Friday, June 14, 2013

District honors 2012-13 retirees, Supt. Bill Kowba with special reception

It was a bittersweet afternoon at the Eugene Brucker Education Center courtyard.

Employees, family members and honorees gathered to celebrate the careers of the nearly 350 employees that are retiring from San Diego Unified this year -- and helped generations of San Diegans grow up. The reception also included a special tribute to Superintendent Bill Kowba, who is retiring after seven years with the district.

Supt. Kowba started the festivities Thursday, June 13, by thanking the retirees for their service.

“All of you proud professionals who are moving on – teachers, support staff, administrators  -- have made immeasurable contributions, and have given the priceless gift of time and talent to help our students achieve their best,” said Superintendent Kowba. “The success of our students is truly a reflection of your hard work and dedication. You have helped make San Diego a great place to work and learn.” 

A portion of the 2013 retirees that attended the ceremony pose with Supt. Kowba.
Retiring Supt. Kowba poses with some of the
other 2013 retirees.

Each retiree had the opportunity to introduce themselves, say how many years they had been with the district and share details of their journey. Some have served the district for just a few years, others more than 30. One retiree had been with the district for 42 years. Collectively, this year’s retirees have more than 8,000 years of experience and service.

Following the procession of retirees, Board President Dr. John Lee Evans began the special tribute to Superintendent Kowba by presenting him with a plaque on behalf of the Board of Education. Union and elected officials were also on-hand to say thank you and offer well-wishes to Supt. Kowba.

Speakers included incoming Superintendent Cindy Marten; San Diego Education Association President Bill Freeman; California School Employees Association local chapter President Sylvia Alvarez; San Diego Unified Police Officers Association President Jesus Montana; Lori Brown and Laura Hempton from the office of California Senator Joel Anderson; and Ralph Dimarucut from the office of California Senator Marty Block.

The final speaker of the night was Supt. Kowba, who thanked his colleagues and fellow retirees for the true team effort in making the district a great place for kids.

“There is something that we should be so proud of. We never lost our sense of purpose, our devotion to the core mission of educating the children of San Diego,” Kowba said. "I’m very proud and humbled that all of you have accomplished this, despite navigating in such an austere and demanding environment.

“Thank you all for what you’ve done to help me and help this district. Best of luck to all the retirees.”

The event was sponsored in part by Cox Communications.