Submitted by the Culver City Unified School District
The Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) family mourn the recent passing of longtime teacher Carmen Campos, who retired from the district in 2019.
Campos has taught in the district for nearly three decades, sharing his love of education with students at Linwood E. Howe Elementary School, El Marino Language School, and Culver Park High School.
She obtained a doctorate as well as an administrative diploma and represented all of the CCUSD teachers in the negotiating team. While working at Culver Park, she studied and passed all high school teachers‘ exams to qualify to teach chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus. She has also long supported the Culver City Education Foundation, CCUSD and TEENLINE Community Fellowships at Cedars-Sinai.
Her colleagues remembered her as a fun and caring teacher who was truly dedicated to the success of her students.
“She loved purple, Cuban food, Madonna, her friends and family,” said a teacher from El Marinio. “She has hosted several faculty talent shows and started the happy hour tradition with teachers to raise funds for ALLEM. She always said, “It’s for the kids!” She had a doctorate and was smart as a whip. She was our union representative for many years, was part of the CCFT bargaining team and was extremely generous when it came to purchasing Tito’s Tacos for the staff. Above all, she was an exceptional wife, mother, friend and teacher.
“She always made everyone she was with felt special and supported, both her students and colleagues,” said another teacher. “There hasn’t been a time she has missed out on helping and contributing to the youth of Culver City. She would pay for students to go back to school and to prom, even loaning her car if they needed transportation. She has always had her students at the center of every decision she made, while being the voice of teachers on the union bargaining team for five years. Since her cancer diagnosis over two years ago, we were still texting about how she was doing, and I was updating her on CCUSD. She has always cared deeply about our district and our community, but relationships have always been the most important to her. “
Parents who dealt with Campos felt the same.
“She was an amazing teacher, a wonderful friend and a pure soul,” said one parent. “She was also a big part of my son’s life.”
“I have known her well from El Marino,” said another. “I was the parent of her bedroom when my oldest daughter had her in fourth grade, and I spent a lot of time in her bedroom helping her. She made me feel welcome and helpful as a parent and also encouraged me to start replacing. I have replaced it often over the years, especially for school trips when it was not well enough to participate. It was a privilege to be entrusted with his students. I was inspired by his love for teaching. I texted her recently and told her I was thinking of her every day when I asked my students to clean up the song “Car Wash” that she used for her weekly “Car Wash Wednesday”. I smiled through a few tears today when I played it for my class.
When she retired in 2019, Campos sent a message to her friends and colleagues that said, in part, “Teaching for CCUSD has been my life for a long, long time. Living in El Marino, because that’s what we all do as educators, it’s our life, brought more joy to
me that only two other things, Katie and Tico. Yeah, guys, you made my top three and you didn’t even know it. Thank you for being the great team that you are. Thank you for always striving to improve the lives of children. Thank you for redeeming my faith in humanity on a daily basis. Teachers never get the credit they deserve and you all do it just like Rizzo bites the weenie, with relish!
Our deepest condolences go out to Carmen’s friends and family. May she rest in peace.