Title: Retired Educator
Company: Centinela Valley Union High School District
Location: Redondo Beach, California, United States
Mary Beth Robinson, PhD, Retired Educator at Centinela Valley Union High School District, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in foreign language and literary education.
Dr. Robinson is distinguished for more than four decades of proficiency in the education field. She began her career in 1966, accepting a role as a secondary teacher in the Berkeley Unified School District. For nearly a decade, Dr. Robinson honed her skills before becoming a teaching evaluator at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the Ohio State University. Throughout the next decade, Dr. Robinson worked as a lecturer and curriculum evaluator at California State Polytechnic University and as a federal program evaluator in Philadelphia. In 1982, she joined the staff at Stanford University as a coordinator in the field of education and teacher in education. Later on in the decade, she spent time as a reading specialist with the East Side Union High School District before settling at the Centinela Valley Union High School District, where she taught and managed for the remainder of her career. While employed in this district, she taught German, English as a Second Language and American Literature, as well as provided her skills as an instructional coach for beginning teachers and as a Chair for the Department of Foreign Language.
In her own academic journey, Dr. Robinson first earned a Bachelor of Arts in German and economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1965. She simultaneously joined the workforce and continued her own studies, receiving a MEd from Stanford University in 1974 and a PhD from the Ohio State University in 1978. She became certified with a General Secondary Teaching Credential from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 and later as a Certified School Administrator from California State University, Long Beach in 1988. In addition to her positions within schools, Dr. Robinson has been instrumental as an institutional program evaluator with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and an advocate for the County of Los Angeles Commission on Human Relations.
In her career, Dr. Robinson maintained affiliation with a variety of organizations that aided in professional development. These affiliations include the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the American Association of University Women, the Stanford Club of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles World Affair Council, Phi Delta Kappa International, the American Federation of Teachers and Emily’s List. Dr. Robinson attributes her success to a firm belief that she would never look at a student, and say that she couldn’t help them and that they wouldn’t amount to much. She would always say they could do it, and that encouragement can get students to do it. They need someone to believe in them. She was supported by wonderful teachers both in high school and college. In addition, Dr. Robinson was inspired by two important women in her life. The first is Shirley Chisholm, who was the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress. The second woman is Linda Brown, who was brave enough to go through the crowds shouting at her while federal officers made way for her during the Brown v. Board of Education case.
The highlight of Dr. Robinson’s career was her first assignment with the Berkeley Unified School District. It was the first school district in a city of 100,000 people or more to voluntarily desegregate in the state of California. She was so proud that the children took it so well, and doesn’t think that they even understood what they were doing. All of them were just friends. She was in the secondary department at the time. Dr. Robinson is also proud of one of her former English students who went into the U.S. Navy and became a Navy officer. His brother became a Navy chaplain.
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