Four local residents will be honored for their deep and ongoing contributions to La Cañada schools in two awards ceremonies being held by the Assn. of California School Administrators and the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation.
In a release issued Tuesday, La Cañada Unified School District Supt. Wendy Sinnette announced local parents Soo Kim Choi and Julie Milbrodt had been selected by administrators to receive ACSA’s prestigious Golden Apple Award, which recognizes community members for significant service on behalf of education.
Choi and Milbrodt — who helped the district’s Measure LCF bond campaign and were instrumental in organizing the Challenge Success: Building Your Path event at La Cañada High School last October — will be among 15 others nominated by school districts in ACSA’s Region XV to be honored in a Feb. 20 breakfast at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Golf Course.
“I’m just thrilled with our Golden Apple selection this year,” Sinnette said Tuesday. “They’re not necessarily a team, but on some of the key programs they delivered they worked together, so they surfaced as a team with the administrators who did the voting.”
A La Cañada Realtor since 2000, Milbrodt has sponsored events at Paradise Canyon Elementary School, LCHS Booster fundraisers, the La Cañada Spring Home Tour, Junior Baseball and Softball teams and has been an LCFEF Platinum Sponsor since 2010 and a silver sponsor from 2004 to 2009. She currently serves on the executive board of the educational foundation and is in her third year as a director.
She attended Paradise Canyon as a child, as did her husband, Jeremy, and the couple’s children Jaden (now a sophomore at LCHS) and Jenna (a freshman).
A graduate of LCHS’s Class of 1989, Choi moved to La Cañada in 2010 with husband, Wayne, and sons, Ryan and Gavin, and immediately began volunteering, serving as a Paradise Canyon art docent and LCFEF director from 2011 to 2015. She started the annual Korean-American Parents Mixer and was event chair for five years.
An entrepreneur, Choi serves on the Flintridge Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she helped start La Cañada’s annual Chocolate Race benefiting the hospital. She rallied support among Korean Americans for the district’s Measure LC parcel tax, and was fundraising chair for the “Yes on LCF” bond campaign.
Another power duo — parents Craig and Melissa Mazin — will be honored for their volunteer work with La Cañada schools when the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation bestows its Spirit of Outstanding Service Award (SOSA) at its March 16 annual Spring Gala.
LCFEF Executive Director Marilyn Yang said the distinguished award honors individuals who’ve demonstrated an ongoing commitment to educational excellence through volunteer efforts on behalf of La Cañada public schools and the community at large.
“SOSA winners are all encompassing. They work for the community, for the schools and for all of La Cañada,” Yang said Wednesday. “[Craig and Melissa] are generous, both financially and with their time. They just seem like the go-to couple.”
Melissa Mazin has held numerous volunteer positions, including president of the Palm Crest Elementary School PTA and president of the PTA Council and La Cañada Junior Women’s Club. In 2010, she received a PTA Founder’s Day Award, and she is slated to receive the highly esteemed PTA Council Continuing Service Award this year.
An accomplished screenwriter, Craig Mazin is a past president and director for the educational foundation and currently serves as a trustee for its endowment fund. Comfortable in the limelight, he has emceed several important events, including LCFEF paddle pledges that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for LCUSD.