based IT Corp. and her son Michael is a CSULB graduate and a teacher at Lakewood High School. Her hobbies include sewing, reading, needlepoint, and designing cards.
1995 Distinguished Alumnus: H. Douglas Wood
H. Douglas Wood
1959 400 Education
1959 BA Education: Elementary Education
Douglas Wood is equally at home in the classroom and the board room. The 1969 graduate with a B.A. in Elementary Education is currently Chairman of Wood Logan Associates based in Old Greenwich, Conn. Wood has 32 years of experience in the marketing and sales of securities with an emphasis on mutual funds and variable annuities. He originally taught speech, English and drama both in the United States and Germany. His business career began in 1963 as a retail broker in securities with Goodbody and Company. Wood went on to hold national sales and marketing manager positions with Massachusetts Financial Services and Drexel Burnham Lambert. Before forming Wood Logan Associates, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Capital Services since the company, a unit of Integrated Resources, Inc., was established in 1982. Integrated Capital distributed more than $1 billion in variable insurance products and mutual funds under his stewardship. Wood also is an experienced public speaker who addresses more than 2,500 people yearly. He divides his time between New Canaan, Conn., and Santa Barbara with his wife Linda and their six children Debbie, Dara, Gary, Erin, Blake and Colby.
1994 Distinguished Alumnus: Tadao Hara
Dr. Tadao Hara
1965 MA Pupil Personnel
The children of U .S.-based Japanese executives who attend the International Bilingual School in Palos Verdes Estates know Tadao Hara. The Los Alamitos resident and father of two is founder, president and director of the school. Tadao's career began in 1952 with his B.A in English Literature from Tamagawa University (he later served. as a dean at a Japanese university) followed by a B.A. and M.A. from Northwest College in 1957 and '58 and his second M.A. from CSULB. He went on to do post graduate work in 1966 in educational psychology at the University of Washington and in 1978 in Zen psychology at Komazawa University. His Long Beach connection covers more than his service on the CSULB College of Education Advisory Board; his son Nobumichi earned a B.A. in speech communication in 1976 and an M.B.A. in 1986 from CSU LB while his daughter Izumi earned a B.A. with a special major from CSULB in 1982 before going on to the Georgetown University School of Law. The International Bilingual School is a private school whose kindergarten-through-ninth-grade enrollment is primarily comprised of children of U.S.-based Japanese executives.
1993 Distinguished Alumna: Betty P. Karnette
The Honorable Betty P. Karnette
1961 BA Education: Elementary Education
1969 MA Education: Social & Philosophical Foundations
How much different can teaching school for 31 years be from working in the State Assembly? Not different enough to keep Betty Karnette from being a success in both fields. At the time of her 1992 candidacy, Karnette had been a teacher for 30 years and was employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District as a math coordinator at South Gate Junior High, one of the largest middle schools in the nation: Today she serves as a member of the California Legislature, representing the 54th Assembly District, She will serve as vice chair of the Labor and Employment Committee during the· 1993-94 legislative session. She also sits on the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, the Governmental Organization Committee and the Transportation Committee. The peach trees were small when I started at Long Beach, but over the years, I'd like to think that I've blossomed just like them," she says.
1992 Distinguished Alumnus: Ruben L. Ingram
Dr. Ruben L. Ingram
1955 BA Education: Elementary Education
For 37 years, Ruben L. Ingram has served as a public school teacher and administrator, university professor and private consultant. He is currently district superintendent of Fountain Valley School District. Dr. Ingram has served on numerous state and national boards and commissions, held elected offices in both state and national professional associations, and currently is president of the California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He has received many honors from professional organizations, the PT A and civic groups. In 1990, he was named one of the 100 top executive educators in the United States by the National School Boards Association. Dr. Ingram has written many articles on school management and co-authored a book on national issues, spoken at all major state and national conventions and consulted with school districts throughout the nation and the world. He serves on CSULB's Education Advisory Council, the Partnership Committee and co-sponsors a Professional Support Project for new teacher candidates.
