By Tammye McDuff
This past Tuesday, the ABC Unified School District bid farewell to two long-time board members, Armin Reyes and Celia Spitzer.
The ABC USD Board Room was standing room only as Reyes and Spitzer were acknowledged for their sixteen years of service. Senator Tony Mendoza began the numerous awards and recognitions by saying, “We have two individuals here that have really done a great job on the school board, it is sad to see them go, but I don’t think they will go very far.”
Both Reyes and Spitzer were both honored by representatives of Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Supervisor Don Knabe, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, City of Cerritos’ Councilman Mark Pulido, City of Artesia Mayor Miguel Canales and Councilman Ali Sajjad Taj, Hawaiian Gardens Councilman Mike Gomez, Master Sergeant Marty Schaefer Southeast ROP Director, ABCFT President Ray Gaer, Dr. Rhonda Buss, Director of Secondary Schools, and former Cerritos Mayor Laura Lee.
In a special moment, Henry, a fourth grade student said, “Mrs. Spitzer read to me in first grade, and I just want to say ‘Thank You’”.
Pulido, a former board member commented, “You have both focused on the love of learning and made this the center of your efforts. Our community is better because of your commitment to our children and our schools.”
Reyes, current Clerk of the Board, was elected to the ABC Board of Education in 1999 and re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011. He served as Vice President of the Board in 2004 and President in 2005. He is also serves as member of the Southeast ROP Board of Trustees. He serves as a Functional Specialty Team Leader with the 426th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) based in Upland, CA, with a rank of a Major, serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom II, Operation Iraqi Freedom 06 and Operation Enduring Freedom XXII in Afghanistan.
Spitzer, Member of the Board, was first elected to the ABC Board in 1999 and to her fourth term in 2011. She has been a resident of Cerritos since 1971. Celia worked as a systems engineer for IBM after graduating from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s Degree in mathematics. ABC has received national recognition for its excellent relationship with district employees with everyone working together to promote student achievement. All of this is being accomplished with a balanced budget that focuses on the needs of all students.
Each board member said a few words of gratitude to both Reyes and Spitzer, following two rousing standing ovations, Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu noted, “Tonight the community and our team have come to say ‘Thank You’. You are both appreciated and valued. Your combined 32 years of service has really meant something to the ABC School District,”
“We have a term in Chinese we use when saying farewell, Zaijian, which means see you again. Thank you for your wonderful years of service.”
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