• a woman behind her desk smiling

      Irma Gutierrez (Photo – Scott Phelps)

      I learned recently that Irma Gutierrez, the office manager at the PUSD Center for Independent Study (CIS Academy), has four siblings and three children working in PUSD.

      By Scott Phelps

      I sat down with her to get her family story.

      Coming to Pasadena from Mexico and attending PUSD schools

      Her father came here in the 1950’s as a bracero. He kept coming in the 1960’s and in the 1970’s. Her Mom and four children came in 1977 from Mexico. Her Dad brought the other three children. They have all been here since. When they arrived, the children started in different PUSD schools: Jefferson, Madison, Wilson, and PHS because of their different ages. She started at Madison, went to Wilson, and then to Muir. She graduated in 1986. She was engaged to be married during her whole senior year, working full time at a gas station. She went to school until 1:00 pm, then she took the bus to her job on the corner of Elizabeth and Lake. She worked from 1:30 pm to 11:30 pm seven days a week. She would get up at 5:30 am to shower and get the bus to school. She would pick up the bus at Lake and Orange Grove, take it to Washington Blvd., and then another bus to Muir.

      Getting married and working

      Three months after graduation, she got married, in September 1986. She met her future husband when she was ten years old. They used to live in the same apartment complex. Irma went to school with his brother and sisters. He went to Wilson and PHS. She quit her first job at a gas station on the day of the Whittier Narrows earthquake October 1st, 1987 as it was very frightening. She worked at Tops Jr. in Altadena (now called Everest).

      In 1998, she interviewed at Wilson with Mr. Boccia. He was the first one to hire her in December 1998. She started four hours in the office and four hours in the library. In 2000, she applied for the Senior Clerk Typist position at Wilson full-time. She was transferred to CIS Academy in 2008 and has been working at CIS since then. She was the only clerical staff for CIS. After that CIS got a registrar and has been growing. She has been doing the office manager’s position from 2010 to 2022. Principal Torres pushed for her to be re-classified officially as Secretary II, which is the position title for a secondary school office manager.

      Having children who attended PUSD and now grandchildren attending PUSD

      Her oldest child Angelica was born in 1987, her second Yvonne in 1989, her third and only son Gabriel Jr. in 1994, her fourth JoVanna in 2001 and finally her youngest, Kimberly in 2003. Angelica and Yvonne attended Altadena ES, Wilson MS, and Pasadena HS. Gabriel attended these and also Willard ES. JoVanna attended Willard, Sierra Madre MS, and Pasadena HS.  Kimberly attended Willard, Altadena, Sierra Madre MS, and Pasadena HS. Her five children attended PUSD from 1992 to 2021 nonstop! The current CIS counselor, Randyl Barrozo, was the counselor for all of them except Yvonne. Irma now has three grandchildren attending PUSD and a fourth starts in TK next year.

      Four of her siblings work in PUSD

      Irma’s experience working for many years in PUSD led to four of her siblings working in the PUSD! Her brother Nacho is a custodian at Sierra Madre Elementary and at Willard Children’s Center. Her brother Frank is the custodian at Eliot, and another brother Rafael is a custodian at Pasadena HS. Her sister Angelica (Angie) Mayoral works as a Truancy Intervention and Prevention Specialist at Rose City HS.

      Three of her children work in PUSD

      three people posing for photo

      (L-R) Angelica in front of Jackson ES, Yvonne in front of the PUSD HR bulletin board on Halloween, and Gabriel at the District Service Center (Photos – Irma Gutierrez, Scott Phelps)

      Three of Irma’s children work in PUSD and another works at PCC. Her eldest Angelica is the director of Outreach at Pasadena City College and is married to a fellow PHS Alumnus from the Class of 2004, Cesar Alvarez. Cesar worked as a paraprofessional and behavioral interventionist for almost ten years at PUSD. They have two children, a 5th grader at Jackson ES and a soon a Transitional Kindergartener.

      Her daughter, Yvonne Garcia, works in PUSD Human Resources managing the district sub desk. Her major at CSUN is American Sign Language (ASL). Yvonne’s two children attend PUSD: a seventh grader attends Octavia Butler and a kindergartener at Jackson Elementary.

      Her son Gabriel Gutierrez Jr., works as a custodian at the District Service Center. He is in his final semester at CSUN majoring in Graphic Design.

      two women smiling at camera

      (L-R) JoVanna outside of the school on Halloween, and Kimberly at her PCC graduation (Photos – Irma Gutierrez, Scott Phelps)

      Her daughter JoVanna Gutierrez works in Learns at Altadena Elementary. She is attending PCC and is planning to transfer to CSUN or Cal State San Bernardino for Kinesiology next year. Her youngest daughter, Kimberly, is in school at UCLA majoring in Psychology after earning many AA’s at PCC.

      Are there any other families out there with more people in PUSD?

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        • Scott Phelps

          Scott Phelps teaches physics and astronomy at the University of La Verne and Mt. San Antonio College and tutors math and science in the region. He served as an elected member of the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2022. He currently teaches at PUSD’s Center for Independent Study.

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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      1. Michelle Gutierrez says:

        That is my aunt, she also has sister in laws and a niece that work for PUSD as well 🙂

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