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Our View: Thanks to Judy Fish for her commitment

Posted: February 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Judy Fish, superintendant of the Saugus Union Elementary School District, recently announced her retirement after 38 years in public education, including the last 11 as superintendent in Saugus.

Fish is one of our favorite people, and one of those strong leaders who is always quick to share the credit for any of the district’s accomplishments.

When you ask Fish about her achievements, she is quick to respond with an answer that emphasizes the word “we.” 

Fish likes to say: “I believe we borrow our role/title. We don’t own it, and it behooves us to leave it in at least as good shape as we found it, and hopefully better.”

“I hope I’ve done that ...”

Yes, you have. We are a better community and school district for your efforts.

A lot has happened in the Saugus district during Fish’s tenure — too much to cover in just one editorial.

Fish and her team managed to get a $48 million general-obligation bond passed; built three new schools — Bridgeport, Tesoro del Valle and West Creek; raised Academic Performance Index scores from 828 to 866; added numerous academic programs; and received an impressive list of recognitions in the past decade that include two National Blue Ribbon Schools, 14 California Distinguished School awards and  Los Angeles County’s highest award for an arts program.
As board President Doug Bryce aptly put it, “In the best of times and the worst of times, she has always made the kids in our district her priority and has done her best to preserve people and programs.”   

Perhaps Fish’s greatest legacy during her time in Saugus is the creation of West Creek Academy in Valencia, which opened in fall 2010.

The school offers a program with an emphasis on music and the performing arts. But the school is open to all, not just those residing in the Saugus Union School District.

That “students first” approach and emphasis on education for all is what has defined Fish’s career during nearly four decades in education.

During her career, she has served in all capacities as a teacher, a principal and as assistant superintendent before taking over in Saugus. Now, she is preparing to embark on a well-deserved retirement.

But retirement doesn’t mean Fish is slowing down.

We are happy to hear that Fish plans to continue with her community commitments including serving on the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital board, the Performing Arts Center Education Advisory Committee and the Los Angeles County Homeless Shelter, as well as continuing to teach at California State University, Northridge.

With her boundless energy and commitment to serving others, we are confident that Fish will succeed in her future endeavors, and the entire community will benefit as a result.

On behalf of the entire community, we thank her for her firm commitment to educating our children, and we wish her luck in her future endeavors.


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