John Fylpaa is one of the 2018 inductees in the LBCC Alumni Association and Foundation Hall of Fame after a lifetime of dedication to improving the lives of LBCC students.
Fylpaa served as the ASB adviser, Dean of Athletics, and also the Dean of Student Affairs.
It was during his time as the Dean of Athletics that he helped create the Student Athlete Success Center at LBCC with his colleagues Connie Sears and Larry Reisbig, which is dedicated to improving experience for the athletes at LBCC with a focus on academic success and career planning.
For Fylpaa, one of the secrets to his success isn’t really a secret to many people, but can be difficult to attain by most.
“My motto is, ‘Treat everyone with dignity and respect’,” Fylppa said.
It was that motto that served him well as the Dean of Student Affairs at LBCC, which in other words is the person who students go to for disciplinary reasons.
Some of his former colleagues also remember his time at that position as good examples of having his motto come into play.
Yolanda Fernandez administrative assistant to both the English and Foreign Language departments, remembers that “he was very good with students and he would straighten them out, but he treated them with respect.”
Another former colleague, Dr. Velvet Peterson also remembered Fylpaa’s time as the Dean of Student Affairs as an example of how he treated his students.
“He was so respectful even when a student was being disruptive,” Peterson said. “His goal was to get the student back into the classroom and acting appropriate.”
According to Fylpaa, he took that approach because for his position he felt he “needed to be a good role model.”
Now that he is officially retired from LBCC, Fylpaa has plenty of time to spend with his eleven grandchildren, but he still has time for LBCC.
He still plays a role mentoring students through the John Fylpaa Leadership Institute to help build civic leaders with community projects and a seven session program designed to build confidence and communication skills.
For Fylpaa, it is simply a matter of paying it forward. “It’s an honor to give back to the community that I grew up in that gave so much to me,” Fylpaa said.
Fylpaa will be inducted to the Hall of Fame on Oct. 17 at the Grand Event Center in Long Beach at 5:30 p.m.