Rowland Unified School District

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Rowland Heights Activist Lynne Ebenkamp a Community Hero

Rowland Heights activist Lynne Ebenkamp a community hero

Rowland Unified School Board Lynne Ebenkamp at Pathfinder Community Regional Park in Diamond Bar on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2013. The retired nurse has worked on many community projects, ranging from Buckboard Parade to the new community center. (Staff photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

Lynne Ebenkamp may have been born in Central America, but she’s become an All-American in Rowland Heights.

The retired nurse seems busier than ever, now that she’s won a seat on the Rowland Unified School Board.

Actually, Ebenkamp’s family moved to America when she was only 2 years old. She became a U.S. citizen when she turned 18. Since then she said, “I have achieved goals far beyond what would have been possible in my birth country.”

The engaging commmunity activist has a hand in many community groups and events. How the 71-year-old manages this busy, busy schedule is beyond us. The only one who comes close is her husband of 50 years, Ted, who recently began another three-year term on the water board.

The mother of three had been a registered nurse for more than 30 years. She later graduated from the Physicians Assistant program at USC, specializing in geriatric care for 15 years.

The Ebenkamps moved to Rowland Heights in 1970. Two of their daughters attended Rowland Unified schools.

“When we moved here, Rowland was still very rural,” Lynne laughed. “Our neighbors brought us a baby lamb, ducks and rabbits. My husband got a goat.”

Their daughters learned to ride their Shetland pony on the nearby trails.

Lynne served on several school district committees. She helped judge Career Pathway projects at the high schools.

“When board member Heidi Gallegos invited us to an open house for the FOR US Foundation, I was very impressed by this nonprofit group,” Lynne added.

For Our Rowland Unified Students (FOR US) is the district’s education foundation. She said it has raised more than $160,000 for the kids in Rowland.

“I served five years as a foundation board member,” Lynne said. “We usually raise between $25,000 and $35,000 a year for our schools.”

Teachers apply for foundation grants to buy extra equipment and supplies for their classrooms.

Her husband Ted is the president of the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council. Lynne has also served three terms on the council.

The Ebenkamps were honored as grand marshals in the Buckboard Day Parade in 2011. Lynne co-chaired the next year’s event and serves on the planning committee for the 2014 parade.

“I love Buckboard Day, it’s the one event in the year when the whole community comes out to celebrate living in Rowland Heights,” she said.

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