Larry was elected to two terms as Superintendent of Fresno County Schools and served 43 years in education.
He loves inspiring students and families. He is very active in community and civic groups as well as many professional organizations.
Larry has served on 12 non-profit boards and serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees for Fresno Pacific University. In addition, he is on numerous advisory boards for California State University, Fresno.
He served as the Chair of California’s Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) during the height of the fiscal crisis in California.
He is a member of the National Advisory Board for Rachel’s Challenge, the premier anti-bullying program in America.
Larry has served as a member of the State Board of Directors for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA).
He has won many awards including the 2003 Superintendent of the Year for ACSA Region 9. One of his favorite awards came from CSU, Fresno in 2007 when he was named “Top Dog” as an Outstanding Alumni of the University, Kremen School of Education and Human Development. In 2010, he received the Distinguished Citizen Award by the Sequoia Council of the Boy Scouts. In 2011, he won the Horizon Award for his work in promoting “The Arts.” California County Superintendents nominated Larry for the Justus A. Prentice Executive Leadership Award for California for 2011. He was also selected as one of twenty Americans of the Year by Esquire Magazine for 2011 and appeared in the December 2011 Issue.
In 2012, he was honored as “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Big Fresno Fair.
Larry and Dot operate C323 The Powell Project, an effort to bring encouragement and hope to families and individuals who are struggling in life.
Larry is in great demand as a Motivational and Inspirational speaker and has presented thousands of speeches and seminars up and down the San Joaquin Valley, the State of California, and throughout the United States at various school districts, Honor Societies, civic groups, association conventions, service clubs, conferences, Universities, and churches.
Struck with Polio at the age of 15 months in 1949, Larry is an inspiration to everyone he meets. He was a champion wrestler and coach, an avid golfer with a 5 handicap, a swimmer and gymnast. His bench press record is 320 pounds when he weighed only 129 pounds. He holds high school records for rope climb (20 foot rope in 1.8 seconds) and pull-ups (44).
He strongly believes that the only things you cannot do are the things you do not attempt. Hard work and determination lead to success. His wife, Dot, is the Executive Director of SALTFresno, a non-profit agency which provides mentoring services to students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the community at-large. She is also a writer of Children’s Books and a speaker.
Most people have never seen Larry without a smile. Larry has made equity and access a hallmark of his career and works to provide equal opportunity to everyone. He is passionate about “The Arts,” Preschool, and Rachel’s Challenge, a national anti-bullying program.
In addition to being the former Fresno County Superintendent, Larry is a minister, motivational speaker, writer, actor, singer, and songwriter. His favorite past-times include: Family, Church, Golf, Music, and Yo-yos. Larry is affectionately referred to as Reverend Superintendent by his colleagues.
It was a summer last most others in the San Joaquin Valley in 1949. Hot and miserable and no air conditioning But something more miserable than hot summers was attacking. Polio. It was indiscriminate, and devastating. Thousands of folks throughout America were contracted polio. I was one of them and I spent that summer in the contagion ward. But I was fortunate. I caught polio in America and I was born into a family where my mother and father were not about to let anything keep their son from becoming successful. I had first rate doctors and health care providers and I had someone who believed in me and made sure that I wouldn’t alibi my way out of growing up responsible for my own success. They helped me to see that I could do anything I put my mind to and that polio did not need to be my “excuse for life” for every bad thing that happened. What a gift and as a result, I don’t limp in my head only in my leg. Strong families are important. And in America, your success is not limited by your circumstances only by your vision accompanied by hard work. Now that’s Good News.