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News Release| Distinguished Educators; Cal State L.A.

November 28, 2011

Media note:  To arrange interviews or for complete biographies of award recipients, please contact the Cal State L.A. Public Affairs office in advance at (323) 343-3050.

Cal State L.A. to honor three educational leaders at its Distinguished Educator Award Dinner Dec. 2

Los Angeles, CA – For their professional achievements and major contributions, three highly-accomplished educational leaders—Vivian Ekchian, Cynthia Cervantes McGuire, and Genevieve Andrews Shepherd—will be honored at Cal State L.A.’s 22nd Annual Distinguished Educator Award Dinner Friday, Dec. 2.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Charter College of Education at Cal State L.A., the event will be held at the Golden Eagle Ballroom on the Cal State L.A. campus, beginning with a reception and silent auction at 5 p.m. followed by a dinner at 6 p.m. 

Vivian Ekchian, Chief Human Resources Officer, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

As chief human resources officer of the LAUSD, Vivian Ekchian (Glendale resident) has developed and implemented cultural and organizational change driven by the principles of supporting performance excellence, collaboration with institutions of higher learning, and data-driven decision making. She has collaborated with CSULA in recruiting University graduates into the teaching workforce. A 26-year veteran of the LAUSD, she also served in several leadership roles, including elementary principal, administrator of instruction, and administrator of secondary instruction. She was also previously an elementary school teacher. 

Cynthia Cervantes McGuire, Superintendent, Azusa Unified School District (AUSD)

Cynthia Cervantes McGuire (Inland Valley resident) became the superintendent for the AUSD in January 2005. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Azusa Chamber of Commerce. Previously, she was assistant superintendent of education services for the district. She started in AUSD as a bilingual teacher at Charles H. Lee Elementary School in 1975, before moving on to serve as principal at several schools within the district. Her accolades include the inaugural AUSD’s Manager of the Year Award, the L.A. County Bilingual Director’s Administrator of the Year award, and Pepperdine University’s Superintendent of the Year award.

Genevieve Andrews Shepherd, Principal, Tom Bradley Environmental Science & Humanities Magnet

A CSULA alumna, Genevieve Andrews Shepherd (Los Angeles resident) has served as the principal of Tom Bradley Environmental Science & Humanities Magnet school in Leimert Park for the past 26 years. She also has worked for the LAUSD in various capacities, and has taught as a part-time instructor at CSULA to inspire the next generation of teachers. Her accomplishments include the National Media Women’s Award for Courage, Compassion and Conviction, and the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from the Interchange for Community Action. She is an active member of the Black Administrators, the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, and Phi Delta Kappa honor society.

The Friends of the Charter College of Education is a group of alumni, educators and community members who support scholarships for students in Cal State L.A.’s teacher-preparation and school administrator programs and other activities.

All proceeds from the awards dinner will support the Friends’ Scholarship Endowment and Faculty Development funds. For details, call the Cal State L.A. Charter College of Education Development Office at (323) 343-4300.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 220,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students, opening in fall 2011. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.