Superintendent Maria Ott (File photo)

Rowland Unified will say goodbye to Superintendent Maria Ott tonight at a community reception from 4 to 6 p.m. in the administration building. The popular administrator is retiring to become an executive in residence at the USC School of Education.

Beginning in October, Ott will teach and work on educational leadership projects at USC.

Community members gathered Tuesday to say farewell to Ott, who has transformed the school district over the past seven years. They came to recognize her 41 years of service to public education.

"Maria has done tremendous good for the district," said school board member Gilbert Garcia. "It's hard to make it all work, but she responded to the whole organization. She's a great problem solver."

Maria Ott shortly after she arrived in the US. Her father Freddy (Alfred) is holding brother John along with brother Al (also Alfred). (Photo Courtesy of Tom Ott)

Ott began by developing a strategic plan that would serve as a blueprint for Rowland Unified to use as it went forward. That plan set goals for the future.

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