Education

She was a pillar of SLO County education for 49 years. A community mourns Georgie O’Connor

Longtime Lucia Mar Unified School District board member Georgie O’Connor smiles during her last school board meeting in 2010. O’Connor died July 8, 2018, at age 95.
Longtime Lucia Mar Unified School District board member Georgie O’Connor smiles during her last school board meeting in 2010. O’Connor died July 8, 2018, at age 95. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Georgie O’Connor, who served on the board of education for the Lucia Mar Unified School District for 49 years, had an unwavering dedication to students, her fellow board members said Friday.

“She was always working for the kids,” board member Dee Santos said. “ She always did her best to work for them and give them opportunities and raise money for them.”

O’Connor died July 8 at age 95.

Born on Aug. 1, 1922, in Las Vegas, O’Connor moved to Arroyo Grande in 1928.

She was first elected to the Arroyo Grande Elementary School District board in 1961, four years before that district merged with others in the county to become Lucia Mar. By 2006, O’ Connor had been elected to her 12th consecutive term.

“I was a student in Lucia Mar in the ’70s and ’80s when she was on the board,” board president Chad Robertson said of O’Connor. “Her vision and policy for student advocacy she believed in for so many decades is still a foundation for the school district today.”

O’Connor was heavily involved in the district’s Career Technical Education program, which provides students with academic and occupational knowledge as well as a career path. She also organized golf tournaments to raise money for students.

“She was a champion for the under-served and welcomed all school children into her life,” said Colleen Martin, clerk for the school board.

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Longtime Lucia Mar Unified School District board member Georgie O’Connor hugs a supporter during her last school board meeting in 2010. O’Connor died July 8, 2018, at age 95. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

O’Connor told The Tribune in 2000 that Lucia Mar’s greatest accomplishment was getting voters to pass a $24 million school bond in 1997 after years of failure. That money would go on to finance Nipomo High School and alleviate crowding in Arroyo Grande High.

O’Connor retired from the school board in 2010. At the time, she was the longest continually serving school board member in California.

When asked what inspired her to continue serving, O’Connor said, “The love and care of kids.”

O’Connor is survived by her four sons — William, Michael, Patrick and Casey.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 24 at Marshall-Spoo Sunset Funeral Chapel, 1239 Longbranch Ave. in Grover Beach.

A graveside service is scheduled for 1 p.m. July 25 at Arroyo Grande Cemetery, 895 El Camino Real in Arroyo Grande.

Jarod Urrutia 805-783-7614
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