Assemblymember O’Donnell Honors 70th District Teachers, Hosts Education Forum

For immediate release:

Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell and Superintendent Tom Torlakson with honorees at the inaugural Teacher Appreciation Ceremony at the Long Beach Expo Arts Center.

(LONG BEACH) – Local educators who have gone the extra mile for their students received special recognition at a ceremony hosted by Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach) yesterday. The inaugural Teacher Appreciation Ceremony, which took place at the Long Beach Expo Arts Center, honored 14 classroom teachers from across the 70th Assembly District.

"Few professions contribute as greatly to our society, carry as much responsibility, or have the ability to shape entire lives than that of the classroom teacher," said Assemblymember O'Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. "It is a tremendous opportunity to have everyone here to celebrate the men and women who dedicate their lives to educating our children."

Hundreds of education advocates, former students and parents came to support the honorees who were nominated by members of their community. The festivities took place behind the backdrop of live music performed by the Hughes Middle School Jazz Band and included remarks from special guest, California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson.

The 2015 Teacher Appreciation Honorees included:

Karin Bruhnke
Jon Brunner
Grace Castro
Susan Garcia
Lori Heinze

Anne Hughes
David LaCharite
Jeff Montooth
Ida Moscoso
Linda Patton

Celeste Pena
Beck Peterson
Gail Schack
Linda Valenzuela

Just prior to the Teacher Appreciation Ceremony, Assemblymember O'Donnell hosted a discussion with local education officials and Superintendent Torlakson. Issues on the evolving policy and fiscal landscape in California's education system were discussed in an effort to enhance classroom experience and student achievement.

"This meeting highlights the collaborative, student focused relationship between the state and the local Long Beach education community," stated Long Beach School Board Member Megan Kerr. "Exchanging ideas on current policy issues with classroom teachers, school board members, legislators and our Superintendent is critical to our shared goal of raising student success rates."

Topics on the agenda included the implementation of the Common Core Standards, the economic future of facilities management, and the mitigation of out-of-school factors impacting academic achievement.


Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell represents the 70th Assembly District which includes Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro, and Catalina Island.

CONTACT: Jesse M. Switzer, (562) 495-2915