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Monrovia High Wellness Center Renamed Susan Hirsch Wellness Center

Samara Hirsch helped honor her late mother during Monrovia Unified's dedication event on June 3, during which Monrovia High School's Wellness Center was renamed in memory of Susan Hirsch. Artwork on the Wellness Center was created by MHS student Casey Clark.

Longtime Monrovia Unified educator Susan Hirsch dedicated her career to championing student wellness and equipping students with the skills and support for success.

Hirsch, who died in December 2020, worked in Monrovia Unified for more than 30 years, building a legacy of compassion and connection. On June 3, the Board of Education dedicated Monrovia High School’s Wellness Center – of which Hirsch was the architect – in her memory, renaming it the Susan Hirsch Wellness Center.

“Susan Hirsch’s compassion and understanding of what the needs of our students were, to creating partnerships with organizations to support our students, is why naming the Wellness Center after Susan Hirsch is not only the right thing to do, but also ensures that generations to come will know about Susan’s legacy and will have access to the resources they need,” Board President Maritza Travanti said. “On behalf of the Monrovia Unified Board of Education, we are forever thankful for Susan’s love and dedication to our students, families and her colleagues.”

Joined by members of the Monrovia and MHS community, Travanti, MHS Principal Kirk McGinnis, Susan’s daughter and MHS counselor Samara Hirsch, and Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian delivered emotional speeches that recounted Hirsch’s time at Monrovia Unified and the impact she had on students and the entire school community.

“We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to rename our Wellness Center in honor of Susan Hirsch,” McGinnis said. “During her time at Monrovia Unified, Susan developed relationships with students, families and staff, ensuring they had mental health support and so much more. We are forever thankful for her years of service to our community.”

During her career in Monrovia Unified, Hirsch served as a special education teacher, then as an administrator, focused on creating and leading intervention programs for at-risk students. She also developed parent education opportunities through the Adult Education program.

Drawing on her skills in working with at-risk students, Hirsch ensured the Wellness Center provided tools and resources such as counseling, tutoring, family support, and family/parent education programs in English and Spanish.

“It is only fitting that we dedicate the Wellness Center in name of Susan Hirsch, with hope that all who enter, leave with their hearts filled and their minds cleared,” Thorossian said. “That was Susan’s vision when she introduced the concept five years ago. That will be her legacy.”

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

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