Although she was returning to friendly soil, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger couldn’t dodge a few challenging truths when she was honored at Tuesday’s meeting of the San Marino School Board.
“She is a Titan alum,” Superintendent Dr. Alex Cherniss said of the 1978 grad. “As former Mayor Paul Crowley once said, ‘San Marino is a city 50 years behind the times – and fighting hard to stay that way.’”
When the laughter died, Cherniss reminded Barger and others of her era how much things had changed since receiving their diplomas.
“Saturday Night Fever was headlined at the movies,” he said. “The average cost of a new home was $54,000. Gas cost 63 cents per gallon. And basketball player Kobe Bryant was born.”
“That last one makes me feel really old,” Barger said, as she made her way to the podium amidst a hail of applause.
Cherniss had also reminded the assemblage of several of Barger’s notable teachers and classmates. Two of whom were brought up in her comments.
“I remember, I ran for secretary my junior year,” Barger recalled. “I was in Mr. I’s class (Jon Imamura). I remember I was upset when I learned I lost and Mark Talt telling me it would be OK. He was right. It was OK.”
Barger won the election that mattered last fall when she garnered 59% of the vote to defeat Darrell Park and replace Mike Antonovich – for whom Barger served as long-time chief of staff until he was termed out after 36 years in office.
Barger was presented with a commemorative plaque, bouquet of flowers and a #1 San Marino High School faculty jersey with her last name stitched onto the back at the meeting.
“I’m loving this,” she joked as she was handed the gifts. “I’m coming back for every board meeting.”
“We are very appreciative of Supervisor Barger’s dedication to providing effective, responsive representation of the 5th District, particularly the San Marino community,” Cherniss said. “Her commitment to keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, and ensuring children’s access to quality education and support services is to be commended.”