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October 25, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Karen Brunton at (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) can now add another achievement to his list of accomplishments. The California School Boards Association has chosen Simitian as the 2002 Outstanding Legislator of the Year.

The annual award, given by the statewide association of 1,000 school boards, recognizes Simitian for his outstanding efforts as a legislator benefiting K-12 public education.

The honor, which will officially be presented to Simitian on December 7 at the CSBA’s annual Education Conference in San Francisco, recognizes Simitian’s legislative efforts on behalf of public education during the past year, as well as his leadership chairing the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Educational Finance with responsibility for $50 billion of the state’s $100 billion budget.

“I’m delighted to be recognized by our school boards in this way,” Simitian said. “I continue to believe strong public schools are essential to the State’s future. I’ve tried to make sure my work in Sacramento reflects that,” he added.


Gordon Lewin, a school board member for the Sequoia Union High School District, said he was not surprised that Simitian was chosen for the award. “Joe’s efforts and expertise have made a real difference for our school children. Not only was Joe a school board member himself, but a public schools attorney who concentrated on educational issues. It’s a tribute he has been honored in this way,” he said.

An official who sits on the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District agrees that Simitian has been a great legislator. School Board member and Mountain View resident Sue Graham said, “Joe is someone who understands education and children, and knows what the needs of the schools are. He’s always done his homework and has a realistic approach to what can and can’t be done to improve education.”

In keeping with his commitment to education, Simitian has announced he will become an elementary school “principal for a day.”

Principal for a Day

The Principal for a Day program, sponsored by the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce, will place Simitian at John Gill School in Redwood City on Oct. 29.  There he’ll take on the role as head of the school, while school principal Todd Gaviglio shows him the ropes.

“All of us here are excited to have Assemblyman Simitian come to the school. He’s so knowledgeable and has been extremely helpful in educational issues. I want him to see how state policies get played out in a school setting,” Gaviglio said.

Simitian stressed the significance of visiting the school. “It’s always helpful to get a first-hand look at what’s happening in our schools. I learn something new with every visit. And the kids always surprise me with what’s on their minds,” Simitian said.

WHO: Assemblyman Joe Simitian
WHAT:  Principal for a Day
WHERE:  John Gill School, 555 Avenue del Ora, Redwood City
WHEN:  Tuesday, October 29, 2002, 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Photographers welcome for “Principal for a Day”



Related Pages: Education, Press Releases