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HUNTINGTON BEACH | Community News Focus

Reception Honors Departing Schools Superintendent, Wife

June 11, 1996|BILL BILLITER

David Hagen, superintendent of the Huntington Beach Union High School District, has known his wife, Ronee, since grade school--they were childhood sweethearts. They started dating when he was a high school senior and she a junior. They married after both graduated from USC in 1968.

So when Ronee Hagen was offered an executive position in Pennsylvania earlier this year, the couple conferred as long-time partners, not as competing careerists.

"I told Dave I had the offer, and I really had dismissed it," Ronee Hagen said. "Dave is quite successful at what he is doing and likes it very much. But he brought me roses that night to congratulate me and said he was proud of me."

Ultimately, Ronee Hagen decided to take the job as an executive vice president of a division of Alumax Inc., an aluminum manufacturer in Cressona, Pa. And her husband decided to resign as school superintendent to move East with her.

"She has supported me all these years," Dave Hagen said. "She certainly deserved my support at this time in her career."

Scores of friends gathered at the Seacliff Country Club last week at a reception to honor the couple and to affirm Hagen's support of his wife's career.

"It's music to most women's ears," Huntington Beach Councilwoman Shirley S. Dettloff said.

High school district board President Bonnie Castrey added: "Ronee and Dave have a very special relationship. This is just a marvelous story of a two-career family."

Among those at the reception were the couple's sons Matthew, 22, and David Jr., 24, both graduates of Santa Clara University. Ronee Hagen said the fact that both children have completed college helped in the decision-making.

Dave Hagen said his resignation as superintendent will become effective in August, and he will move then. He said he hopes to secure a job in Pennsylvania in some aspect of education.

The couple said the friendship that began in elementary school in Glendale has grown stronger over the years.

"Our first date was to a high school football game, and we still go to high school football games because I went into education," said Dave Hagen. "She was my prom date back in high school, and we still go to proms."

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