September 21, 2020
ACSA is mourning the loss of Lawrence W. Teshara (July 26, 1943 - Aug. 19, 2020), a beloved friend, colleague, mentor, husband, father, grandfather, Scoutmaster, ACSA member and former ACSA Region Consultant in Region 5.   Known as “Mr. T,” Teshara was an educator, teacher and counselor in the San Bruno School District, principal at Burlingame High School for 15 years, and Director of Adult Education at the SMART Center for 20 years before retiring with 50 years of service to the community in public education. He was honored as ACSA's 2012 Adult Education Administrator of the Year. A Scoutmaster in Troop 351 (San Francisco) he was known for leading the largest and most disciplined and engaged troop of Scouts, many of whom he guided on to earning their Eagle Scout award.  “To this day, all of Larry’s Scouts love and respect him and recognize the difference he made in our lives,” said John Nazar, Half Moon Bay High School Principal and Teshara’s former Scout, who gave an online tribute to him. “His leadership, joy and love he shared with all of us made such a positive difference and inspired so many of us to go into fields that help and support others,”  Known for his charismatic and welcoming personality, Teshara’s special leadership ability was rooted in his passion and vision for moving the education field forward.  He is survived by his wife of 48 years Peggy, sons Jesse and Gregory, grandsons, and many other family and friends. 

Richard S. Kirkendall, a founding ACSA member and retired superintendent of Claremont Unified School District, passed away on June 26, 2020 at the age of 93.  He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area and attended public schools in the Compton-Lynwood area. Growing up he was an avid camper and outdoorsman and earned his Eagle Scout designation during that time. His love of camping and scouting continued throughout his life. 

He attended three semesters at Cal Tech then, with the U.S. actively engaged in World War II, he joined the Navy, serving mostly in the Atlantic as an electronics technician. After his discharge from the military he decided that rather than return to studying electrical engineering he wanted to be a teacher, saying he “enjoyed interactions with other people rather than inanimate relationships.” 

Pursuing this goal he attended William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and earned his bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology. Kirkendall and Lynn, his wife of 70 years, moved back to the Los Angeles area in 1950, where Kirkendall did graduate work in a clinical psychology program and earned his teaching credential at the University of California at Los Angeles. 

He began his career in education in 1954, teaching second grade in the Downey Unified School District before being tapped in 1957 to become the principal of the district’s brand new Edith Unsworth Elementary School. It was there that he initiated a multi-grade team teaching program based on academic disciplines. 

In 1963 he was recruited by Claremont Unified School District to be the principal of Sycamore Elementary School serving in that position until 1967. He served as deputy superintendent from 1967 to 1969, when he was selected to be superintendent, a position he held for 18 years. During that time he continued his own education, earning his Ph.D. in educational administration from Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University). 

During his 24 years with Claremont schools, he implemented a number of innovative programs, including differentiated salary schedules, management merit increases, team-teaching and multi-grading. While deputy superintendent, he hired the staff and coordinated the opening of Danbury School for Orthopedically Handicapped Students, one of the first of its kind. 

Upon his retirement in 1987, the Claremont Unified School District honored his service by dedicating and naming its main office building the Richard S. Kirkendall Education Center. In addition to the naming of the CUSD education center for him, he was also particularly proud of the establishment of the Richard S. Kirkendall Award in 1987 by the Claremont Management Association, which was awarded annually to an individual for extraordinary contribution to the Claremont Unified School District. He was also an active volunteer. Some of his professional and community activities included chairing and/or serving on the boards of directors of numerous organizations, including Suburban School Superintendents; Association of California School Administrators; California Elementary School Administrators Association; California Teachers Association; California Retired Teachers Association; Dean’s Advisory Committee, University of Southern California, Department of Education; Mount San Antonio Gardens; Claremont USD Facilities Advisory. 

Kirkendall was a model of diligence, strength of ethics and personal values, and prolific, tireless contributions to education and the community. He was a thinking listener. 

To have a conversation with him was to be recognized for your thoughts and to be acknowledged with thoughtful responses. He stretched our thinking and was genuinely interested in our ideas. 

The family requests that should anyone wish to recognize his commitment to education, donations may be made to Claremont Unified School District, attention Superintendent’s Office. 

Leslie Garrison was named Fruitvale School District Superintendent in June 2020. She began her service at Fruitvale School District in 2008 as Site Administrator at Fruitvale Jr. High and also served as District Administrator for Specially Funded Projects. 
Kristina Treadwell, formerly Vice Principal at Kern County Superintendent of Schools, transitioned to Coordinator with SELPA. 
Tony Richardson transitioned from Instructional Specialist with Curriculum and Instruction to Vice Principal of the new STEAM and Design Campus, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, Bakersfield City School District.
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