California School Boards Association to honor Crisis Response Network with Golden Bell Award

CSBA Golden Bell Awards logo

Since 2008, the Orange County Department of Education’s Crisis Response Network has offered support to school communities experiencing traumatic events.

In the past school year alone, the team delivered direct assistance to nearly 800 students and 1,000 school staff members. Since July, they have continued to provide direct support to over 140 students and 165 school staff members.

“Though it is not an easy role to take on, the CRN team members approach every circumstance with the utmost compassion, professionalism and care, making this service an essential part of mitigating long term psychological impact of a critical incident,” Mayu Iwatani, OCDE’s manager of mental health and wellness care coordination, said.

OCDE's Crisis Response Network
Summer Cirino, Dr. Edgar Arce, Dr. Lisa Lee and Mindy Daffron are members of OCDE’s award-winning Crisis Response Network.

In recognition of its contributions, the California School Boards Association will present this group with its prestigious Golden Bell Award on Nov. 30. 

RELATED: Educational programs from Orange County take home Golden Bell Awards

Under the guidance of OCDE’s Integrated Supports and Services unit, the Crisis Response Network provides assistance to Orange County’s 29 school districts, as well as private, charter and faith-based campuses during emergencies, including substance overdoses, grief and loss, natural disasters, and other crises.

The team customizes training programs to meet the specific and immediate requirements of the community. Simultaneously, they work on empowering districts to create their own well-rounded crisis response plans rooted in evidence-based practices. This includes pre-incident and crisis management training to both Orange County schools and community-based personnel at no cost. 

Now in its 44th year, CSBA’s Golden Bell Awards promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. 

“We are so grateful for all the support we receive from our OCDE leadership, CRN responders, and district and community partners, with whom we could not do this work and we look forward to continuing to serve our school communities,” said Iwatani. 

The association unveiled its full list of Golden Bell Award recipients in November, in anticipation of the reception and ceremony scheduled to take place at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

To connect with the Crisis Response Network about pre-incident and crisis management trainings, contact