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News Release| Charter College of Education; Cal State L.A.

October 24, 2012

Media note:  To arrange interviews or for complete biographies of award recipients, please contact the Cal State L.A. Public Affairs office in advance at (323) 343-3050.

Cal State L.A. honors three ‘Distinguished Educators’

Nov. 2 dinner also pays tribute to the late Teresa Hughes

Los Angeles, CA – For their major contributions to local education, three highly-accomplished educational leaders—Irene Herrera-Stewart, George Simpson, and Michelle P. Windmueller—will be honored as Distinguished Educators at Cal State L.A.’s 23rd Annual Distinguished Educator Award Dinner on Friday, Nov. 2.

Additionally, a Lifetime Achievement in Education award will be presented in honor of the late Teresa Hughes.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Charter College of Education at Cal State L.A., the event will be held at the Golden Eagle Ballroom on the Cal State L.A. campus, beginning with a reception and silent auction at 5 p.m. followed by a dinner at 6 p.m. 

Irene Herrera-Stewart, director, Los Angeles Principal Residency Network Program

A CSULA alumna, Irene Herrera-Stewart (Los Angeles resident) currently serves as director of the Los Angeles Principal Residency Network Program through the Center for Collaborative Education, which is in partnership with CSULA.  In this position, she has developed, planned and led a residency-based apprentice program, which guides students through the rigors necessary to become instructional leaders of urban schools.  Having also served the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for more than 30 years, she has taken on the roles of a middle school teacher for English as a Second Language students, assistant principal, administrative coordinator in LAUSD’s Administrative Academy, school services director, and administrator of instruction. She also served as the first instructional leader, overseeing the successful launch of the Los Angeles Academy, which was the first middle school opened by the LAUSD in over 40 years.

George E. Simpson, principal, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA)

George E. Simpson (Los Angeles resident) brings nearly two decades of leadership in arts education to the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) located on the CSULA campus. Under Simpson’s leadership, LACHSA has increased its local, state and national reputation. He will preside over the opening of LACHSA’s first ever school facility in 2013. Prior to joining LACHSA in 2008, he served as director of the public high school, Roland Hayes School of Music. Simpson has served on the board of directors for the Arts Schools Network, the Grammy Museum Education Advisory Board, the Music Center Education Council, and the Arts High Foundation Board of Directors. He has been recognized for his leadership by the Boston Arts Academy, the Berklee College of Music, and was named Principal of the Year in 2010 by the Association of Los Angeles County Office School Administrators.

Michelle P. Windmueller, instructional director, Intensive Support and Innovation Center, LAUSD

A CSULA alumna, Michelle Pearlman Windmueller (Santa Monica resident) is an instructional director in the Intensive Support and Innovation Center at LAUSD. In this role, she supports principals in raising student achievement and assists in their professional development. Prior to her current role, she taught general and special education at LAUSD for 27 years, and served as a program specialist and behavior specialist. Windmueller has previously worked as an educational consultant for the Mattel Foundation, where she designed and implemented a nationwide Special Education Computer Lab program for schools. She has been an adjunct professor teaching special education courses at CSULA, Mount St. Mary’s College and Loyola Marymount University. Windmueller also served as the coordinator of Project PLUS (Partnership Linking University-School Personnel), a federally-funded project with Professor Diane Haager from CSULA. In 2002, Windmueller received the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Charter College of Education at CSULA.

Lifetime Achievement in Education Award: Teresa Hughes

Teresa Hughes (1931-2011), a Democratic state senator and assemblywoman representing the Los Angeles area, was best known for her focus on education during her 25 years in the California Legislature. Hughes was formerly a New York social worker, teacher and school administrator who grew up in Harlem. After moving to Los Angeles in 1969 to work on her doctorate, she became an assistant professor in the department of elementary education at Cal State L.A. She was elected to the California Assembly in 1975, representing the 47th District, which included a large part of South L.A. At the time, she was one of three women in the 120-member Legislature and one of seven African Americans, and the second African American woman ever elected to the Legislature. Among her accomplishments during her 17 years in the Assembly include writing an $800 million bill to construct classrooms at existing schools and as well as the creation of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, located on the CSULA campus. In 1983, she was chairwoman of the Assembly Education Committee when she co-wrote a number of education bills. Elected to the state Senate in 1992, Hughes represented the 25th District, which stretched from Marina Del Rey to Paramount. In 1998, the LAUSD renamed a Cudahy school as the “Teresa Hughes Elementary School.” 

The Friends of the Charter College of Education is a group of alumni, educators and community members who support scholarships for students in Cal State L.A.’s teacher-preparation and school administrator programs and other activities.

All proceeds from the awards dinner will support the Friends’ Scholarship Endowment and Faculty Development funds. For details, call the Cal State L.A. Charter College of Education Development Office at (323) 343-4300.

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