We Are L.A. Unified

During the ceremony when LeMay Elementary School named its soccer/softball field after Donald Ramirez, the honoree was speechless. Arriving home that day, out of range of the school community, he cried.

This January marks the 32nd consecutive year that Ramirez, 60, has served as LeMay’s plant manager.  He has worked for eight principals, including five during his first five years on the job.  Not once has he thought seriously of going anywhere else.  “This is my home.” 

The busiest part of his workday is usually between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., before students arrive en masse. That’s when he deploys the loud machines – leaf blowers and vacuums – and walks through each classroom. “If I’m cold, I’m going to turn on the heaters.”  He also doubles as an unofficial tutor, helping kids with their math homework. They approach “Donald” – the only name by which he’s known on campus – for assistance. 

Ramirez said he might retire in two years, or he might decide to stay on; with a kid in college, there are expensive bills still to be paid. Either way, he will love his job to the very end. “If the school is clean and everyone’s happy, that’s my trophy.”

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To nominate a teacher, student or employee, send an email to Thomas.Waldman@lausd.net.

See more profiles on the District's webpage or Facebook page.