Rosie Switzer, a longtime Benicia educator and school board member, died Sunday afternoon.
Dubbed “a tireless champion for students” by Superintendent Charles Young in a statement, Switzer had been serving the Benicia Unified School District for 46 years. In 1969, she and her husband Alan moved to Benicia where they both had long careers as teachers. Alan taught math, physics and computer science at Benicia High School until his retirement in 2004, and Rosie became an elementary school teacher. She taught at Mills Elementary from 1969 to 1977, Robert Semple Elementary from 1978 to 1987 and Joe Henderson Elementary from 1987 until her retirement from teaching in 2004.
Switzer remained involved with the district when she was elected to the school board in 2005. She was re-elected in 2009 and 2014, serving as president for much of her time on the board.
"When I started as the new superintendent, I met with the board members. Rosie said she wanted to be on the school board to give back to the district that had given her so much in her career," Young said.
"Rosie really touched a lot of people's lives in positive ways," Young told The Herald. "It's endearing to see the work she did."
The board will observe a moment of silence for Switzer at the Dec. 10 board meeting.