The Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches’ prayer breakfast on Monday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, recognized Rialto Unified School District Superintendent Cuauhtémoc Avila for his leadership in the community to achieve educational success. The group presented with the annual Patriotic Award.
With only a year at his post, he’s accomplished more than some have in 10 years, said Reginald Woods, IECAAC president, before handing the award. And probably only person wondered if the recognition was worthy — Avila.
Humbly and graciously accepting, “I had mixed feelings over the recognition,” Avila said.
“I feel very uncomfortable being recognized, mainly in part because I love what I do. I just want to do my job,” he said. “Having the (school) boards’ backing, that’s really what I want to pursue and be acknowledged for, the smile on staff members faces and students — that’s my reward in this.”
The group’s Patriotic Award is presented in honor of accomplishments in education or government, legislative and in the corporate arena to those whose efforts exceed and exemplify achievement of the American Dream.
Avila’s continued drive to inspire the Rialto community, parents and staff in leadership to achieve educational success is what has made him worthy of such recognition, according to IECAAC.
Among some of Avila’s accomplishments include RUSD’s Strategic Plan, several community service projects and establishing an open door policy not only within the district, but also the community at large.
“While I humbly appreciate it, I didn’t get into (education) for the titles. I’m glad that i’ve been able to accomplish what I have during this time, but there’s so much more to be done,” Avila said.
The 37th annual program held in Cal State San Bernardino’s Coussoulis Arena, included prayer, song and keynote address from Daniel E. Walker, author, social entrepreneur and El Camino College professor.
Among others recognized are:
Gertrude Whetzel Award for mentoring — Charles Bibbs, artist Public Service Award — Dr. Thomas Morales, president of CSUSB; Jean Peacock, associate dean CSUSB; Brian Haynes, vice president student affairs CSUSB. Community Service Award – John Griffin (posthumously), community activist Dorothy Inghram/ Trailblazer Award — Cheryl Brown, assemblywoman Beyond the Boundaries Award — Sergio Luna, community organizer
IECAAC membership includes more than 20 churches throughout the Inland Empire. The group is committed to addressing the needs, leading change and improving communities. IECAAC’s mission is community self-sufficiency and sustainability in spiritually, education, community development and economic development through faith-based efforts.
To learn more about the group, visit www.iecaac.com.