PASCO, WA — Gloria Cartagena, the longest-standing employee Educational Service District 123 has ever had, is scheduled to retire at the end of this year. Over her 41 years of service, Cartagena has helped countless people across the state and in the community to earn and maintain their teaching certifications in her role as the Clock Hour and Certification Specialist.

Even in the most daunting cases, Cartagena has provided guidance and support. Regina DePaula Eckert, who moved to Washington from Brazil, spent several years trying to get her Washington state teaching certificate before she was referred to Cartagena. Eckert says Cartagena not only helped her get her certification three months later, but also supported her as a friend through the complex and isolating process.

According to Kaylee Bolt, Human Resource Coordinator for ESD 123, Cartagena’s impact on so many people’s lives has made her the face of the ESD. “The ESD is known for Gloria,” says Bolt. “People may not always know what an ESD is, but they know Gloria. She’s kind of like our legend.”

ESD staff and members of the community will gather to celebrate Cartagena’s years of dedication at a retirement party held at ESD 123 on Wednesday, December 13 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and media is encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Molly Curtiss at 509.544.5787 or