03.29.11

Dr. Susan C. Parks Named a "Woman of the Year" in the 29th Congressional District

Washington, D.C.– Yesterday, at a reception in Pasadena, Representative Adam Schiff (CA-29) honored Dr. Susan C. Parksfor her commitment and service to our community by naming her a “Woman of the Year.”

“Susan Parks has demonstrated what a tremendous impact a single person can have on her community,” Rep. Schiff said. “As a lifelong educator and current Superintendent of the San Gabriel Unified School District, she has assisted in educating thousands of students in the 29th Congressional District, helping to ensure that the schools in our communities produce well-rounded individuals who can compete in an increasingly challenging world.”

A native Angelino, she spent her early years in Los Angeles City schools, where she proved herself to be a quick learner. Early on, Susan realized that many people held inherent beliefs that girls could not accomplish certain feats simply because they were girls.  Determined to prove them wrong, Susan applied herself throughout high school and, as a result, received numerous scholarship offers. Thereafter, Dr. Parks decided to attend the University of Southern California (USC), where she was named a Trustee Scholar.

At USC, Susan Parks witnessed the struggle of the civil rights movement, encouraging her desire to promote peace throughout the world. After the Watts riots, Susan volunteered to help a pre-school recover and found that she had the potential to change the world by teaching young children. After graduating from USC Magna Cum Laude, she began teaching in Los Angeles where she strived to one day become a principal and eventually superintendent.  She became the principal at Walnut Grove Elementary School and, after the passage of Proposition 13, she provided leadership to begin Hollow Hills Elementary School, a magnet school that achieved tremendous success. Her experience proved invaluable as she went on to hold positions as a Deputy Superintendent in Simi Valley, the Superintendent of Schools in the Baldwin Park Unified School District, and, in 2006, as the Superintendent of the San Gabriel Unified School District.

Today, Dr. Parks continues to work tirelessly for the students in San Gabriel schools and has taken large steps to give students in the 29th Congressional District the same opportunities for a superb education that she has enjoyed. She and her husband, Gary Parks, have three children and six grandchildren.

Every March, during Women’s History Month, Rep. Schiff honors one outstanding woman from each of the communities in the 29th Congressional District.  These women come from all walks of life and represent the thousands of women who make a positive impact in our region.  While there are no specific criteria for nomination, Rep. Schiff looks for women who — through their work or volunteerism — have improved the quality of life for our community.

Rep. Schiff represents California’s 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.

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