Lydia Gutierrez is the 9th of 10 children. Her father was born to migrant farm workers in Missouri. As a child, he worked in fields throughout the country to help support his family. After marrying, he served as a Longshoreman (Local 13) in San Pedro from the 50s through the 70s. Lydia’s mother was born and raised in San Pedro. Her grandfather helped build the San Pedro Courthouse, and her great-grandmother worked in the San Pedro Fish Cannery.
After raising 8 children in a one-bedroom house in a back alley of San Pedro, Lydia’s parents relocated to Harbor Gateway. Shortly after the move, Lydia and her younger sister were born.
During her formative years, Lydia Gutierrez’s family instilled her with a strong moral fiber. In particular, Lydia was raised to place a high value on dignity and respect—she learned to embrace these values by watching her parents, who worked hard to obtain all that they needed to provide for their family. After being disabled by a car accident, Lydia’s father was left with no choice but to humbly accept financial aid from the government. With the remainder of his early pension, Lydia’s mother quickly adapted, learning how to budget wisely to support the four small children in their household.
Despite her modest beginnings, Lydia thrived academically, and eventually she attended Pepperdine University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts. She went on to further her education at Dominguez Hills, where she received her master’s degree in Multicultural Bilingual Education. Lydia holds two credentials in Multiple Subjects K-12 and Bilingual Education; she is a master teacher for UCLA’s Math Project Center X; a Fellow in Writing at California State University, Long Beach; and a lecturer for the Los Angeles County Teachers Mathematics Association.
Lydia has always been firmly committed to improving the well-being of others. When she was only 12 years old, she began teaching a Sunday School class for elementary children. As she matured, Lydia continued to place a high priority on caring for others by visiting the elderly, helping neighbors with chores, and reaching out to teens to give them hope for the future. As a professional, Lydia dedicated two years of service teaching in the country of Colombia. This was followed by an additional 7 years, during which Lydia utilized the school break periods in the United States to provide humanitarian aid to the street children and local orphanages of Colombia. She has also provided humanitarian aid in the Philippines.
Lydia began her professional career as a teacher; but, after her father’s death, she left that calling out of necessity so that she could earn more money to help provide for her family. She became employed in the aerospace field as an administrator for the F/A 18 Radar, and later went on to serve as an acting supervisor in Cost Estimating for the Bradley Tank parts division. Ultimately, Lydia left the aerospace industry to return to what she has always cared about most: the joy and love that she has for teaching children.
In addition to her other positions, Lydia presently serves as an elected Board member on the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council as Secretary and as a member of the Education and Budget and Finance Committees.