1991 Distinguished Alumnus: John F. Dean
Dr. John F. Dean
1955 MA Education: Elementary Education
Two challenges that John F. Dean cites as favorite accomplishments are his election win over a 24-year incumbent in the Orange County Superintendent of Schools post last year and his ascent of Mount Whitney. Along the climb to superintendent, he gained professional experience ranging from kindergarten to college. After six years as an elementary school teacher, he became a principal then advanced to administrative positions in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Most of his academic life was spent in higher education at Whittier College where he was a professor of education and chairman of the education department from 1970-89. A published author, he's served as executive secretary of the 19,000-member California Reading Association from 1976-91 and was inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame.
1990 Distinguished Alumna: Joan J. Branin
Joan J. Branin
1970 MA Education: Educational Psychology
The new vice president and manager of Chase Private Investment Banking of Los Angeles is the same person who used to start her days taking rol I as a teacher in the Los Alamitos and El Rancho School Districts. Joan Branin also worked as a medical sales representative and research analyst before joining First International Bank. There, as vice president, she managed a $680 million portfolio, moving on to vice presidencies at Standard Chartered Bank and Union Bank. The teacher in the vice president still emerges with instructing experience at the University of San Francisco, Orange Campus, and at Pasadena City College. She is active with the American Diabetes Association, Girl Scouts of America, United Way, UCLA Alumni Association and the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce.
1989 Distinguished Alumnus: John M. Blaydes
John M. Blaydes
1962 BA Education: Elementary Education
1966 MA Education: Educational Administration
Creating a challenging, positive and fun environment where children can learn and develop is what John Blaydes accomplishes as principal at McGaugh Elementary School in Seal Beach. During the past 23 years, he has received numerous national, state and local commendations recognizing his exemplary leadership in public education. In 1988, he received $25,000 as a winner of one of 12 California Educator Awards presented by the state Department of Education and the Milken Family Foundation. In 1987, the administrator in the Los Alamitos Unified School District was honored as California's K-8 Principal of the Year by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. John said his academic experiences at Cal State Long Beach challenged him "to grow and think and with success began to build the confidence and knowledge base that enabled me to succeed in my chosen profession.”
1988 Distinguished Alumna: Marie Otto
1954, BA Speech/Drama/Education, Sul-Rose State Univ., Texas
1967, MA Educational Psychology, CSULB
Superintendent Emeritus of Huntington Beach Union High School District, Marie Otto, began her thirty five year career in education as a private speech Pathologist and a classroom instructor. She accepted a position with the Huntington Beach District in 1969 as a school Psychologist and then became Project Manager for a Criminal Justice Project prior to assignments as Director of pupil Personnel Services and Assistant Superintendent In addition to her public education assignments, Marie served as .Vice President of Poole-Yount-Koehler, an educational management and evaluation service for public and private agencies, and as President of Marie Otto Associates. Although officially retired, Marie has not retired from service to the area. She is on the Board of Directors of Humana Hospital, Golden West College Foundation and Huntington Beach Community Clinic, and is the educational liaison for .the American Red Cross in Orange County. Marie and her husband Robert have three children, Lois Ann, who received a BA in English from CSULB, Barbara and Robert, Jr.
1987 Distinguished Alumna: Naomi Rainey
1972, BA, Theatre Arts - Performance
1980, MA, Education - Secondary /Reading
1981, MA. Educational Administration
Recently elected to the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Naomi has earned four teaching credentials at CSULB in addition to her degrees. She believes the university's wealth of resources continues to help her develop both personally and professionally. Currently supervisor of the Office of School and Community Relations for the Compton Unified School District (CUSD), she has taught reading, drama and English for the CUSD, the Compton Medical Magnet Program and the Long Beach Unified School District. Because she recognizes the extraordinary value of her own college experience, she is proud to have helped many of her district's students to enroll in college and to earn scholarships.
1986 Distinguished Alumna: Marilyn Russell Bittle
Marilyn Russell Bittle
1957 BA Education: Elementary Education
As president of the California Teachers Association (CTA), Marilyn heads the nation's largest state public employee association, representing more than 232,000 public school teachers in contract negotiations. Student, parent and teacher concerns have dominated her twenty-five year career and she has received many honors for her outstanding service in public education.
