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Scholarship Honors Retiring Azusa Superintendent

by University Relations

Embodying APU’s passion for community, Cynthia Cervantes McGuire dedicated 37 years of service to Azusa students and their families as teacher, principal, and superintendent in the Azusa Unified School District (AUSD). To honor her lifetime commitment to strengthening the city of Azusa through education, APU now offers a scholarship in her name. Beginning this fall, two graduates of Azusa or Gladstone high school, who also attended her alma mater Citrus College, will receive the Celebrate Azusa/Cynthia Cervantes McGuire $5,000 APU transfer scholarship.

The university unveiled the scholarship during Cervantes McGuire’s retirement reception hosted by APU and AUSD on June 8, 2012, featuring speakers Azusa Mayor Joe Rocha and APU President Jon R. Wallace, DBA.

“Superintendent Cervantes McGuire provided exemplary leadership and influence in the Azusa community for more than three decades,” Wallace said. “The university is grateful for her enduring support and friendship that enabled APU to partner with the school district and create education programs that enhance lives.”

In collaboration with Cervantes McGuire, APU launched multiple programs to benefit local students such as Azusa Reads, Writes, Calculates, and Counts, which provide afterschool tutoring for elementary and middle school students, and College-Headed and Mighty Proud (C.H.A.M.P.), a program introducing the idea of college to hundreds of fourth graders each year. “Cynthia dedicated her professional life to AUSD and the Azusa community,” said Ginny Dadaian, director of community relations at APU. “She partnered with APU administrators, students, faculty, and staff to advance the educational opportunities of Azusa’s youth. We could always count on her to help us get a new program off the ground.”


A graduate of the University of La Verne and Citrus College, Cervantes McGuire served AUSD as a teacher, a principal at three different schools, the director of student achievement K–5, the assistant superintendent of education services, and a member of the Azusa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Over the years, she received numerous honors including Azusa Unified Manager of the Year, Los Angeles County Bilingual Director’s Administrator of the Year, and Superintendent of the Year from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. These accolades and the new scholarship pay tribute to her work and leadership as she inspired thousands of young students to value their education and dare to dream of college and beyond.

Originally published in the Fall '12 issue of APU Life.