Happy Retirement, Mrs. Young!


Abby Choy, Features Editor

Behind the scenes of Arcadia High School’s (AHS) various programs—ranging from engineering to dance to video production—there are the staff who provide the necessary equipment, funding, and specialized teachers to support the students daily. One staff member, in particular, has been extremely passionate about helping students and will be retiring after many years of hard work. Congratulations to Mrs. Debbie Young, who will be retiring this year after nearly 31 years of running AHS’ Career Technical Education (CTE) classes. 

During her time here, Mrs. Young has been coordinating the day-to-day operations of the CTE classes, such as managing supplies and equipment purchases, student work permits, teacher credentials, field trips and competitions, grants for funding, and etc. 

Mrs. Cinidi Franz, a co-worker and close friend of Mrs. Young, summed up her legacy of determination and going above and beyond. She described her as intelligent, hardworking, dedicated, passionate, classy, supportive, and creative.

“For over 24 years, I had the pleasure to work with Debbie and together we became a CTE team, developing classes and having a long standing friendship,” said Mrs. Franz. “Debbie has always been the driving force known for creating a stellar CTE program as it has truly been her passion. The words ‘no’ and ‘it will not work’ have never been in Debbie’s vocabulary as she always found a clever way to ‘make it work’ regardless of what the challenge might have been. Debbie was a fearless go-getter! She was always looking for ways to promote the program and grow.”

She also fondly reflects on a weekend when she worked with Mrs. Young to help the Robotics classroom. 

“When the Robotics classroom was in a portable trailer in the parking lot and needed to be moved and cleaned out, there we were one weekend in jeans, T-shirts and gloves sorting through boxes of nuts and bolts and equipment. Neither of us knew what it was but it needed to be boxed so we dug in to get the job done, laughing and joking throughout the ordeal,” Mrs. Franz said.  

Mr. Bill Chapman, the teacher for engineering and C++ programming, expressed, “Debbie Young should be recognized for being the reason the CTE program at Arcadia High is so strong. She not only is responsible for the success of the program but it was Mrs. Young that realized that the program should be focused on our kids and provide programs that were UC approved. There are very few schools that have CTE programs that also have Advanced Placement as part of them. Whether it is the TV Production, Dance, Food Science, Computer Science, Sports Medicine or the Engineering programs, Mrs. Young made sure that the program was staffed with professional educators and had the equipment and supplies needed to be successful. She also played an important role as the intermediary between the teachers and the school and district administration.”   

During the interview, Mrs. Young has shown nothing but complete dedication and belief in the students she has worked with. 

“A lot of the time [kids] want to be a doctor, engineer, or a lawyer,” Mrs. Young said. “Looking at their parents and seeing what they’re doing.”

As students rediscover their passion, they find themselves taking advantage of these courses and finding what they’re passionate about. She reflects on her own career changes, especially when she adapted to new events and interests in her life. Before she came to AHS, Mrs. Young was in the banking industry, where she was in Los Angeles, switching careers to take care of her children. Then, she acquired a counseling profession at AHS, where she assists hundreds of more children in sorting out their careers.   

“My wish is that students who are able to experience careers will always experience careers at the highschool level. That’s my hope that the state doesn’t change funding. I wish for kids the best. Saves a lot of time after highschool,” said Mrs. Young, “High school is a place to try things on to see if it fits.”

While we hope Mrs. Young has nice sunny days in her retirement, we would also like to thank her for being a diligent, hard-working member of AHS, as well as an inspiration for many.


Photo courtesy of AHS