MUSD Superintendent of Education Contreras Smith Honored with Distinguished Educator Award by Cal State L.A.

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CSULA Award Dinner: MUSD Superintendent of Education Susanna Contreras-Smith (center) poses after receiving the Distinguished Educator Award with California State University, Los Angeles President William A. Covino; Chair of the Friends of Charter College of Education Gay Yuen (far left); and Dean Eunsook Hyun of the Charter College of Education (far right) at the 25th Annual Distinguished Educator Award Dinner at California State University, Los Angeles on November 14.


Susanna Contreras Smith, Montebello Unified's Superintendent of Education, was honored with the prestigious Distinguished Educator Award at the 25th Annual Distinguished Educator Award Dinner at California State University, Los Angeles on Nov. 14. Held at the University's Golden Eagle Ballroom, the event recognizes educational leaders who have made major contributions in local community education.

A native of East Los Angeles, Contreras Smith's 40-year career in education spans diverse roles in teaching and administration at both the K-12 and community college levels. She formerly worked for 12 years at the El Rancho Unified School District, serving as Director of Curriculum and Instruction before being promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Education. She began serving Montebello Unified in 2012.

Having earned her bachelor’s degree, teaching credential, master’s degree and administrative credential from Cal State L.A., Contreras Smith is well known for collaborating with all District stakeholders to continue the District's mission to ensure every MUSD student is college- and career-ready.

In addition, she is active within the local community and serves on the executive board of The Whole Child, a non-profit organization that provides a complete range of counseling and intensive therapeutic treatment to children experiencing developmental, psychological, behavioral, social and family issues.

"Education has been my life-long passion, and doing everything I can to ensure that all students thrive, academically and personally, has been at the heart of my professional career," said Contreras Smith. "I am so honored to receive this award at my alma mater and am so proud to be part of a community and District that cares so much about providing a quality education to our youth."

Hosted by the Friends of the Charter College of Education, the funds raised from the event support student scholarships and faculty development within the organization. Other honorees at the awards ceremony include Dr. Susan Kumar, Director of the Center for Autism and Related Services, and Mr. Ken Fong and Mrs. Ei Akikko Fong, Parent Advocates for the Inclusive Education of Charter College of Education (CCOE) who are being recognized with Distinguished Community Service Awards. Dr. Diane Fazzi, Associate Dean of CCOE, received the Distinguished Service Award.

The Friends of the Charter College of Education is a group of alumni, educators and community members who support scholarships for students in Cal State L.A.’s teacher-preparation and school administrator programs and other activities.

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