Home > Awards > 2015 State Award Winners

George C. Mann Distinguished Service Award

Kathy Brendzal

Kathy’s passion for Adult Education and the needs of the students is evident to staff and students alike. Having worked for the Montebello Unified School District for over 30 years, she started as a teacher and counselor, but quickly advanced in her career into the administrative ranks. Kathy has served Montebello Community Adult School (MCAS) as an assistant principal and principal. She currently holds the position of Director of Adult Education Consortium. 

As an active member of the Montebello Teachers Association (MTA) and site representative for three years, Kathy was concerned that the unique needs of Adult Education teachers were not being served. She was instrumental in establishing the position of an Adult Education Director on the Executive Board of MTA to represent the Adult Education teachers.

Kathy has utilized her exceptional writing skills and leadership to benefit MCAS in many ways. As a co-chairperson for MCAS’s WASC committee through three consecutive cycles, Kathy demonstrated her outstanding organizational abilities, leading the Adult School to the highest accreditation rating of six years with no revisit. She wrote federal and state grants, including 227 (CBET), Carl Perkins, 5% Innovative Project and 231 (WIA). She was essential in the development of a variety of continuing education classes, including Saturday school, 227 classes, Distance Learning Project, Citizenship classes and a Family Literacy Program.

Kathy serves on both the District Health and Welfare Committee and the Expense and Revenue Committee. She played an essential role in the organization of the Counselor Academy for Mastery (CAM), sponsored by the State Department of Education. In addition, Kathy has taken on numerous leadership roles in the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), the Association of Montebello School Administrators (AMSA), and the California Adult Education Administrators Association (CAEAA). As an active member in each of these organizations, Kathy has attended conferences throughout the years of her involvement. With her vibrant personality, she has enthusiastically encouraged others to support these organizations which are vital to the ongoing success of Adult Education.

As a member of ACSA Region XV, Kathy was appointed as Legislative Chair and organized an Adult Education Showcase in which local legislators were invited guests of Region XV Adult Schools. These legislators were provided with valuable information highlighting programs such as citizenship, distance learning, ESL, parenting and vocational education, as well as legislative issues affecting Adult Education. The Showcase was immensely successful in communicating the richness and diversity of these programs to all that attended, including several local legislators, Superintendents, and Board Members. Kathy’s commitment to ACSA is also evident in her involvement as a planning committee member for Region XV and her participation in organizing several Tri-Region (XIV, XV, and XVI) luncheon meetings.

Some of Kathy’s greatest assets are her ability to adapt and thrive during times of change, make outstanding recommendations for improvement, and smoothly implement new ideas. She has truly been on the front lines fighting for and advocating the importance of Adult Education as funding has been threatened. In addition, her leadership has been instrumental in maintaining programs that are vital to the community when funding has been cut. As “flexibility” was subsequently neutralized by AB86 Consortia planning, Kathy took a leadership role as the Director of the LARAEC Consortium, fighting for the needs of our students and the longevity of Adult Education. She steps into these positions of great leadership to ensure that Adult Education and its students continue to have a voice and a place in the future of education in California.