Dozens of OC educators honored for work in support of language learners

For the past seven years, OCDE has honored local educators, administrators, community liaisons and parents who’ve championed the academic and social success of language learners.

Language Learner Celebration graphicThe 8th annual Language Learner Celebration was set to do it again at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin on April 29. But the department’s Literacy and Language team had to cancel the event in response to the growing COVID-19 crisis.

Instead, the department is publicly calling attention to the more than 40 honorees who were nominated this year by their respective districts and learning centers.

“OCDE is indebted to these outstanding individuals for their exemplary efforts and support for our county’s language learners,” OCDE Program Specialist Richard Romero said.

The awards are based on California’s English Learner Roadmap, which views the education of English learners — also known as emergent bilinguals — as a system-wide responsibility, Romero said.

The following honorees from Orange County exemplified the principles of the English Learner Roadmap during the 2019-20 school year:

Anaheim Elementary School District
María Cortés and Lu Sanchez

Anaheim Union High School District
Debbie Pham and Mary Jo Durkin

Brea Olinda Unified School District
Gabby Santos and Rachel Strickland

Buena Park School District
Beverly Chang Bolicek

Capistrano Unified School District
Patricia Effenberger

Centralia School District
Soraya Flores

Fountain Valley School District
Anthony Duenas

Fullerton School District
Alma Chavez and Veronica Moran

Fullerton Joint Union High School District
Sam Kelso

Garden Grove Unified School District
Hang Tran and Lien Thompson

Huntington Beach Union High School District
Kris Bonsall and Heather Cooper

Irvine Unified School District
Lucinda Mroch

Laguna Beach Unified School District
Megan Bhaskaran and Ariane Cardona

La Habra City School District
Joanne Morton and Robert Herrera

Magnolia School District
Chi Ha and Phuong Nguyen

Newport-Mesa Unified School District
Rosa Rochin and Maria Garcia

Ocean View School District
Donald Kilcullen and Brandi Girotti

Orange County Department of Education, ACCESS
Lynn Garrett and Karla Lara

Orange County Educational Arts Academy
Cathy Nowel

Orange Unified School District
Diana Benitez and Norma Leal

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
Claire Munoz and Norma Ceballos

Saddleback Valley Unified School District
Jimmy Martin and Laura Blackie

Santa Ana Unified School District
Linda Palomino and Robyn Giuseffi

Tustin Unified School District
Mario Martínez Sánchez and Maribel Herrera-Olmedo

Westminster School District
Jennifer Guzman and Wendy Sorce

This year’s District Advocacy Leadership Awards, which were to be presented at the Language Learner Celebration, have been postponed until August 2020.