Local High School Named After First Female Mayor in Long Beach to Celebrate Dedication Tuesday

eunice-satoA dedication ceremony of the Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science in Long Beach will take place on Tuesday evening, according to an announcement released last week.

Formerly known as Hill Classical Middle School and now named after former Long Beach mayor and dignified trailblazer Eunice Sato, the institution, modeled after Long Beach Unified School District’s (LBUSD) award-winning California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS), now enrolls freshmen and sophomores.

Born June 8, 1921, Sato was the daughter of Japanese immigrants, earned her AA at Modesto Jr. College, then enrolled at San Jose State College before World War II, when she was forced to flee with her family to Colorado to avoid being interned by the US government, according to the release.

She would go on to graduate from the University of Northern Colorado and earn her masters in education from Columbia University, taught in Michigan and Yokohama, Japan before returning to California.

In 1956, Sato moved with her husband, Thomas Takashi Sato, and their three children to Long Beach, where she became a leader in school and church organizations and the local Republican Party, according to the release.

She was elected to Long Beach City Council in 1975, where she served for 11 years and as mayor from 1980 to 1982, helping to set in place policies that lifted up a city burdened with budget shortfalls and economic depression.

Following her city political career, Sato served as president of the California Conference for Equality and Justice and on three state commissions as well as the National Advisory Council on Educational Research, according to the release.

“I try to work wherever needed and to do my best to serve society,” said Sato in a statement. “And when you do that, you have no regrets.”

Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science is located at 1100 Iroquois Avenue.

Above, left photo courtesy of Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD). 

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.