March is Women’s History Month. The Journal celebrates Women in our community at our annual Women of Achievement Breakfast. This year the event is April 14th. We take great pride in celebrating eight women who have given much to our community in the ﬁeld of education. They are only a representative few of the numerous worthy educators in our area who we are unable to feature due to space constraints. Below are brief highlights we present to you. Watch for their full bios in an upcoming issue of The Journal.
Our 2018 awardees are Dr. Frances Smalls Caple, a retired USC professor who earned a Ph.D at USC and served as an Associate Dean of the School of Social Work at USC, for over twenty years. She is a true daughter of the Civil Rights movement whose early Education occurred in the segregated schools of South Carolina. Her Bachelors’ degree is from Benedict College in South Carolina.
Ms. Donnetha Wallace trains students in the Culinary Arts. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from California State University at Northridge and a number of Post graduate certiﬁcates in ﬁelds including Gerontology, Dietetics, and Food Sciences. Donnetha developed the Culinary Arts Program at a number of schools including John Muir high School, the Pasadena Police Department and NATHA. Her funny story is that when she entered school in Pasadena and the teacher asked her parents’ names, she said her dad’s name was Daddy and her mother’s name was Mama.
Ms. Gloria Clay Cubit is a retired educator from the Pasadena Uniﬁ ed School District. She was director of Special Education for PUSD where she taught for over thirty ﬁve years. She is proud of the fact that PUSD is the ﬁrst school district to address the needs of students with severe emotional health Issues. Under her watch, PUSD developed relationships with various mental health specialties including Paciﬁc Clinics and the Los Angeles County Mental Health Department. These relationships guarantee that the students will receive the maximum services available for their issues. Gloria holds degrees from Cal State Los Angeles, Azusa Pacific University at San Diego and post graduate certiﬁcates from UC Berkley.
Ms. Tonya Davis is a teacher in the PUSD at Wilson Middle School. This special lady was born with a hole in her heart and endured two open heart surgeries. The ﬁrst surgery was when she was ﬁve years old. The second was at twenty-one when she was ﬁtted with and supplied with an artiﬁcial heart valve. She holds degrees from Pasadena City College and Cal State Los Angeles. She has overcome many obstacles to continue serving children in the Pasadena community.
Ms. Naima Olugbala is a Director of Omowale Ujamaa School, a private school from 1972 through 2001. She has also taught at Cal State University Northridge and directed a Charter School in the PUSD District for ten years. She also taught Black History at Pasadena’s Westridge School. Today, she is an Educational Consultant. She holds a Master’s Degree from Cal State Northridge and a BA from Cal State Los Angeles.
Ms. Pamela Jo Hughes is a retired Principal from the Los Angeles Uniﬁ ed School District. Her last school was the Ninth Street Charter School. She remembers going to students’ homes when they didn’t show up for school. She says the parents would comment “here comes the suits’, when she would show up. She was a committed educator who told her teachers’ that she didn’t want to see another Black child standing in a corner in a class or on the yard. This was a popular discipline method for a number of teachers who could ﬁnd no better way to discipline a student. They learned other ways through the training given by their principal. Mrs. Hughes credits working as a principal in a school where there were a number of homeless students who taught her what it meant to be homeless and the many misconceptions people have about homelessness.
Ms. Merian Stewart is currently the Principal at Franklin Elementary School. She served at Washington School for ten years and Noyes school for seven years. She also served as a Counselor at The DeVeal Family Services Center. She is credited with transforming Washington School into a Magnet Academy for Science, Technical, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM Academy).
Ms. Tonita Fernandez is a longtime teacher for a number of schools and Districts. She presently teaches and Coaches at Chandler School. She Has Coached at Upland School and says she would probably have been a WNBA player if she were not teaching and parenting five adopted children. She bases this on the fact that as a College player she averaged 40 (forty) points per game. She is amazing having given up so much for teaching young people inside and outside the classroom.
The Women of Achievement Breakfast will be held at Brookside Golf Club on Saturday, April 14, at 9 a.m. Tickets for the Breakfast are $45 and are currently available at the Journal Ofﬁce, 1541 North Lake Avenue in Pasadena, or by E-mail: at Journal@PasadenaJournal. com. For more information, call the Journal: 626-798-3972.