With sadness and gratitude for his many years of service to the community, the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) announces the passing of Mr. Rob Richardson, a strong supporter of Santa Ana schools.
Mr. Richardson, a graduate of Santa Ana High School, was a long-time member of the SAUSD Board of Education, a past President of the SAUSD Board of Education, and a current member of the SAUSD Measure I Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee.
He was also the current President of the Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation Board of Directors.
“This is truly a sad day for all of the Santa Ana Unified School District community,” said SAUSD Superintendent Jerry Almendarez. “Mr. Richardson embodied the values and spirit of our District. During his time on the Board of Education, he worked tirelessly to ensure our students received the support they needed to succeed. Although he served in various leadership roles in our community, he was a constant advocate of education.”
Mr. Richardson was born and raised in Santa Ana, and was active in a multitude of organizations in the city. He sat on the SAUSD Board of Education from 1987 to 1990 and from 2003 to 2016, served on the City Council from 1990 until 1998, and held a variety of roles in county government.
“Rob Richardson loved Santa Ana deeply and exemplified servant leadership” ,said Al Mijares, Orange County Superintendent of Schools. “I knew Rob for more than 20 years. The Rob I will forever remember possessed an enduring wit and brought a focused intensity to support student achievement and equity, but he was most beloved because he was genuinely interested in people and treated them with civility.”
Dr. Mijares worked with Mr. Richardson in the early 2000s when Dr. Mijares served as SAUSD superintendent.
In addition to being active in the community, Mr. Richardson was also a local historian.
“Rob was also known for his commitment to the city from a historical perspective,” said SAUSD Board of Education Member John Palacio. “He knew the history behind our buildings, the names of our schools, the names of our streets. He was Mr. Santa Ana.”
“He loved Santa Ana more than anything in his life,” said his wife Bellavadey Richardson. “All I can say is that he loved the kids, he loved the town and he devoted his entire life to trying to make the town a great place for everyone to live.”