Dr. Richard Cordano, known affectingly as “Dr. Cee” by his former teachers and students, was 94 years young when he passed away in 2016 leaving a legacy of integrity, charm, and the highest level of professionalism.
Born in Los Angeles, Dr. Cordano spent all of his schoolings in the Los Angeles Unified School District. This tenure in public education marked a turning point in his life as he would return to education first as a teacher and later as an administrator.
Dr. Cordano was a proud World War II veteran, having served his country as a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. Aboard the USS Capricornus AKA 57, he was in every major battle in the Pacific. From this experience he gained superb leadership and people skills; expertise that would serve him well in his professional life. Throughout his career he maintained contact with his shipmates; returning to annual reunions sponsored by the USS Capricornus Association.
Using the GI Bill, Dr. Cordano first went to Pasadena City College and then transferred to his beloved USC where he earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.
He began his career as a teacher in the Pasadena Unified School District and then transferred to the Arcadia Unified School District as Principal of Arcadia High School from 1963 to 1985. To celebrate his legacy as an outstanding principal, friend, and colleague, Dr. Cordano was celebrated recently by his former teachers and students by naming a room in his honor in the Arcadia Performing Arts Center.
Now the Arcadia Veterans Local History Room inside the Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage will honor Richard Cordano with an exhibit that will open June 30, with a reception at 10:00 a.m., and will run through June 2019.