Betty and Ted Lieu named 2017 James R. Armstrong Honorees

Posted on Feb 21, 2017

Award Presentation at 2017 Round Up for Education Dinner on April 1, 2017

Torrance, CA – Torrance Education Foundation (TEF) today announced it will honor U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu and his wife, attorney Betty Lieu, with the James R. Armstrong Community Leadership Award.

The award, which honors a community member for extraordinary leadership in support of education and community growth, will be presented to the Lieus as a highlight of the 2017 Round Up for Education Dinner benefiting TEF, to be held on April 1st at the Depot Restaurant, which celebrates educators and educational successes in Torrance.

About the James R. Armstrong Community Leadership Award

Torrance Education Foundation’s James R. Armstrong Community Leadership Award honors a prominent community member whose personal contributions of time, energy, vision, and financial resources in support of the Foundation and the broader Torrance community distinguish them as an exemplary leader. The award remembers the life, service and contributions of the late James R. Armstrong, an iconic and beloved Torrance civic leader who served the city of Torrance for six years on the City Council and eight years as Mayor, after retiring from a three-decade career teaching U.S. Government at Torrance High School.

Honoree recipients of the James R. Armstrong Community Leadership Award are selected by a committee of Foundation board members. Prior honorees include former Torrance Mayor and TEF board member, Dee Hardison; founding TEF board member, the late Gene Drevno; Melissa and Garrett Wright; current TEF President, Kevin O’Brien; and current City of Torrance Mayor, Patrick Furey. Last year, business and community leader, Chef Michael Shafer, was honored. The award is presented as a highlight of the Annual Dinner celebrating Education and benefiting Torrance Education Foundation Philanthropy Programs for Torrance students and schools.

About Betty and Ted Lieu

Betty and Ted Lieu embody both the spirit of the James R. Armstrong Award and the selfless dedication to community that became the hallmark of its namesake. The Lieus, who are long time Torrance residents, have each invested their energy, intellect, time and talent to help better the lives of citizens in Torrance, and to the greater good of our city, the South Bay, the state of California and the nation.

Betty Lieu, a trained attorney who early in her working career was a prosecutor, then Deputy District Attorney, has in more recent year become a volunteer’s volunteer in service to our community. She has held myriad leadership roles in Torrance Schools and the Torrance PTA. She co-founded elementary and middle school math clubs at schools where her sons are enrolled, has regularly coached teams at the Torrance Regional Middle School Math Competition, and is volunteer coordinator of the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) clubs at both schools. A passionate advocate for a healthy environment, Betty served for 10 years as an Environmental Quality Commissioner, and today is both a Water Commissioner and a board member of the Clean Air Coalition.

U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu has devoted the past two decades to public service, first as an attorney in the USAF JAG corps, then as an elected official in increasingly prominent public roles that began with his election in 2002 to the Torrance City Council. Subsequent elections have seen him progress through the California State Assembly, California Senate, and most recently to the U.S. Congress’ 33rd District seat representing Torrance, the greater South Bay and the Westside, a district spanning Palos Verdes to Malibu. He continues to serve the U.S. Military as a Colonel in the USAF Reserve, and was recently appointed assistant whip of the U.S. Democratic Caucus.

In all they do, personally and professionally, Betty and Ted Lieu personify the attributes of volunteerism, service, and commitment to community. The board of directors of Torrance Education Foundation is proud to recognize Betty and Ted Lieu with the 2017 James R. Armstrong Community Leadership Award.

About Torrance Education Foundation

Torrance Education Foundation (TEF) promotes and supports academic excellence for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in the Torrance Unified School District. TEF recognizes outstanding teachers and education contributors; develops strategic alliances with business organizations, parents and the community; supports innovation and curiosity; and champions an inspirational, well-rounded education for all students served by the TUSD. Founded in 1992, TEF is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. In partnership with Torrance Unified School District and the community, TEF gathers and channels financial support from Torrance citizens, businesses and area philanthropies to ensure that all students have access to the widest variety of exciting, cutting-edge, enriching educational and learning opportunities.

In the past five years, TEF has provided more than $6 million to support TUSD priorities. Currently, the Foundation’s highest priority goal is raising a total of $700,000 to equip new elementary science laboratory classrooms being constructed at all seventeen TUSD elementary schools. Other important projects include providing STEM Initiative grants to 104 Teachers since 2014 for hands-on learning and enrichment projects at all grade levels, and partnerships with local businesses and family sponsors offering college scholarships to graduates from all five District High Schools. In addition to STEM Initiative Grants, TEF also provides grants for a wide variety of student needs, including but not limited to Academic Decathlon teams, middle school leadership workshops, and direct support for myriad school-based projects and priorities.

Since 2009, TEF has also administered the South Bay Enrichment Academy, a fully WASC accredited summer school program that annually enrolls more than 2,000 Torrance area children for academic advancement and enrichment.

About the Round Up for Education Dinner benefiting TEF

The 2017 Round Up for Education Dinner will be held on Saturday, April 1st, 2017 at The Depot Restaurant. The dinner is open to the public, and benefits Torrance Education Foundation fundraising efforts in support of TUSD priorities and student activities, including: STEM competitions and enrichment programs; scholarships; school site and teacher-led projects at elementary, middle and high schools; Academic Decathlon teams; and school/community partnerships.

The Western-themed dinner, chaired by City of Torrance First Lady Terry Furey, will take place on Saturday, April 1st at the Depot Restaurant in historic downtown Torrance, and includes a reception with silent auction, raffles, opportunities drawings and a Tasting flight of select Bourbons. A full BBQ dinner will follow, catered by chef Michael Shafer, along with dancing to a live band and a live auction featuring vacations, unique entertainment experiences, and other special auction items.

The winner of the 2017 Spectacular Toyota Car Raffle will be drawn, who will win a new RAV4 hybrid SUV donated by Toyota Motor Sales, USA. Western attire is encouraged.

Tickets to the 2017 Round Up for Education Dinner are $125 each. To purchase tickets, become a sponsor, or for more information, visit, phone (310) 972-6418, or email