Women's History Month Honorees

Thank you for contributing to my Community Recognition Program and submitting nominations to recognize outstanding women community leaders and small business owners in the 79th Assembly District. For over 30 years, the Legislature has celebrated the achievements of women throughout California during the annual Woman and the Year celebration. The Capitol tradition, which takes place during Women's History Month, highlights women from each Assembly and Senate District. 

Congratulations to our selected honorees! 

Pamela Gray Payton
As Chief Impact and Partnerships Officer, Vice President of Community Impact, Pamela oversees The San Diego Foundation’s Community Impact programs, leading the organization’s strategic initiatives that advance quality of life for San Diegans. She plays a critical role in developing cross-sector partnerships and implementing future strategic plans for The San Diego Foundation. Pamela previously served as the Assistant Vice President, Community, State, and Local Government Relations; as well as Assistant Vice President of University Communications at the University of San Diego. In both roles, she worked closely with university leadership, campus and community partners, local and state government, and statewide and national higher education associations  developing and implementing strategies that advanced the mission of the University of San Diego while addressing humanity’s most urgent challenges.
Pamela has served as Board President for RISE San Diego and the Kim Center for Social Balance, and has also volunteered as a board member for La Jolla Country Day School; the San Diego Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.; and Girl Scouts San Diego.

Kristy Ness
Kristy is an emergency, trauma, and radio nurse at Sharp Memorial Hospital Emergency Department. At the beginning of the pandemic, we celebrated our healthcare heroes for the sacrifices they made to save the lives of others. As the pandemic has dragged on, we have started to hear more about the burnout that nurses and other medical professionals are experiencing. Kristy completed her doctorate in nursing and took on two additional jobs (one as a nurse practitioner at an Internal Medicine Clinic and another as a nurse practitioner performing home visits and annual health assessments). Through her three jobs and personal life, Kristy care for those in needs and is a phenomenal example of a woman leader in our community. 
Dr. Shawna Codrington
Dr. Shawna Codrington is the Principal at Parkview Elementary School in Chula Vista. As a title 1 school, over 40% of our students are at, or below, the poverty line. She goes beyond just checking in with students that are experiencing hardships to ensure that they receive the proper support and resources. She helps the family because that will benefit the child. She cares about every student and staff member. Parkview is an accepting, inclusive environment which makes our students feel safe and staff happy to come to work. She supports staff in their efforts to help students succeed academically. Every student on campus knows that Dr. Codrington really cares about their future and the community we are preparing them for. She also works tirelessly to provide our students with the materials they need, balance the site budget, and even implemented a science curriculum that is NOT mandated but students are tested on- by the state. She also actively supports the PTA and has been extremely supportive of educational enrichment activities that make learning fun!
Kathryn Cloward
Kathryn Cloward is an author and songwriter in the San Diego community, born and raised in District 79. Known to her youngest fans as "Kathryn the Grape", she's consistently designed and delivered heart-centered performances, stories, and conversations for people of all ages for nearly 15 years! A compassionate creative, businesswoman, performer, mentor, and mom, Kathryn has written and published 34 books (including most recently, "Father Joe: Life Stories of a Hustler Priest"), 100 original songs, and is a contributing editor for "Guitar Girl Magazine". Kathryn is a Voting Member of the Recording Academy GRAMMY Awards and actively advocates for music creators' rights. When not creating or performing, Kathryn loves spending with her teenage son and strolling through the streets and sites of the village in La Mesa, California.
Sydney Pitcher
Sydney is a phenomenal young lady. She has a small in-home soap business called Soap Designs by Sydney. She attends small community events, craft fairs and bazaar’s to share her craft with others. Her creations are good for any time of year, all year long. Passionate about making the world a better place any way she can, bordering on an obsession.  It started as a craft and that’s where it all began.  Her profits go back to community charities. Recognized as a micro entrepreneur she also a community activist – Clean Earth for Kids.