Saugus Union holds retirement celebration for teachers, staff

Yoli Esswein, Cedarcreek Office Manager, celebrates her retirement during the Bridgeport Elementary School event, June 6, 2019. Photo courtesy of Lee Morrell.
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Saugus Union School District celebrated the 90 members of its staff last week who are retiring this year at Bridgeport Elementary School.

Of those retiring, 48 are classified personnel and 42 are certificated staff, according to officials. A total of 14 of the retirees have been with the district for more than 30 years and among all those leaving the district, the total number of work years retiring from the district is 1,964.

The longest-tenured retiree, Manuel Flores, is a custodian at Highlands Elementary who is retiring from the district after 41 years. The next longest, Tony DiTommaso, supervisor of grounds, has been with the district for 40 years.

During the retirement celebration, most retirees said “travel” was the biggest adventure waiting for them at the end of the school year, with the next most popular option being “seeing my grandchildren.”

The catered event featured multiple speakers, including Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, as well as representatives for Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, and Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, as well as a representative from SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union — Valencia branch, who helped fund the party.

Approximately 60 of the retirees showed up for the party held at Bridgeport Elementary. There was food, music, a slide show, glass trophies and certificates from Hill, Smith and Wilk.

Also in the audience were former Superintendents Joan Lucid and Judy Fish, as well as former board members Judy Umeck and Rose Koscielny.

The retirees were honored with glass trophies and certificates and the thanks of district Superintendent Colleen Hawkins, board members Julie Olsen, David Powell, Laura Arrowsmith and David Barlavi. As well as cabinet members Isa De Armas, Nick Heinlein and Jennifer Stevenson.

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