DSAG Awards Dinner is Evening of Firsts

(l to r) Scholarship winners Ramiro Rubalcaba and Catherine Kawaguchi DSAG Honoree Mike McLaughlin Dean Gallagher DSAG Honoree Jack McLaughlin Scholarship winner Melissa Moore

(l to r)
Scholarship winners Ramiro Rubalcaba
and Catherine Kawaguchi
DSAG Honoree Mike McLaughlin
Dean Gallagher
DSAG Honoree Jack McLaughlin
Scholarship winner Melissa Moore

The Dean’s Superintendents Advisory Group (DSAG) Awards Dinner on January 29, 2014 was an evening of firsts.

It was the largest attendance of any previous Awards Dinner – 150 filled the ballroom at the Monterey Bay Hotel.  Once again, USC had the largest gathering of educational leaders of any single university in California.  There were even Trojan educators from Nevada! DSAG is a group of 160 – and growing — active and retired USC Rossier alumni superintendents. Chair Greg Franklin EdD ’97 acknowledged the full room of education leaders and their professional tenure spanning from two to 32 years in superintendencies.

Another first was the record fifteen sponsors supporting this year’s dinner.

A trio of outstanding educators – the first time DSAG has chosen three students – walked away with $5000 scholarships each to support their EdD program studies and their aspirations of becoming K-12 superintendents. The establishment of the DSAG Endowed Scholarship Fund, a $100,000 endowment built through the generosity of Rossier alumni and sponsors, is another first which enabled DSAG to increase its scholarship awards from two to three.

Finally, this was the first annual dinner where DSAG honored two educators – and even chose them from the same family!  Jack W. McLaughlin MS ’65, EdD ’68 and Michael J. McLaughlin (Mike) EdD ’77 are brothers, longtime California superintendents, and members of a Trojan family which holds 16 USC degrees and includes three generations of superintendents.

This year’s scholarship winners were Catherine Kawaguchi, assistant superintendent of educational services in Oxnard School District; Melissa Moore, assistant superintendent of human resources in Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District; and Ramiro Rubalcaba, principal of Azusa High School in Azusa Unified School District.

Former superintendent, DSAG member and Rossier professor Rudy Castruita EdD ’81 introduced the scholarship recipients, commenting on the quality, professional dedication, and passion shown by these educators throughout their careers.  He cited their professional honors, as well as the nearly 70 total years they have accumulated as teachers, assistant principals, principals, and administrators in everything from special education to student services to human resources.

The DSAG honorees for education leadership were introduced by their sons, the third generation of McLaughlin superintendents, Jack McLaughlin, Jr. and Mike McLaughlin, Jr.  Honoree Jack Senior was the youngest to earn a doctorate of education from USC when he received his EdD at age 26. He served as Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction, as well as school superintendent of Sunnyvale City, Hemet Unified, Berkeley Unified, and Stockton Unified. In 1999, he was named California Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators.

Mike Senior has served as superintendent in Santa Barbara, Redding, Auburn, Cambria, Cotati-Rohnert Park among others. He also served as superintendent of The New Millennium Partnership consortium of districts. In 1989- 90, he was recognized as CAEOP’s California’s Administrator of the Year. He has taught at USC Rossier, Cal State Chico, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and was a presenter of the Association of California School Administrators’ Superintendents Academy for 23 years.