On February 27th, Pete Corona passed away at the age of 90. Pete was still teaching his popular Fit After 50 class for DVC Community Education every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For those who knew Pete, you knew what a positive force he was. He was our department’s cheerleader. He would pop his head in several times a week to see how things were going and to remind us to live life to the fullest (pumping his right fist into the air).
What many of you probably didn’t know about Pete was just how accomplished he was. Pete, a native Californian, received state and national recognition for his leadership in education. If you came up in California’s public school system, you were likely positively affected by his leadership. Pete achieved numerous honors and was honored by the president of the United States, congress, the governor of California, the state legislature, city councils, business leaders, state and national superintendents, school boards and teachers.
A couple of weeks before Pete’s passing he attended his 61st consecutive AASA School Superintendents Association conference in Los Angeles. He was interviewed for their publication. Here’s an excerpt.
Perhaps my most important conversation today was held with Peter Corona in the Social Media Lounge. What’s a 90 year old, retired superintendent doing hanging out there? Learning. “I’ve taught leadership on six continents. Leaders aren’t born. We have to instill the strength that is within us and share it with others. Learn as much as you can and share it with others. Keep the mind and the body moving together.” Pete likens learning to H2 (mind) + O (body) = water (your life). He told me, “Make today better than yesterday. Make tomorrow better than today.” For a superintendent who helped transform over 12 California districts from the late ’60s on, Pete knows that relationships matter most. A healthy man who still teaches physical education three days a week, Pete has written several books on relationships in the communities he grew up serving, including Sunol: Never Too Small to Succeed, and Little Italy: The Way it Was. I’m at once inspired and in awe of this man, who has impacted so many children and adults in positive ways in the Bay area for more than six decades. The value of these relationships make AASA worth every moment. These leaders matter, and their collective impact is transformational over time.
Pete is survived by his wife, Yolanda, their children and many grandchildren. No services are planned. If you would like to send your condolences, Yolanda would greatly appreciate them. Send your cards to the Community Education office and we will be happy to send them to Yolanda.
We already miss you, Pete.
Toya, Erika and Jackie
Director, Community Education
(925) 969-4600 or ext. 24313
From Gerry Jones March 2019
I first met Peter Corona when he enrolled in my 6:30am fitness class. We instantly bonded and I had him for several semesters. His effervescence in the class rubbed off on every student. Peter’s appreciation for living was off the charts. He was the kind of person who made you feel special. Being a successful and retired administrator,Peter would take over temporarily a school district’s vacant superintendent’s position until it was permanently filled. He would tell me that he always informed whatever school board that wanted to hire him as their interim superintendent that “I’m not taking this job to babysit. I make decisions.” Peter Corona was a fantastic man.