The Venice High School Alumni Association presented its “2008 Alumnus of the Year Awards” November 1st to Jan Davis, Jeff Shimizu and Hortensia Amaro.
Davis was honored for her 22 years of dedication and accomplishments at Venice High School. She volunteered at Venice High as drill team coach and in 1985 became a full-time dance, science and physical education instructor. Davis was later promoted to dean of students, assistant principal, and later served as principal for seven years.
She has been an active member of the Gondo Golf Classic, a fund-raising program for over ten years. She was recently promoted to the Los Angeles Unified School District office.
Shimizu was honored for his contributions to Venice High School and Santa Monica College, a key education institution for Venice graduates. He was the varsity football assistant coach, head B football coach, head varsity baseball coach and guided Venice High to three straight 3A City championships.
Shimizu served as an academic coordinator on the board of Reviving Baseball in the Inner City, a program sanctioned by Major League Baseball. Shimizu, who has worked at Santa Monica College since 1985, has served as a counselor, athletic director and dean, and he is currently vice president of academic affairs.
Amaro was honored for her work in the treatment of substance abuse and interventions with pregnant and addicted mothers. She has been principal investigator on projects regarding substance abuse, mental health, HIV, abuse prevention and training.
Amaro was appointed to the Boston Public Health Commission and has been a consultant with the National Institute of Drug Abuse and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was selected as distinguished visiting professor at Ben-Gurion University in Israel and was listed as one of America’s 100 most influential Hispanics.
Amaro is currently a distinguished professor at Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston.
Paul Belli, alumni association president, served as master of ceremonies. Presentations were given by current and former Venice principals Lonnie Wallace and Bud Jacobs.
The Venice High School Alumni Association is an organization of 1,800 friends and graduates who support the high school with classroom grants and student scholarships. The association also works with reunion committees and publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Acclaim.