Pacific Beach community volunteer Cathie Jolley named a ‘Woman of Distinction’


PB resident Catherine Jolley was one of 17 “Women of Distinction” from across San Diego, who were honored March 20 by 78th Assembly member Todd Gloria at the Women’s Museum of California in Liberty Station. The 78th Assembly includes San Diego County, Coronado , Del Mar , Imperial Beach and Solana Beach . The 78th District “Woman of the Year” is Brigette Browning.

“We are celebrating Women’s History Month in March and this is an opportunity to honor the women who make San Diego a better place to live,” Gloria told those gathered.

Each year, the California Legislature holds a “Women of the Year” ceremony in Sacramento, where each of the state’s 80 assembly district members honors one woman. Locally, San Diego expands on that to recognize multiple women. “We know the 78th Assembly District is home to a number of truly phenomenal women, so that’s why we wanted to honor them here,” Gloria said.

The 2019 roster of awardees also included: Linda Tu, Roz Winstead, Stephanie Benvenuto, Diane Peabody Straw, Tracie Jada O’Brien, Laurie Black, Rose Ann Sharp, Jen LaBarbera, Tessa Williams, Darcy Pavich, Steph Johnson, Cristina Marquez, Marlena Balderas, Nicole Capretz and Vernita Todd.

Jolley was recognized in the Education category.

“By day, Cathie is a first-grade teacher at Rancho San Diego Elementary. By night, she is a prolific Pacific Beach resident,” Gloria said. “She has taught at mostly Title 1 elementary schools and has had as many nine languages spoken in her classroom. After 28 years of teaching, Cathie says teaching is still what she loves to do and being able to spend her day with 6-year-olds is still a blast.”

Jolley has also been a member of the Pacific Beach Town Council for the last eight years. She served as president 2015-2016, was named the Pacific Beach Citizen of the Year in 2017, had a day proclaimed in her honor by the City of San Diego in 2018, and to top it off, was selected this year by the Pacific Beach Town Council as “Honorary Mayor of Pacific Beach.”

Of the latter, Gloria said: “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of that honor!”

Through an event orchestrated by the PB Town Council, “Cathie has worked hard to honor police officers, lifeguards and firefighters by helping to organize the Police And Emergency Services Appreciation Night, known as PAESAN,” Gloria said. “Tonight, we’re honoring Cathie, not just as an educator, but also as someone who makes a tremendous contribution to the community of Pacific Beach. Neighborhoods are really what make San Diego a special place, and most of those are run by community volunteers. These people don’t get a dime for their service, they just give and give and give. She is one of those people.”

—Nominations for next year’s awards can be submitted through Gloria’s website at The application form comes up with a search for “Women of Distinction.”