1985 Distinguished Alumna: Deborah O. Hancock
Deborah O. Hancock
1959 BA English: Literature
1984 Distinguished Alumna: Beverly L. O'Neill
The Honorable Beverly L. O'Neill
1952 BA Education: Elementary Education
1956 MA Education: Elementary Education
The Honorable Beverly Lewis O'Neill is Long Beach's only three-term mayor. Elected in 1994, she was re-elected in 1998 and was chosen for a third te1T11 as a write-in candidate, the nation's only large-city mayor to accomplish such a historic feat. During her tenure, she was a major force for changing the Long Beach economy into a diversified mix of international trade, tourism, emerging technologies and expanding retail. The League of California Cities elected her its 2001 -02 president and American City County magazine named her its 2004 municipal leader of the year. She achieved further national prominence as the 2005-06 United States Conference of Mayors president. Born in Long Beach, O'Neill is the daughter of Flossie and Clarence Lewis and is a product of the Long Beach public school system, starting with the Long Beach Day Nursery up to her graduation from CSULB. Prior to becoming mayor, she spent a 31-year career at Long Beach City College (LBCC), beginning as a music instructor and women's advisor, advancing to campus dean and rising to superintendent -president. In I976, she was inducted into LBCCs Hall of Fame. Previously, she was a Long Beach Unified School District teacher. O'Neill has been deeply involved in the Long Beach community throughout her life. Her volunteer service has exceeded more than 20 community organizations, including Rotary International, the Salvation Army, YMCA, United Way and AIDS Walk of Long Beach. Currently, she sits on the International City Bank and Long Beach Memorial Hospital boards of directors. Numerous organizations have honored O'Neill for her devotion to the city, education and youth. Recently, she received the Crystal Arts and Humanitarian Award from International City Theatre for her significant contributions to the arts. Other awards include the LA County Economic Development Corporation's 1999 EDDY Award, 1997 Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen of the Year, 1995 California 54th Assembly District Woman of the Year and the 1991 National Conference of Christian and Jews Humanitarian Award. In 2010, Outskirts Press published Passionately Positive: The Beverly O'Neill Story, written by Harry Saltzgaver. Her service to CSULB is exceptional. At present, she is the 2011 - 12 chair of the 49er Foundation. From 2008-11, she was the William Dickson Faculty Fellow for the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership. In the past, she served on the Alumni Association board of directors and in Woman and Philanthropy. A 2009 Golden Graduate inductee, she was awarded the Alumni Association Golden Achievement Award in 1999 and CSULB's Distinguished Alumni honors in 1984. While attending CSULB, O'Neill was Women's Stu dents president and received the 1952 Outstanding Woman award. O'Neill is married to her "high school sweetheart" and CSULB alumnus, William (1951, B.A., social science; 1952, M .A., English literature), who is a USC School of Education professor emeritus. They have a daughter, Teresa, and one 17-year-old grandson, Nolan.
1971 Distinguished Alumnus: Jack E. Teele
Jack E. Teele
1952 BA Education: Elementary Education
Teele, a one-time Press Telegram sports reporter who was on the Ram beat in the late 1950s and then succeeded Bert Rose as the team's public relations boss before moving up in 1967 to be the top adviser to the then owner, Dan Reeves. Teele went to Long Beach City College after graduating from Poly High in 1948. He was inspired by a journalism instructor to become a sportswriter, and then went on to Long Beach State, where he was reserve guard for the first team in the school's history during the 1950-51 season that was coached by Herm Schwarzkopf and finished 3-14. He would join the army in 1952 after receiving his college degree, and was a member of the CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps) in Tokyo. He got married in 1954 to his beloved Marilyn - he met her in Long Beach while on leave from the service - and went on to have two daughters who would graduate from Wilson High, with one, Lisa Owen, who has three daughters, still living here and the other, Dana McElrath, with two sons, residing in Palm Desert. Jack Teele served as a PR liaison for the Green Bay Packers' immortal coach Vince Lombardi at the first Super Bowl between the Packers and Kansas City Chiefs that was staged in 1967 at the Coliseum. He would retire after departing the Dragons, and he and Marilyn lived eight years on five acres they bought from the late one-time Rams coach, Hampton Poole, who owned a 200-acre ranch in the San Joaquin Valley near Oakhurst in the Sierra Mountains. He decided to return to his roots this year after living for time near Temecula, as he and his wife have been staying in Marina Pacifica while waiting for a place they bought at Leisure World to be renovated. Teele has endured the standard aging process infirmities, as he's had a quadruple bypass heart operation, back, foot and carotid surgeries and artery replacements in his legs.