George E. Romero, Jr.|
June 18, 1946 - June 8, 2013
Resident of San Jose
A leading educator in San José from 1971-2012, George E. Romero, Jr. passed peacefully on June 8, 2013 after battling a longtime illness. Mr. Romero spent more than 50 years with San Jose Unified School District as a student, teacher, principal and administrator. Known for his kindness and fairness to all of his students, he left a positive and lasting influence on literally thousands of youth. George believed in the motto "always leave something nicer than you found it," and his life was truly a reflection of this.
Arriving in the United States from the Philippines at the age of two, his family first settled in Stockton, before coming to San José when he was five. In his early years, he attended Bachrodt Elementary School and then John Muir Junior High School when it first opened.
George was a member of the first graduating class that went through all four years at Pioneer High School in 1964 where he also served as Student Body President. In 1968, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and continued to be a proud Golden Bear for life.
After graduation, George embarked on his first teaching opportunity, joining the Peace Corps. Assigned to the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean, he spent two years, teaching elementary school students. This experience launched a career that would span decades in the education field.
After the Peace Corps, he returned home to San Jose, where he was quickly hired by the San Jose Unified School District as a history teacher at John Muir Jr. High School. When the school district expanded, he was one of the first teachers assigned to John Steinbeck Jr. High School, where he spent two more years in the classroom before becoming Vice Principal at Steinbeck in 1977.
In 1982, he became Vice Principal at Gunderson High School. Three years later, he was promoted to Principal at Hoover Middle School and in 1990, he became the Principal at San Jose High Academy, the second oldest public high school in California.
From the mid to late `90s, he served as the Assistant Superintendent for the Sonoma County Office of Education. He later became School Superintendent in Sebastopol.
George returned to home to San Jose Unified in 2003, where he became a senior manager in human resources.
George was a foodie before the term was even coined and an accomplished musician on the piano and guitar. George very much enjoyed life and friends and was an avid backpacker spending many summers in the back wilderness of his favorite place - Yosemite. He organized several trips backpacking with students over the years, sharing in the beauty and history of Yosemite, while inspiring teamwork, camaraderie and an appreciation of nature, and of course, constantly reminding his campers to "always leave something nicer than you found it."
He is survived by his two sons Michael and Kevin Romero, his mother Reppie Bautista, brothers Ed, Don and Ron Bautista, Greg Romero and numerous relatives and god children.
A Celebration of Life in honor of George will be held on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at Leininger Center (Kelley Park) in San Jose, CA. His friends and students are all invited and information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/389896444445660/
To honor his lifelong passion in education - family and friends, in conjunction with the San Jose Teachers Association - have set up a legacy scholarship for graduating high school students wishing to enter the teaching profession. In lieu of donations, friends and family request that tax deductible contributions be made to the George Romero Scholarship c/o San Jose Teachers Association, 5444 Thornwood Dr., San Jose, CA 95123.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times from Aug. 4 to Aug. 11, 2013