While there were plenty of thanks offered to Kathy Paspalis for her time on the school board, nothing seemed more reflective of her attitude to public service than the thanks she gave.
After serving on the Culver City Unified School Board for nine years, Kathy Paspalis attended her final meeting on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. After the citizenship awards were handed to the winning students of the month, Paspalis was officially lauded by State Senator Holly Mitchell, the Culver City City Council and the administration of the district, each of which gifted her with frame worthy proclamations, commendations and gold gilt lettering.
As could be expected, the routine superintendent reports and school representative reports all included praise and thanks for Paspalis, whose almost decade long tenure on the school board covered the span from recession budget cutting to building bond remodel of both the athletic filed and the Frost Auditorium.
Jim Harris of the Community Budget Advisory Committee thanked Paspalis from the podium for her keen eye and legal expertise, helping the district with many of the large financial decisions.
Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin recalled her presence on the School Site Committee at El Marino Language School , and long term support of the district’s language immersion programs.
Alisha Lewerke Martin also spoke from the podium, saying that “After the Parkland shooting, my daughter was so afraid to go to school, she really didn’t even think that the schools should be open. When I told Kathy, she came to my house, went into the girl’s room, and explained to her that safety was a top priority, and that the administration was doing everything to make sure that our kids at our schools were safe. That made a big difference, and that is the kind of board member she has been.”
In all the congratulatory gratitude, Paspalis had one of her own to hand out; she called out the superintendent’s administrative assistant Rebecca Williams, and gave her a bouquet of flowers and a card. “You are the one person who has been here with me through the whole adventure, and I just want to offer my sincere thanks for all you help and support.” Williams was surprised to be getting applause on the occasion of someone else’s retirement, but was the picture of grace in her acceptance.
At the recess of the meeting, the crowd moved to the Dan Pataccia Room for a brief reception.
Photo – School Superintendent Leslie Lockheart, School Board member Dr. Kelly Kent, School Board President Anne Allaire, board members Kathy Paspalis, Summer McBride and Steve Levin, holing some of the accolades give to Paspalis in thanks for her service.