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Marquee Honors Principal’s Memory

Barbara Champion always wanted a marquee when she was principal at Chatsworth Park Elementary School.

Letting parents know what was going on was important, she implored, and it would bring more attention to the school.

“She wanted to put the school on the map,” said Becky Dodd, the school’s booster club president.

Champion died suddenly of an aneurysm in December 1995 at age 42. With donations coming in it wasn’t difficult to come up with an idea to memorialize Champion, Dodd said.

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On Wednesday, the school dedicated a new 4-by-6-foot marquee to Champion. A plaque is engraved in her name at the sign’s base.

The booster club raised $3,500 to pay for the new blue and white sign, the school’s colors. Teachers and school district dignitaries spoke Wednesday about Champion’s vibrant, strong commitment to education.

If she were here, Barbara Champion would say, “You guys didn’t have to do this, but I appreciate it,” said Larry Moore, administrator for the Chatsworth and Granada Hills school cluster. “She was a champion of a lady.”

Some students carried colorful posters and read aloud some of the things Champion did to improve the school in her four years as principal.

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Scott Champion, 44, urged the audience to remember his wife when they walked or drove past the marquee.

“Somehow she made us all want to do better,” he said. “Strive to learn better, strive to educate better . . . strive to be better.”


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