The Cherry Blossom Festival Southern California Committee and the George Kiriyama Educational Excellence Award committee honored Richard Katsuda as the 2009 George Kiriyama Educational Excellence Award recipient.

The award recognizes an educator in K-12 or Higher Education who exemplifies the work of the late George Kiriyama who spent his educational career creating multicultural educational materials, doing trainings for teachers and administrators on the Asian American Experience and the Japanese American WWII incarceration, and mentoring and promoting educational leadership.

Katsuda has been and educator for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 24 years.

Among his accomplishments, Katsuda was director of the Asian Pacific American Education Commission for the Los Angeles School District. For the LAUSD, Katsuda developed and presented numerous conferences and workshops on the Asian American Experience and the Japanese American WWII incarceration, as well as other courses on multicultural education for the district.

In the community, Katsuda was a project director for “Stand Up For Justice,” the video about the life of Ralph Lazo, a joint project Nikkei for Civil Rights (NCRR) and Visual Communication. He is co-chair and former president of NCRR and an instructor at Saishin Dojo, A Japanese Cultural/Buddhist summer school for the past 20 years.

Katsuda worked with George Kiryama on a number of LAUSD APA commission activities and teacher trainings and conferences.

“Richard’s many alliances with George over two decades make him an excellent choice for 2009,” stated the award committee composed of Iku Kiriyama, chairperson; Dr. Francis Nakano, retired deputy supt. LAUSD; and Kiyo Fukumoto, retired principal, LAUSD.