Brent Noyes (B.S. ’75, M.S. ’79) is one of the more recognizable faces at USC Rossier School of Education gatherings, including Board of Councilor meetings, alumni events and Homecoming tailgates. The fourth-generation Los Angeles-born and second-generation USC graduate, with 35 Trojans in his family, has a long and loyal history with his Alma Mater.
With his recent retirement as Principal of Arroyo Vista Elementary School in South Pasadena Unified School District, Brent expects to get even more involved.
“After 37 years in education, I felt it was time to do my own thing, do more alumni activities, and be available for Dean Gallagher if she needs anything, because I really believe in what she does and the direction the school is headed,” said Brent, who has been a member of the Rossier Board of Councilors since 2007.
He fell in love with education while student teaching as a music major, and while searching for a teaching job, it didn’t take long to witness the impact his USC education and the Trojan network would have on his life.
“I stopped by Glendale (Unified School District) to put in my paperwork, and the head of HR asked if I went to ‘SC and if I wanted to go on a job interview right then, so I did,” he recounts. He had not even driven all the way home before the district called him to say he was hired. “It’s been that way my whole career. It’s the true connections you make at USC.”
Similar connections led him from teaching to administration for the Glendale district. While there, he helped move a Glendale school to a year-round schedule to accommodate a huge influx of Armenian immigrant students – from 400 to 1200 – seeking refuge from the devastating Armenia earthquake. Later, his network recruited him to be Principal in La Cañada Unified School District (Palm Crest Elementary), then Principal in Las Virgenes Unified School District (Willow Elementary and Yerba Buena Elementary), where he served for 11 years and oversaw the construction of a new school – to which he added some Trojan Spirit. “We used ‘SC colors,” Brent slyly acknowledges, “but we didn’t tell people. Then we built an amphitheater that looked like the Los Angeles Coliseum. So there was an ‘SC touch there.”
Two years ago, Brent received another call about an opening in South Pasadena where he served until his recent retirement. In addition to increasing his already heavy involvement with Rossier, Brent plans to continue with his music – he regularly sings at Saint Sophia Cathedral at Pico and Normandie, he’s looking into opening a charter school locally, and he and his daughter Alexis will likely be spotted at many of the USC football games.
Brent is a member of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, past president of the USC Rossier Alumni Support Association, former president of the USC Education Alumni Association and former member of the USC EDUCARE Board of Directors.
For the last several decades, Brent has underwritten all of Rossier’s Homecoming tailgates, which bring together alumni from throughout the years to celebrate. He is also committed to supporting and mentoring incoming and current students, stating: “We don’t just graduate and leave. We graduate and then help others graduate, too.”
He is excited about the strength of Rossier’s leadership. “The dean is a visionary person who gets the best people around her to support her vision, and she continues to raise the bar,” he said. “We can all be conduits and connectors to deliver on these dreams – whether it’s financially or to give advice or to organize a meeting. It’s about listening to what is needed and giving back any way you can.
“That’s what the Trojan Spirit is.”
— Andrea Bennett