Dr. Paul Possemato
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Dr. Paul Possemato

La Quinta - Dr. Paul Possemato of La Quinta, passed away at Vista Cove in Rancho Mirage on June 11, 2020 of natural causes. Born in Waterbury Connecticut on September 29, 1933 to Albina and Angelo Possemato, second generation Italian American immigrants. He was the youngest of five siblings.

Dr. Possemato knew from when he was five years old that he wanted to be a teacher. His family moved from Waterbury to Los Angeles in August of 1945. Paul graduated from Washington High School in Los Angeles, went on to receive his bachelor's degree in Political Science from UCLA in 1955, a master's degree in Education Administration from USC in 1957 and a PH.D in Education Administration from USC in 1969.

Paul went on to touch the lives of thousands of students as an inspirational teacher and visionary administrator who believed that the lives of all children mattered. His first teaching job was at Riis High School in Los Angeles, a school for troubled teenagers. From there he became principal of Gardena High School and later was recruited to serve as principal of Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, a school that was riddled by gang violence and was in danger of losing its accreditation. He turned Garfield around with his passion, soliciting the involvement of parents in their kids' education and pushing out gangs and drugs. He forged a friendship and partnered with Jaime Escalante, the math teacher later immortalized by Edward James Olmos in the movie "Stand and Deliver". He went on to become Associate Superintendent of LA Unified School District, Superintendent of Laguna Beach Unified and also served two terms as Superintendent of Inglewood School Unified. Dr. Possemato believed that dreams are kept alive in schools by expecting excellence from students. He served the students of Los Angeles for 33 years.

Paul was also a man who served his family. Family was at the center of his life. He married Peggy Daddio on July 9th, 1960 and they adopted their daughter Carla on November 22, 1963. Peggy and Paul were known for being the life of the party wherever they went. Paul was a dedicated husband, father, brother and uncle who always saw the best in everyone and encouraged others to be their best. He lived out his retirement in La Quinta, California where he spent many years on the golf courses at PGA West. He is survived by his daughter, Carla Lytle and his older siblings Angelo and Teresa. He also left behind an account of his early years, a book titled "Years to Remember", published in 2003.




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Published in The Desert Sun from Jun. 25 to Jul. 4, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by thedesertsun.com
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5 entries
July 2, 2020
Paul was a wonderful human being and an outstanding educational leader. Riposa in Pace Paul. In memory of wonderful things for thousands of kids.
Allan Scholl
Coworker
July 2, 2020
My sincere condolences to family and friends.
Thank you for your commitment and service to your community members.
You did The Lords work on Earth. Saving lives through education where the need was greatest.
Rest in well earned Blessed Peace.
#respect
Jessie Ann Chesnut RN CDE
Grand Parent
July 1, 2020
Paul was a great educator and working for him in the Los Angeles Unified School District was both a pleasure and an honor. A good man and a caring mentor, he let me see how important good leadership could be. Reposa in Pace Paul.
Allan Scholl
Coworker
June 28, 2020
My dad was incredible and always liked people he also created the AEIOU group called american educators Italian origin united
CARLA possemato
Daughter
June 27, 2020
e was an exceptional educational leader.
Michael Bennett
Teacher
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