EMCSD Honors Retirees with Drive-Thru Parade
Students were not the only ones getting celebratory motorcades as El Monte City School District closed out the Fall season. Last Friday, recently retired staff members were welcomed back to the District’s main office to participate in a retirement car parade that ended with them receiving commemorative plaques thanking them for their dedicated service.
For years, all retirees were honored at a beautiful banquet sponsored by the El Monte Elementary Teachers Association, but in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 banquet could not happen. Despite no formal dinner, the District still wanted to make this achievement special for their retirement class of 2020.
“The pandemic has changed so much, even the ways we celebrate accomplishments by our students and staff,” said Superintendent Garcia when asked about the decision to host a parade. “Retirement is a major life achievement and we wanted to make sure we recognized the amazing careers of those who’ve made this District so special.”
The District had a total of 27 retirees this past school year, including 12 teachers and 15 classified employees. One retiree was Mr. Jose Espinoza, a beloved teacher at Shirpser School who dedicated all 31 years of his professional tenure to El Monte City. When asked about why he stayed at Shirpser since 1989 he said, “I fell in love because the students and staff are great, they’re just great. All of the years I spent here, the whole idea of community and family is a big deal at Shirpser.” That atmosphere and support from families is exactly why he stayed for his entire career. “I was humbled to see the ways the parents and families appreciate all the little things and big things we do as a staff. It was just an awesome experience and I would not change it.”
Mr. Espinoza isn’t the only retiree who spent decades in this District, in fact some have been here for over 40 years. Superintendent Garcia believes the community has a lot to do with why staff members stay for so long. “Our District has always been a strong support system for our community. We become invested into those we serve; they’re our friends, families, and neighbors, so it’s only natural that we want to be part of the partnership as long as possible.”
Mr. Espinoza was one of about a dozen retirees to drive through the District for their parade. District staff members lined the route through the parking lot, holding up signs and cheering as retirees eventually received their plaque from Superintendent Garcia. It was a spirited event that celebrated the storied accomplishments of deserving faculty and staff, and it was the perfect send off as retirees literally rode off into the sunset.