In Teacher’s Memory : Elementary School Creates Poetry Contest

Chandler Elementary School in Van Nuys will hold an annual poetry contest in memory of Georgiana Collis Newman, who taught second grade there. She died Tuesday.

“It is fitting that we remember her through the beautiful expression of poetry, which she loved so much, and which will serve to expand students’ interest in that field,” Aaron Schneiderman, Chandler principal, said Thursday.

The contest, open to all Chandler students, will be held in September.

Newman, 72, had been a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District for 33 years and a teacher at Chandler for three years.

Although she had suffered from cancer for several years, she remained on the job, teaching her second-grade class at Chandler until March 31, when her illness forced her to take a leave of absence.


“She was an inspiration to us all,” Schneiderman said. “She was a fighter and always in good spirits, even though she was hurting.”

He told more than 600 Chandler students of Newman’s death at a special assembly Wednesday.

During her career, Newman taught all grades. Before teaching at Chandler Elementary, she had taught at Toluca Lake, Riverside Drive, Carpenter Avenue, Colfax Avenue and Coldwater Canyon elementary schools. She was the author or co-author of 13 English textbooks.

She loved the English language and believed that children could learn about any subject by writing about it, colleague Rosalie Bell said.

Newman leaves her husband of 51 years, retired newspaperman Clarence Newman of Studio City; two daughters, Judith Flynn and Nancy Newman; a son, Paul Newman, and four grandchildren.

A requiem Mass will be celebrated at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood. Private interment services will be held at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Memorial Park.