El Monte City School District Bids a Farewell to Longtime Principal

Arlene Bury
January 1, 2014 • 516 views

Dr. Lillian Prince’s mother always said, “At the end of every day, you should be able to look back and that you are proud of what you have accomplished or learned that day.” Those motherly words of wisdom proved to be inspirational, as Dr. Lillian Prince has accomplished and learned a lot in her 58 years of service to El Monte City School District.
Dr. Prince recalled a retired serviceman parent of a student in her 8th grade class at Gidley encouraging her to get the “appropriate credentials” to become a principal. Before that she never ever considered the idea. That was 50 years ago. After teaching 8th grade at Gidley, Dr. Prince went to become the teaching assistant principal at Cleminson, then acting principal at Cleminson, full principal at Wright, principal at Cherrylee, principal at Cleminson, she served one year as principal of Rio Hondo and Cleminson simultaneously, then she was principal at Mulhall and finally returned again as principal at Cleminson.
When she was a teacher at Gidley she recalled getting a phone call at home from school about a parent who was home with a contentious daughter who refused to wear appropriate rain gear. Dr. Prince called the student at home and told her that the next time she saw her she had better be dressed in that gear. (Remember, the student was an 8th grader.) Sure enough, that girl showed up dressed for rain just as her mother, and Dr. Prince, wanted her to be. Dr. Prince had the power of persuasion- even with 8th graders, way back then.
Recently, Dr. Prince was honored at a Los Angeles Laker basketball game. Her brother, who lives in Florida (with a three hour time difference), not knowing his sister was going to be on television, happened to be watching some late night TV. Imagine his surprise when he saw his sister on the basketball court on national television!
Born in Middleton, Massachusetts (about 20 miles outside of Boston) Dr. Prince has been married to her husband, John, for over 58 years. In this new chapter of their life, Dr. Prince and her husband plan to take cruises to Alaska, Panama Canal, and cruise the rivers of New England to witness the autumn colors of the northeast, as well as visit family on the east coast.
Certainly, Dr. Prince’s mother would have been proud of her daughter and what she has accomplished. Friday, December 20, 2013 was her last day of service. Everyone at El Monte City School District sends a fond farewell to Dr. Prince. We will miss her, but know she will be accomplishing and learning lots of new things as she cruises the world. Bon voyage, Dr. Prince!

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