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October 30, 2023
ACSA is mourning the loss of good friend and colleague Mike O’Sullivan, who passed away on Oct. 10, 2023. O’Sullivan served as Associated Administrators of Los Angeles president from 2003 to 2009. Prior to serving as AALA president, he worked for over 40 years in Los Angeles USD as a music teacher, head counselor, assistant principal, principal of Wilmington Middle School, principal of Fairfax High School and the high school representative on the district’s Professional Development Collaborative. In all of O’Sullivan’s positions and at AALA, he brought intelligence, leadership ability, dedication to service, respect for everyone around him and his unique sense of Irish humor.
No problem was ever too big for O’Sullivan to handle with grace and charm. Under his leadership at AALA, he renewed the bond of collegial friendship with the leadership of UTLA and the other five district unions. Every union leader as well as district leadership knew he wanted what was best for all district employees in addition to AALA members and their students.
O’Sullivan believed in the professionalism of administrators by being active at the state and local levels through AALA and ACSA, which give administrators a voice in board action and state legislation. He encouraged participation in AALAPAC to elect candidates who understood the needs of public education. In retirement he actively participated in ACSA-R. During his tenure as AALA president, O’Sullivan made sure that Jack Moscowitz, Region 16 executive director, was on the agenda to give a state ACSA update when AALA reps met with district administrative organizations each month. AALA was also an active supporter of the semi-annual meetings of CAUSA, the 10 largest administrative unions in ACSA to share and coordinate needs and solutions statewide. Under O’Sullivan’s leadership, AALA was able to work with state ACSA to get consolidated membership with ACSA for AALA members. This agreement lowered costs for LAUSD administrators and increased state ACSA’s membership.
O’Sullivan’s passions in life were few but profound. He adored his wife and life partner Judi with whom he shared his passion for music. Together they sang in their church choir, and he was an outstanding pianist. Two other passions were his love of golf and poker. He referred to the golf course as the green cathedral. And as for poker, he was always introducing a new variation to his regular poker pals.
“Mike O’Sullivan was a completely unique person. If you knew Mike well, you loved him, and if you just knew him slightly, you liked him,” said John L. White, ACSA-R president. “He was the ultimate in genuine kindness and respect for all who knew him. The Los Angeles Unified School District, AALA, and ACSA were enriched by him.
“None of us know what comes to us after death, but it is my hope that in Mike’s afterlife he is surrounded by friends with whom he can play a round of golf and a poker game while singing Irish ballads.”
ACSA is mourning the loss of good friend and colleague Mike O’Sullivan.
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