In Memoriam REV


Passings_Wolfgang Buettner REV

Wolfgang Buettner, math teacher at 32nd Street/LAUSD USC Magnet Schools, passed away on December 23 from COVID-related complications. Mr. Wolfgang, as he preferred to be called by his students and colleagues, was born and raised in Germany, and he worked for 20-plus years as a sports journalist mainly in German TV and radio. In 2004, he relocated to Los Angeles after he met his future wife, Nancy. Nancy was a high school teacher, and was instrumental in his choice of the teaching profession.

Wolfgang believed that his previous life and work experience would be an asset he could bring to his teaching. From here, he lived his dream and became an inspiration and role model for his students. Wolfgang unfortunately lost his wife in 2019, but even through his grief he always shared a smile, and was a valuable part of the Media Arts & Engineering Magnet family. He was a part of this close-knit school community for three years and he will be missed by countless students and staff. He is survived by his two daughters, Luka Korbinian and Lilith Paulina, who live in Germany.




Passings_Kim Jones_REV2

The Wilmington Park Elementary community has lost Kim Jones, who passed away over the weekend. Kim had taught for many years at Normandie Early Education Center before transferring recently to Wilmington, where she taught pre-K children. We will share more details of her life at a future time.









Passings_Diana Rodriguez_REV

The Belvedere Elementary School community is heartbroken over the loss of one of its most beloved teachers from complications due to COVID-19. Diana Rodriguez was a well-respected LAUSD educator who, for over 30 years, dedicated her life to teaching and improving the lives of students in East Los Angeles.

Diana was an LAUSD student and began her career at Garfield High School in 1985 as an aide. She met the love of her life, Jim, an English teacher, there. They were married on December 16, 1989, and have three lovely children.

Diana was more than a teacher. She was a dreamer. She envisioned the best for her students and then made it happen. She inspired her colleagues to follow in her steps: Be humble and kind, appreciate the innocence in this world, and strive to nurture everyone you touch with love and understanding. Her legacy will continue to live on in all who had the privilege of calling her friend, colleague, sister, tia, mother, mentor, and maestra.

A Go Fund Me has been established by Diana’s friends to help create Mrs. Rodriguez’ Literacy Garden at school and complete her vision of a Secret Garden at home. ⬇︎



Paul Huebner-1

The UTLA and LAUSD families grieved the loss of longtime activist and our beloved union brother Paul Huebner, who died December 2020. Paul served as UTLA Chapter Chair at four different schools (Multnomah ES, Hammel ES, Rowan ES and Hollenbeck MS) during his 30-plus year teaching career. Paul represented the Eastside on UTLA’s Board of Directors from 1990 to 2005, and served four terms as the UTLA East Area Chair (1994-2005). Paul also served as Co-Chair of the UTLA Ruben Salazar Scholarship Fund for over 25 years, and coordinated UTLA’s political phone banking operations throughout the 1990s. If there was union work to be done, Paul was there to do it. He will be sorely missed.







Passings_Erica Brown-Atkinson

Barrett Elementary fifth-grade teacher Erica Brown-Atkinson was a loving wife, caring mother, dedicated educator, and everyone’s friend. Colleagues says planning fifth-grade activities was “her jam” and hers was the class every student wanted to be in. She leaves behind her husband, John, and a daughter, Asia. Erica passed away from complications of COVID-19. ⬇︎



Pasings_Jay Canedo3

Jay Canedo was a third-grade teacher at Haynes Charter for Enriched Studies for the past 19 years. He was a master of his craft and was one of the most popular teachers at his school. Students, colleagues and families took a liking to his vibrant energy. Jay was a dedicated teacher who instilled pride in his students and encouraged them to love themselves.







Passings_Alec Dixon3

Alec Dixon passed away in December from complications of COVID-19. His friends say that to know Alec was to love him. Alec brought joy, happiness, and laughter to all who crossed his path, and his passion as a teacher was unmatched. He always had the music going and sparkly-eyed children waiting to see what fun Mr. Dixon had up his sleeve. Some would even say he was a child at heart and knew how to get the children excited about learning. ⬇︎





Passings_Nick Glover4-web_REV

Nick Glover taught first and fourth grade at Carpenter for 17 years, an active member of the school’s governance council who was committed to representing his colleagues at the highest level. His quick wit and eloquent way with words were his trademarks. He is survived by his wife, Susan, and children Andrew and Emma. Nick passed away from complications of COVID-19. ⬇︎






Retired Bethune Middle School teacher Jim Desalvo is being remembered as a great educator and unionist — a mentor and friend to colleagues, ready with jokes, laughter, straight talk, and political discussions at any time. He was also an outstanding women's basketball coach with Trade Tech College and won two state championships and several league titles with them as well as with other community colleges. During the strike, even though he was retired, he brought doughnuts to the line and marched with UTLA in the rain.




Passings_Lang Boston5-web

Retired educator Lang Boston was a former chapter chair at Fleming Middle School. Lang was catapulted into the national spotlight when he appeared on several televised appearances with comedian, and former student, D.L. Hughley, who credited Lang with crucial support at a key time in his life. Lang’s Fleming colleagues say that he was a trusted friend and a long-standing man of integrity, and even in retirement was on the lines during the recent UTLA strike.