Jack O'Connell Collection


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Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from CSU, Fullerton and earned his secondary teaching credential from CSU, Long Beach in 1975. He returned to his high school alma mater to teach for several years and later, served on the Santa Barbara County School Board. Mr. O’Connell was elected to the 35th State Assembly District in 1982 and was re-elected by wide margins thereafter. In 1994, Mr. O’Connell was elected to the 18th State Senate District on California’s Central Coast and easily won re-election in 1998. He was elected to serve as California’s 26th State Superintendent on November 5, 2002, earning more votes than any other contested candidate in the country.

Mr. O’Connell’s mother, Ruth, was a nurse at the former Camarillo State Hospital and because of this tie, he always maintained an emotional connection with the area. In 1997, as a state senator, Mr. O’Connell authored SB 623, which approved the transfer of the Camarillo State Hospital to the California State University system. In September of 1998, Senator O’Connell’s second senate bill, SB 1923, was approved by Governor Pete Wilson to facilitate the financing and support of the transition from mental facility to university.

In 2003, Mr. O’Connell donated a variety of materials from his State Senate and Assembly Legislative periods to initiate his own archival collection at CSUCI, including documents, photographs, and memorabilia, and most recently, supplied many documents relating to his recent position as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The collection is divided according to issue or subject (see below), year, and legislative body. A limited portion of the collection is partially opened to the public now, with complete processing of the documentation expected by 2014. For more information, please contact University Archivist, Evelyn Taylor.

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