Shirley Trina Della Gatta - Leuzinger Principal and Teacher
July 10, 1941 - June 14, 2020
'In loving memory of our mother. Mom was an educator. We both became educators. We also learned how to bake, how to sew, how to think for ourselves, and how to engage ourselves and our work with the world.' Â ~ Joanna and Carla
Trina was married to Joseph Gerald 'Joe' Della Gatta in 1964 and they had a home in Palos Verdes Estates, California. They had two daughters, Joanna and Carla. He was a Spanish language teacher and was fluent in both Castilian and Mexican Spanish. They owned a handful of small apartment buildings in Long Beach CA. Joe passed away on July 31, 1997.
Trina graduated from UCLA and later earned an M.A. in Educational Leadership. She started teaching in 1964 and taught English for two decades at Lawndale High School. She then served as a school/district administrator until she retired from CVUHSD, a thirty-nine year career in education.
Trina loved cats and to read, spend time with her grandchildren, stay active with current events, play the slot machines, and mentor young people. In 1971, she was the faculty sponsor for girls to be able to wear pants to high school, and she championed similar initiatives throughout her career.
She is survived by her daughters, Joanna and Carla; her sisters, Jeanne and Sue; and her grandsons, Dante, Parker and Skyy.
Daughter Joanna Della Gatta is a former teacher at Oxnard Union High School and works as Director of Technical Support & Transition at the Ventura County Office Of Education. Daughter Carla Della Gatta is an Assistant Professor of English at Florida State University.
'Trina della Gatta was one of the best principals we ever had at Leuzinger. May she Rest In Peace.' ~ Maxine Axelrod, Teacher
'Trina was an inspiration when we were both just English teachers at Lawndale during my first decade. Then we continued on at Leuzinger, where Trina inspired so many as a Principal. Always ready with a laugh and some encouragement. You will be missed every day, Trina.' ~ Aline Fillers
'My condolences to Trina's family. She was the most supportive, positive, and encouraging principal. I had the good fortune of working with and for her at Leuzinger. May she rest in peace.' ~ Deborah V. Mitchell-Taylor
'Iâ€™m so sorry to hear this news. Trina was great to work with at the district office. I learned a lot from her. She was a great wit and had a wonderful personality. I will miss her.' ~ George Zuk
'She was an excellent teacher and brought a warmth to her classroom that encouraged her students. I remember her with fondness.' ~ Melanie Soto